On Saturday, the Bulls will face the Loyola of Chicago Ramblers in the second game of the USF Invitational tournament at the Sun Dome. Loyola entered the weekend at 2-0, but they went 7-23 last season and just 1-17 in the Horizon League. (The Ramblers open their tournament on Friday against Western Michigan.) Loyola struggled away from home, going 3-14 on the road last season.
Loyola is led by senior forward Ben Averkamp (6'8", 235 lbs.) who averaged 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds pre game last season. So far this year, he is averaging 15.5 points and eight rebounds per game while shooting 51% from the floor. Sophomore guard Joe Crisman (6'4", 195 lbs.) has 7.5 points per game this year and a pair of steals. Senior guard/forward Jordan Hicks (6'6", 210 lbs.) has a total of 14 points and nine rebounds in Loyola's two games so far, while junior guard Cully Payne (6'1", 180 lbs.) rounds out their squad.
USF should again have the athletic edge, but Averkamp could be a problem for the Bulls' work-in-progress frontcourt. Fortunately none of the Bulls logged big minutes last night, so they should be in good physical shape to defend down low.