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USF Shows Fight in Loss to Top-Ranked Kentucky


Brad
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USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com

 

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USF Shows Fight in Loss to Top-Ranked Kentucky

Chris Perry named Most Outstanding Player for USF

MIAMI, NOV. 27, 2015 – Three Bulls scored in double figures and USF matched No. 1 Kentucky point-for-point in the second half in an 84-63 loss to the Wildcats Friday in the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Freshman guard Jahmal McMurray scored 13 points to lead the Bulls (1-5). Senior Jaleel Cousins scored in double-figures for the third-straight game with 12 points despite playing three minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Junior forward Chris Perry had 12 points and eight rebounds and was named the Most Outstanding Player for USF following the game.

The Bulls weathered foul trouble early on and trailed 27-21 with six minutes remaining in the first half. However, the Wildcats (6-0) scored the last 15 points of the half to take a 42-21 lead at the break.

 

“In the first half we got into some foul trouble with Roddy and Jaleel and we couldn’t get into a rhythm, which is a credit to Kentucky and their defense,” said USF head coach Orlando Antigua.

 

USF shot 60 percent from the field in the second half and scored 42 points, but also allowed 42 points. The Bulls never got closer than 19 points.

 

“I thought in the second half we were able to settle down and get into our normal rotation,” said Antigua.

 

“The second half showed us how we can fight together as one,” said McMurray. “Going forward, if we can fight like that, we can keep getting better and better.”

 

USF shot 46.4 percent from the field, while top-ranked Kentucky shot 50 percent including 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from 3-point range.

 

With Cousins in early foul trouble, sophomore center Ruben Guerrero played 27 minutes and had his best game of the season with eight points, five rebounds and two blocks.

 

Kentucky was led by freshman guard Jamal Murray with 21 points. The Wildcats also forced the Bulls into 14 turnovers.

 

Towards the end of the game, walk-ons Tre’ Bryant and Justin David made their USF debuts and played one minute each. Around the same time, Kentucky put in David’s brother, Jonny David, and the two guarded each other for a possession.

 

USF will next be in action on Sunday when it hosts Savannah State at 2 p.m.

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Ruben played really well down low on defense, could have been a little more aggressive with the fouls but he was rarely out of position. Cousins also was not terrible but was too often out of position and picked up some quick fouls. The perimeter D was atrocious.  Letting the wings run free for lobs over the top and not defending the 3 point line is inexcusable.

Ball handling also leaves something to be desired although I was impressed with how we beat the press several times with Peters bringing up the ball. He sees the whole court well. McMurray on the other hand, should not be running the point but I guess there are no other options. Also liked how they were running McMurray off those Rip Hamilton screens where he basically runs laps around the half court shaking defenders.  I can see that working against less talented front courts.

Overall, it's about what I expected,  but was disappointed with the early officiating.

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Rueben played well but was gassed at the end of the 1st half.  That is when the alley oop parade started.  And guys were blowing right by him. But I saw on the scoreboard at halftime that he played 17 minutes.  I'm not sure he's played that many minutes in a game thus far.  McMurray got picked his first 2 attempts bringing the ball up but eventually settled down.  When the guys were introduced they looked nervous.  This was a big game, maybe the biggest to this point, for most of these guys not named Perry.  Peters got picked a time or two himself.  And I'm not sure what is up with the offensive foul calls when he drives to the hoop.  Didn't look like he lowered the shoulder on at least one of them.  Didn't get a great look at the other.  

You're right about the officials in the 1st half.  I asked around me if it was against the rules in that "tournament" for KY to be called for fouls.  Sat next to a friend who watches most KY games. He thought we got screwed on some of those early calls.

Re: the point spread.  I don't think Calipari would ever have his guys back off.  But my friend said that he did change up the rotation (the injury to #3 may have had a part in that) and didn't have his better players on the court as long as normal.  Still not a Calipari fan.  He wouldn't back off when they stopped play when one of our guys (Nunez or Peters?) slipped and went down hard.  It isn't the Final Four John.  Calm the F down.

Edited by Bourbon Bull
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