NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Shaun Noriega #22, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick #32 and Jarrid Famous #31 of the South Florida Bulls celebrate after defeating the Villanova Wildcats during the first round of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Victor Rudd scored a career high 30 points as the USF Bulls (2-0) beat the Marist Red Foxes (0-2) 81-67 tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum. Augustus Gilchrist, Blake Nash, and Ron Anderson Jr. each chipped in 11 points. Gichrist had 12 rebounds on the night to record his first double-double of the year while Anderson Jr. and Hugh Robertson each had 7 rebounds. Marist had each of their five starters in double figures, with Dorvell Carter leading all Red Foxes in scoring with 12 points.
Marist was able to keep it close for the first 25 or so minutes, even taking a four point lead with less than 15 minutes to go, but a 15-0 run for USF put the contest out of reach and the Bulls coasted to the double digit victory.
The 6'8" transfer from Arizona State had a dominant performance for the Bulls, going 11-21 from the field. Rudd was able to find his shot from anywhere on the court, including going 3-8 from behind the arc. While it is against a lesser opponent in Marist, you can't help but to get excited about his potential after his performances the last two games. Rudd easily looks like the scorer we desperately missed last season. The next two games against Old Dominion and possibly Kentucky will give us a good idea about his talent level.
Other thoughts from the game.
- After Saturday's contest where the Bulls couldn't hit a free throw to save their lives, its good to see the team go 15-18 from the charity stripe tonight. Victor Rudd was a perfect 5-5 from the line, and no one missed more than one free throw all night.
- The LaBlanthony Canasity expiriment seems to be doing well, with Nash and LaVonte Dority combined for 13 points, 8 assists, and only 3 turnovers on the night. I will take that every night. I'm excited to see how Anthony Collins will do on Wednesday.
- Would not be surprised if Hugh Robertson gets the start Wednesday. Mr. Consistent was consistent, going for 9 points and 7 rebounds while providing some excellent defense
- Have to worry about foul trouble a little bit. Ron Anderson Jr. was called for a couple of cheap fouls before foulding out, and Blake Nash also had 3 fouls. We can not afford to have either of them in foul trouble this year and hopefully its a one game thing.
- We talked about the size advantage USF had earlier, and the Bulls thad a huge +15 rebounding margin, including a +10 advantage in offensive rebounds. This led to 12 more shots, and probably gave USF the win.
- Its really nice to be on a winning streak.
The Bulls will take on D2 Florida Southern on Wednesday at the Lakeland Civic Center. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 PM