Rushed Reaction: #12 South Florida 58 #5 Temple 44

Posted by David Changas on March 16th, 2012

Three Key Takeaways.

  1. A Game of Runs.  In the first half, South Florida went nearly 11 minutes without scoring. The Bulls finished the half 3-of-27 from the floor, but were amazingly down by only four points at the break.  In the second half, a different South Florida team showed up.  The Bulls hit 10 of their first 14 shots, including four of their first five from three.  After trailing 19-8 with 6:34 in the first half, South Florida went on a 33-10 run that extended to the midway point of the second half.  The turnaround was stunning, as it didn’t appear that South Florida would be able to do anything offensively after its woeful first half.  Whatever Bulls Coach Stan Heath said to his team during the intermission got them going, and now one of the last four teams in the Big Dance has a chance to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
  2. Collins and Rudd Lead the Way. Anthony Collins, South Florida’s freshman point guard, was outstanding in steadying the Bulls in the first half and leading their attack in the second.  He finished with 17 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Sophomore forward Victor Rudd, Jr., hit several key shots in the second half, and went 4-6 from three-point range.  Collins and Rudd were the key to South Florida’s quick spurt at the beginning of the second half, and the Bulls never relinquished the lead after taking it on a Shaun Noriega three with 16:55 remaining.
  3. Good Defense beats Good Offense. This game was a contrast in styles.  On the season, Temple shot 47% from the field and averaged 76 points per game.  According to kenpom.com, the Owls were the nation’s 22nd most efficient offensive team.  On the other hand, South Florida is seventh in the nation in scoring defense (56.8 points per game) and 14th in field goal percentage defense (opponents shot 38.7% on the year). On this night, the Bulls won the battle of these contrasting styles, as South Florida held the Owls to 35.7% shooting and 44 points.  Temple simply could not get into any offensive flow in the game, and the Bulls deserve all the credit for that.

Star of the Game Anthony Collins, USF.  The freshman point guard who had more than three times as many assists as any other Bull, was the steadying influence on this team on this night, turning the ball over only once.

Quotable. “I think they’re the best defensive team we played against all year.  They’re long and athletic. They do a great job switching, as well as the guards keeping their guys in front.” – Temple’s Ramone Moore, on South Florida’s defense

Sights and Sounds.  A lackluster first half led to a crowd that had no life in the first 20 minutes.  After the break, the South Florida crowd, which had seemed non-existent, came to life when the Bulls rallied.  The game also presented a contrast in styles between the coaches.  Temple’s Fran Dunphy and South Florida’s Stan Heath do things differently.  Heath is animated and argues with officials throughout the game.  Dunphy, though intense, does not let his emotions show like his counterpart.

Wildcard.  This game was a battle of future Big East opponents.  Earlier this month, the league extended an invitation to Temple, and it will join in basketball beginning in the 2013-14 season.

What’s Next?  South Florida will take on 13th-seeded Ohio on Sunday.  The Bulls were one of the last four at-large teams to make the field, and many thought they should not have been in the field at all.  Now, the Bulls will wear their home uniforms as the higher seed, and with their defense, a trip to the Sweet Sixteen is a realistic possibility.

David Changas (48 Posts)


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