Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
It's Bulls vs. Bulldogs in the USF Sun Dome tonight, with conference pride(??) on the line in the SEC-Big East Challenge.
The South Florida Bulls, sitting at 4-2 on the year after a win at Stetson on Monday night, welcome the 2-4 Georgia Bulldogs to the USF Sun Dome as part of the SEC-Big East Challenge. The game tips off at 7:00pm and will air on ESPNU, the Bulls' first appearance on national television this year.
Anthony Collins is expected back in the lineup tonight after sitting out Monday's game to rest a lingering calf injury.
Obviously the focus for the Bulls on defense will be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the only Bulldog averaging double figures and also the team's leading rebounder. His assist-to-turnover ratio is not good (15 assists to 12 turnovers), but he's an aggressive player on both ends of the floor. This is probably not a game where Shaun Noriega will get a lot of playing time, especially if he can't stay with Caldwell-Pope. Instead, look for a lot of Jawanza Poland and Martino Brock on the floor trying to defend him. Up front, the Bulls have a favorable matchup - Georgia does not have overwhelming size and they've been a poor rebounding team so far.
These are two of the slowest-tempo teams in the country. Georgia is 324th in adjusted tempo according to KenPom, and USF is 338th. In fact, Georgia's profile so far this year resembles USF's profile last year - limited possessions, not a lot of offensive efficiency, and a strong defense. They put up good fights against Indiana and UCLA last week in one of the seemingly dozens of early-season tournaments being held in Brooklyn this year, then beat East Tennessee State 54-38 last Friday in a game where Georgia had an astoundingly low 51 possessions. Long story short, 55 points could be enough to win this game. Maybe even fewer. Root canal basketball is back, at least for one night.