JAWANZA! and Zach LeDay are going to need to come up big tonight for the injury-depleted Bulls. - Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Bulls travel up I-4 tonight for their second meeting of the year with C. Florida, but who will be available to play?
Tonight the South Florida Bulls visit Orlando for their second meeting of the season with the C. Florida Knights. Tipoff is at 8:00pm, and if you're not at UCF Arena, you can catch the game on CBS Sports Network.
The big question is who will be available to play tonight for the Bulls. While Anthony Collins escaped major injury and Victor Rudd's concussion symptoms have ended, allowing him to play tonight, we still don't know about any of the other injured USF players. Collins, Shaun Noriega, Kore White, and Javontae Hawkins may all miss tonight's game. The injury situation is so jumbled that we've decided to not even try and put together a projected lineup.
Keith Clanton played well when the two teams met in the Sun Dome on November 10, putting up 16 points and 16 rebounds. But Isaiah Sykes was maybe even more of a problem. He scored 26 points, made 10 of 16 shots from the field, and grabbed 11 rebounds of his own. He also got to the free throw line 14 times. Unfortunately with USF's lineup and their struggles on the front line against quality competition, the Bulls probably cannot hold both of them in check. They need to slow one of them down, unlike the first matchup where they didn't slow either one of them down.
C. Florida plays the inside-outside game well, with three players shooting 48% or better from three-point range. And they do an exceptional job of playing defense without fouling. They rank fifth nationally in opponents' free throw rate, according to KenPom, and when they get there, opponents shoot worse at the free throw line against the Knights (58.6%) than they do against any other team in the country. That really isn't anything C. Florida is doing to their opponents, but it does highlight that if USF can get to the line, they need to capitalize.
This is just as bad of a matchup as it was back in November. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick was hung out to dry by Clanton in the first matchup, and no one else was any better against him in the paint. Plus, even if Collins plays, he has a bad physical matchup against Sykes, who went off in that first game. USF will need to make major adjustments to split this season series.