It's always nice to get a win in Big East play. It doesn't matter who its against, every game in the conference is a battle and to come out on top has to be huge for the team's confidence. Let's get into some talking points.
- How impressive were Jawanza Poland and Hugh Robertson when they were aggressive with the ball. Hugh led USF in scoring with 16 points on 6-9 shooting, while Jawanza had 11 points on 4-7 shooting. In the games that USF has won this season, Jawanza and Hugh are attacking the basket and creating their own shot near the rim. Even if they miss, our posts are there for the offensive rebound, and we either get to the line or its an easy putback. I hope that Stan keeps telling them at practice to shoot the ball. They both have the ability, and I hope they are starting to get the confidence to do so.
- Augustus Gilchrist had a poor shooting night going 2-11 from the field, but made up for it by attacking the boards and drawing fouls on DePaul's post players. Gus finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds, and went a perfect 5-5 from the line. I hope to see better from him against Providence, but if we win when Gus has a bad night on the court, I'll take it.
- The Bulls had another great night at the free throw line, going 17-21 from the charity stripe. Gilchrist, Hugh, Anthony Crater, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, and Jarrid Famous all were perfect from the line. Still amazes me that we are that good from the line.
- Fitzy had his best game of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, including 3 offensive boards. He was the catalyst on our run in the first half, scoring the first 5 points on a 13-3 run to get a 10 point lead at the break.
- DePaul is going to be good. Not this year, but they have a solid core of Cleveland Melvin, Brandon Young, and incoming players Donovan Kirk and Shane Larkin. Even freshman reserve Moses Morgan looked solid in the limited minutes he received tonight. Coach Purnell will have these guys going in a couple of years.
- We've seen this team fall apart time and time again this season in crunch time, and it was good to see them squash a couple of DePaul runs late and extend the lead. First was the back to back JAWANZA! dunks with about 5 minutes to go which extended the lead to 9 points. Then, after the Bulls went into a lull for a few possessions including the always fun 5-0 DePaul fast break, Hugh Robertson nailed a three with a minute and killed any chance of the Blue Demons to come back and steal the game. Robertson even talked about the lull in his interview with Adam Adkins after the game,
"We kind of took a step back and let them come at us instead of just keep coming at them. But once we turned the heat back up we finished the game off strong."
That's the one thing that's bothered me all year is instead of stepping on their neck and finishing them off when they have the chance, they give the opponents the opportunity to come back and win the game. Just happy they were able to close it out and get the win.
No basketball for almost a week, as our next game is Wednesday against a rejuvenated Providence side in Rhode Island. Let's hope we can get the season sweep against the Friars.