USF-Georgia Southern Preview, Or I'd Really Like A Win Today

Your not so undefeated USF Bulls (3-2) take on the the Georgia Southern Eagles (1-2) tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum. Game is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be aired regionally on Bright House Sports Network. If you don't have BHSN, the game will be streaming online on ESPN3.com. If those aren't options for you, Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas will have the call for you on 1250 WHNZ. Here are your probable starting lineups for tonight.

Georgia Southern
USF
5'10" Sr. Ben Drayton III G 6'1" Soph. LaVonte Dority
6'2" Soph. Jelani Hewitt
G 6'6" Sr. Hugh Robertson
6'2" Sr. Willie Powers III
G/F 6'8" Soph. Victor Rudd
6'7" Soph. Eric Ferguson
G/F 6'8" Jr. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick
6'7" Jr. Cameron Baskerville
F 6'8" Ron Anderson Jr.

The big question on everyone's minds is if Sr F Augustus Gilchrist will be able to go tonight. Augustus injured his left shoulder in the first half of Sunday's game against Penn State, and Coach Heath has Gilchrist listed as questionable for tonight's game. If Gus can't go, expect the Bulls to run a lot of 4-guard sets with Rudd playing the four.

Even with Gilchrist possibly out, Coach Heath should have at least 8 scholarship players available as Freshman PG Anthony Collins looks set to make his USF debut tonight. If Collins does indeed play, it will free up Blake Nash to play some off guard to give Shaun Noriega and Hugh Robertson a bit of a break.

Georgia Southern is going to play a lot like Keno Davis' clubs at Providence over the past couple of seasons. GSU will run and put points up on the board, but they give up points just as quickly. The Eagles run a 4-guard set, and all 4 score in double figures for GSU.

Setting the pace is Eric Ferguson (18.7 PTS/8.0 REB), who leads the team in scoring and rebounding. Ferguson's height and skill poses a problem for most defenses, and he's extremely quick to the basket. Jelani Hewitt (13.7 PTS/3.7 REB) is the team's three point threat, shooting 10-15 in GSU's first three games this year, but has a horrible A/T ratio. Ben Drayton III (13.0 PTS/4.0 AST/2.3 REB) and Willie Powers III (11.3 PTS/4.0 REB/5.3 AST) are the main ball handlers, and get most of their points inside the arc. Drayton III is more of a slasher and does a good job drawing contact in the lane and earning trips the free throw line. 6'2" Soph. Tre Bussey (6.3 PTS) is the first guard off the bench and will sub in for the 3 smaller guards.

Cameron Baskerville (2.7 PTS/4.0 REB) is the only post in the starting lineup, and is mostly there to grab rebounds and clog the lane. 6'6" Fr. Marvin Baynham (4.0 PTS/6.0 REB) jumps in as a backup for both Baskerville and Ferguson and will probably see some extended minutes if Gilchrist is able to go to matchup with the size of the Bulls' posts. Reserve posts Tyrone Brown and Kameron Dunnican will each see a few minutes each game.

If there is one thing to look for is how GSU does with foul trouble. Baskerville, Ferguson, Powers III, and Baynham each average at least 3 fouls a game, and they've given up almost double the free throws they've taken.

In the end, I think USF wins this one. Yes, we haven't played very well over the last couple of games, but the Bulls should be able to take care of the Eagles easily.

USF wins by 10.

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