USF men's hoops rolls to 110-79 exhibition win
It's only an exhibition, but USF coach Stan Heath saw enough Tuesday night in the Bulls' 110-79 win against Division II Florida Southern to expect a more explosive team in the regular season.
"Much more explosive," said Heath, whose team didn't score more than 80 in any game or exhibition last season. "It comes from defensive pressure ... This team has more offensive firepower, but I want it to maybe initiate from our defense."
Newcomers made a big splash -- junior center Jarrid Famous had 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists without a turnover in 27 minutes, and freshman power forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, a King graduate, had 14 and eight off the bench.
"It felt good out there," said Famous, a 6-foot-11 center. "I think we played good as a team for being out there this time. We have a lot of things to work on."
Senior guard Mike Mercer, who tore his ACL in December and was reinstated to the team this fall after a dismissal in January following two arrests, looked like his old self -- 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Junior guard Dominique Jones, the Bulls' leading scorer the past two seasons, matched Famous with 20 points and added eight assists, also going without a turnover in his 25 minutes.
"You saw some bright spots out there, and you see some things we need to work on, like rebounding, giving up middle drives," Jones. "It's just everybody getting a feel for the college game. Jarrid did a real good job in his first Big East game. We've got a lot of work to do in practice, but we're going to work hard and get better at those things."
Heath is hoping a trio of freshman guards can help the Bulls' outside shooting, and Jordan Dumars -- Piston great Joe Dumars' son -- and Shaun Noriega each went 2-for-4 beyond the arc.
While it was an exhibition, the 110 points are the most in any game since Heath took over in 2007 -- the Bulls scored 100 against Florida Atlantic in his first season. The last time the Bulls scored that many points in a regular-season game was January 2002, in a 117-108 win against TCU.