Live From Stillwater: USF's Waverly Austin Problem Rears Its Ugly Head

USA TODAY Sports

Not having Waverly Austin has a ripple impact down USF's entire lineup in the frontcourt.

Before I get out of Stillwater, some thoughts on the game last night:

- I don't think we've really explained just how deep USF's frontcourt problems go because they don't have Waverly Austin available. Since Philip Jurick basically roamed the paint with impunity last night, it's a good time to do that.

The immediate impact is that it forces Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and Victor Rudd to guard up one. Fitzpatrick is built to defend power forwards; now he has to defend centers. (Fortunately a lot of teams don't have a true 5, but Oklahoma State does.) Rudd is built to defend small forwards and swingmen; now he has to defend power forwards. They're doing the best they can, but sometimes they just don't have the tools to get the job done.

The problem cascades from there. I'm sure when Stan brought in Kore White, he was expecting him to be a reserve, someone he could put in the game to help out, keep the other team's second unit in check, and maybe go in to try and cool off a hot player. Instead, he has to start, and there are no shortage of athletic 3's and 4's that give him problems. Then Zach LeDay, a true freshman, has to take the Kore White role, and he needs some more seasoning.

And then you have Jordan Omegbehin, who really shouldn't be playing this year. He has tons of size, but needs a lot of work before he can be a useful contributor. They're short on big guys, though, so he has to try and play, and it's a struggle for him. Of all the guys on the team, I feel worst for him.

- When the Bulls play a team like Oklahoma State, one that's talented and athletic at almost every position, I think the only way they can win is to take away their opponent's best option (LeBryan Nash only scored six points), try and get some easy points off free throws and transition baskets (not really) and shoot well (nope).

- If Anthony Collins can get around the court against that team, he can do it against anybody. The size disadvantage he faced against Marcus Smart was glaring, but he made the best of it. On the other hand, the offense was completely lost without him.

- We all hated watching Gus Gilchrist on the offensive end (JCG and all), but USF misses his rebounding. Jurick set up wherever he wanted to get rebounds last night.

- Welcome to USF, Musa Abdul-Aleem! I wish we could have seen him a little bit more in the competitive portion of the game, but he looked like he was at the same speed as everyone else. Looking forward to what he can do.

- Eddie Sutton watches Kiss Cam.

- That's a really funky arena. The stands just go straight up at a crazy angle, and they have seats packed in pretty much everywhere they can fit them. It has to be a tough shooting backdrop for a visiting team.

- Pistol Pete, just as terrifying in person as in pictures.

- I survived Cowboys Ride For Free's drink suggestion at Copper Penny -- a "limey," which is just a giant Styrofoam cup filled with vodka and tequila and Sprite and maybe gin, I don't remember. Another patron told me that the last time they had a limey, they ended up vomiting all over the bar. Mmmmm!

- If you're going to have a "discouraging" loss in December, this is a much better loss to call discouraging than, say, losing to Auburn last year.

- Looks like the over/under for wins on this team is around 16. That sounds like a step back, but with the hand they've been dealt, it's actually a pretty good number if they can get there. Then the front court cavalry shows up next year.

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