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Davidson vs. South Florida Game Preview


Brad

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Davidson vs. South Florida Game Preview

GAME NOTES: The South Florida Bulls try to run their record to a perfect 3-0 to kick off the 2009-10 campaign tonight as they clash with the Davidson Wildcats in the first round of the Charleston Classic at Carolina First Arena.

USF, out of the Big East Conference, began with a 67-61 win over the SMU Mustangs last week and then picked up a 66-49 decision versus Virginia on Monday at home.

As for the Wildcats, this is just their second game of the campaign after head coach Bob McKillop and his crew bowed to 10th-ranked Butler on the road Saturday in a 74-62 final.

The only previous meeting between these two squads took place during the 2000 Top of the World Classic in Alaska where South Florida captured a 96-70 victory.

Both teams will be back in action tomorrow in the semifinal round of the tournament, matching up against La Salle and South Carolina.

Shooting 54.5 percent from the field in the first half, the Bulls gave themselves a little cushion against Virginia earlier this week, but it was the second half that provided USF with the easy 17-point win. In addition to converting 52.2 percent from the floor after the break, the Bulls also dialed up the defense and held the Cavaliers to a mere six field goals in the period. Dominique Jones accounted for 22 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, followed by Augustus Gilchrist with 18 points, eight boards, three assists and three blocked shots, while Jarrid Famous knocked down all four of his field goal tries for his 12 points, to go along with eight rebounds. Through the first two games, Gilchrist is credited with 20.5 ppg on 61.9 percent accuracy from the field, while Jones has dropped in 17.5 ppg and delivered on 10 of the unit's 24 assists.

In the opener at Butler last week, the Wildcats stayed close in the first half and trailed by just a basket at the break, 37-35, but after that the offense hit a snag and the team went down in the 11-point decision. Perhaps the biggest problem for Davidson in the second half was that it went to the free- throw line just two times, compared to 13 for the home team. Overall, the Bulldogs knocked down 20-of-25 shots at the stripe, Davidson just 8-of-9. Ben Allison and Brendan McKillop both shot 4-of-9 from the field for the team, coming up with 13 and 11 points, respectively. In the case of the coach's son, he made good on 3-of-6 behind the three-point line, but that meant the rest of the roster combined to hit just 3-of-11 from long range. Last season this team was under the direction of phenom Stephen Curry with his 28.6 ppg and 189 assists. Someone else is going to have to step up and make some huge plays on a regular basis this year. Losing Andrew Lovedale (12.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg) is another piece of the puzzle that must be replaced.

Playing in the Big East Conference means the Bulls have to toughen up and take care of non-conference opponents like this. Without having to worry about Curry and Lovedale the job becomes that much easier.

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