In the sport of bull-baiting, the bulldog leaps onto the bull's snout and attempts to suffocate the bull. Just like the bulldogs of old, the Hoyas slowly suffocated the life out of the South Florida Bulls and emerged from Tampa with its 10th Big East victory.
The Hoyas overcame an aggressive South Florida team despite not playing its most inspired basketball. What we did get was a balanced effort where everyone chipped in a little bit to secure the win. Chris Wright did most of the damage, but all the players contributed very nicely in this one.
Positive thoughts after The Jump:There are a lot of positives to take away from this game:
The biggest positive is that we made halftime adjustments. We got killed on the glass in the first half allowing the Bulls to get back 50% of their misses. They got 12 first half offensive rebounds and led 20-14 on the boards. In the second half we only allowed 5 offensive rebounds and out rebounded them 13-11. We also got 5 offensive rebounds of our own at a 45.5% rate. That offensive rebounding coupled with outstanding 2pt% of 58.8% led to an excellent second half Offensive rating of 125.7. We shot a eFG% of 58.1% for the game. We shot a very good 57.1% form 3 in the first half. Our FT% was excellent for the game. We only missed a single free throw, going 11-12. Chris was 6-6 down the stretch to preserve the lead. The Hoyas are shooting excellent from the line and even better in crunch time. I believe it's been stated that the Hoyas shoot north of 85% in the final 5 minutes of games which would be higher than any teams FT% for the year. We had more Assists, Blocks, and Steals than USF. Our defense, while not amazing, did a good job limiting USF. We did hold them to only 55pts and 39% shooting.
Grabbed the Bulls by the horns and refused to let the team succumb to the Augustus Gilchrist Show. Chris instead put on a show of his own ,pouring in a season-high 26pts in addition to dishing out 4 dimes and grabbing 3 rebounds and a steal. He scored his 26pts very efficiently, shooting 66% form the field with an Offensive Rating of 140.2. He was +10 in the +/- and +11.2 in the Net Points.
He had another off game shooting (better to get them all out of the way now, right?) but compensated by going out there and grabbing 8 rebounds to lead the team. We were +6 with Austin on the court. He also hit a very clutch pull up jumper with 1:42 to go.
Our second double digit scorer, chipping in 10 points on an efficient 4-6 shooting night including 2-3 from deep. He also played outstanding defense earning a defensive rating of 85.2 and collecting 2 steals. He also grabbed 3 rebounds and had an assist.
He's our rock inside. He's averaging 9.6pts since the 1 week lay off. He chipped in 8 pts, on 3-4 shooting including 2-2 from the line. He also had 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers, and team leading 204 Offensive Rating
His rebounding and assists were beautiful in this game. Really, really impressive stuff. The kid has amazing court vision. 5pts on 2-3 shooting including a dagger 3pter. Also had 5 rebounds 2 assists, a block, and a nice 139.2 ORtg.
He had possibly the most important play of the game blocking a South Florida layup up attempt with 37 seconds remaining. In addition he chipped in 7pts on 3-5 shooting and added a second block and an assist.
He had a nice assist and he had a steal. That's all I've got. He did fine defensively but not great, 3rd behind Henry and Jason.
Did a good job on the defensive end. I felt like he bothered Gilchrist with his length and the stats bear this out that he was our best defender. We were +10 with Henry in the game. He had 3 rebounds, an assist and a block.
I really like his confidence and that he hasn't gotten discouraged by not seeing the ball go through the hoop as much as he's used to and as much as he is capable of. He will continue to get better. In the meantime, he does a good job facilitating the offense, he knows how to run the team and put the ball where it needs to be.
The Hoyas have an extremely important game coming up. It's the first of two home games this week and the first of two meetings with the Bearcats. We need to win this game. Rebounding will again be key, as Cincy loves to crash the boards.