Heath: 'We still should have won'
That's not a typo you're reading in Saturday's paper: USF opened the Stan Heath era with a 73-70 loss to Cleveland State. You can read our game story from former Bulls beat writer Sharon Ginn, and check out the boxscore on USF's official site.
Obviously the absence of center Kentrell Gransberry played a role in a close loss, but Heath isn't going to take that route: "We played the guys we had and we still should have won," he said.
There are good things to take from the stats: Solomon Bozeman goes for 19, hitting 5-of-7 threes. Jesus Verdejo scored 17, and freshman Dominique Jones had 13 points and eight rebounds. Other not-so-good things: B.J. Ajayi, filling in for Gransberry, had as many turnover (five) as he had rebounds; starters Chris Howard and Orane Chin went a combined 0-for-8 from the field (though Howard went 8-for-10 on free throws); Amu Saaka, who averaged 17 minutes a game last season, played only eight and didn't take a shot from the field (that may or may not have to do with a wrist injury); Dante Curry, who played well in last week's exhibition, had four fouls and zero points in 11 minutes.
My question, then, for fans who saw the Bulls in action Friday night: What did you think? In 13 nonconference games before Big East play starts, what will USF's record be? Cleveland State's RPI last season was 262; USF's was 188. Last year's RPI's for the next 12 opponents: Buffalo 238, Rhode Island 109, Florida Atlantic 155, Florida State 38, East Carolina 312, Florida International 251, Central Florida 119, Richmond 272, UAB 133, Wake Forest 122, St. Francis (N.Y.) 281, Winston-Salem State 304.
Can the Bulls improve on last year's 6-7 nonconference record? We'll get to football in the morning ...
(Unrelated: "Bee Movie" is a lot of fun, especially for Seinfeld fans. Couple fun references in there. So Soderbergh's "Out of Sight," a very underappreciated movie, is on USA. Not a movie meant to be dubbed down to a PG-13. Don Cheadle's got some great, great lines in there, but he just said that a situation like this has a high potentiality for a "common monkey feather to back out." Yeah, that makes sense. Great movie, just not when it's on USA.)