Tuesday, November 18, 2008

game preview: South Florida

Virginia Cavaliers (1-0, 0-0) vs. South Florida Bulls (1-0, 0-0)

Possible starting lineups:


PG: Calvin Baker (4 ppg, 7 apg, 5 rpg)
SG: Sylven Landesburg (28 ppg, 8 apg, 8 rpg)
SF: Mamadi Diane (14 ppg, 1 apg, 7 rpg)
PF: Mike Scott (26 ppg, 0 apg, 18 rpg)
C: Tunji Soroye (0 ppg, 0 apg, 0 rpg)


G: Jesus Verdejo (18 ppg, 1 apg, 3 rpg)
G: Dominique Jones (13 ppg, 6 apg, 3 rpg)
G: Chris Howard (4 ppg, 2 apg, 1 rpg)
F: Mobolaji Ajayi (4 ppg, 1 apg, 11 rpg)
F: Eladio Espinosa (4 ppg, 1 apg, 5 rpg)

It should be noted that these starting lineups are mainly an educated guess on my part. OK. Disclaimers aside, the South Florida Bulls come to town tomorrow evening. East is well above South on the Big Directional Conference totem pole, but USF is a fish out of water here. They joined this conference for the BCS football, not to compete with the UConns and Villanovas and Georgetowns on the hardwood. They actually won something of a mythical Florida championship last year, knocking off all the (football) DI-A teams except Miami who they didn't play, and yes, that includes ACC member FSU.

This did have a chance to be an interesting game, as we are within a month of finally seeing ex-Hokie, ex-Terp Augustus Gilchrist on a college court. Won't be eligible in time for Wednesday, though.

So, the game? USF beat SMU the other night in a game that would probably have made you claw your eyes out. SMU shot 28% from the field and USF did not fare much better and was brutal from the stripe besides. We can actually play a more conventional game tomorrow night, so we should get our first look at John Brandenburg; Assane Sene is probably still out with murky eligibility nonsense holding him back. At least, I'd like to see these guys out there. Both Brandenburg and Soroye will come in handy, as USF, unlike VMI, actually have some basketball-player sized people on their team. USF has their own version of Soroye in Mobolaji Ajayi. He's their biggest guy, he rebounds, blocks shots, all that stuff that a tall skinny 6'9" guy is expected to do. But Soroye is taller and much bigger and should be able to nullify Ajayi's post presence.

At the risk of overrating our own team, this should really be a much easier game than VMI, despite the conference affiliation. VMI makes you play a game you don't want to play, and you hope you're more talented than they are because you're not likely to outscheme them at what they do. USF appears to essentially be a (hopefully) less talented version of us, right down to the tall Nigerian in the post. We should be able to just play our game and beat these guys; a loss will teach us a lot more than we want to know about this season.

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