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Lots of Gus, not much bench in Bulls' win



Few days back, I had planned a story for Monday's paper on sophomore forward Gus Gilchrist to advance USF's home game against Virginia, and Gilchrist made the choice look like a good one with a 23-point, nine-rebound effort in the Bulls' win at Southern Methodist on Friday night. A few box-score observations ...

-- How impressive is an 8-for-12 shooting performance for Gilchrist? In 25 games last season, he shot better than 50 percent from the field just three times, and the only percentage better than Friday's was a 6-for-8 effort against DePaul. As for his nine rebounds, he's only topped that once, grabbing 11 in USF's second game against the Blue Demons last season. More on Gus coming soon ...

-- For all the talk about newcomers and new depth, USF won Friday despite getting zero points from its bench. Junior forward Jarrid Famous started and had a quiet debut, with nine points and two rebounds, and freshman forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick logged 20 minutes off the bench, getting three rebounds but not taking a shot. USF's trio of freshman guards, Jordan Dumars, Mike Burwell and Shaun Noriega, totaled just eight minutes and two shots, but their minutes will improve as the season continues.

-- Guards Chris Howard and Dominique Jones combined for 13 assists and just four turnovers -- that plus-9 margin is encouraging, given that the pair's best margin in nonconference last season was plus-5. They were better than plus-9 just three times last season -- against DePaul, West Virginia and Cincinnati. Howard had 10 or more assists in those games, and his numbers Friday were strong, with 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds. One of the interesting storylines between now and the start of Big East play will be how well a senior like Howard can hold off a younger challenger in sophomore Anthony Crater, who is eligible Dec. 12.

-- USF catches a nice break Monday in that Virginia will be without two of its bigger post players in Assane Sene (7-foot, 234 pounds) and Jamil Tucker (6-9, 240). Sene was suspended from the first three games of the season, and Tucker -- who had 15 points and seven boards against USF last season -- has been granted an indefinite leave for personal reasons. Virginia has a 10-game losing streak in the state of Florida, dating back to 2001.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:33pm]


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