TAMPA — The USF men's basketball team is still trying to figure out how to win without injured F Gus Gilchrist, but coach Stan Heath said Tuesday that he needs more from junior C Jarrid Famous, who had five points and one rebound during the Bulls' loss to Central Michigan on Sunday.
"I don't think we saw the true Jarrid Famous in the last game," Heath said. "I think Jarrid wasn't in the game for some reason. … He's got to be more aggressive, has to create. There's just no excuse. You can't play 32 minutes and get one rebound. A dead man can almost get that, too. He knows that. He apologized to his team and to me. I don't want all the responsibility on him — it was across the board. It wasn't just him. I do know Jarrid is capable of producing more points and rebounds than he had in the last game."
The Bulls face UCF tonight in the Sun Dome, and Heath said his team has spent the past three days trying to "reconfigure" its lineup, perfecting a four-guard attack.
The Bulls have a difficult month ahead, with Gilchrist likely sidelined by a severe ankle sprain until late January, C Alex Rivas out until around that time recovering from leg surgery and PG Anthony Crater facing a suspension for violating team rules that will delay his arrival until "sometime in January."
"We want to try to weather the storm until we get all our healthy bodies back," Heath said. "Sometime in mid to late January we could have three really great bodies out there helping us."
The Bulls took a 59-56 loss to Central Michigan, and Heath said his team would have won with Gilchrist, but that excuse won't help them for the next five weeks or more.
"We're shorthanded. You take any really good player off a basketball team, it makes a huge difference. It leaves a void. … It's hard playing with a short deck, but it is what it is. We're trying to get back on the right track. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us.
Recruiting: The controversy surrounding football coach Jim Leavitt hasn't hurt the Bulls in recruiting, as USF picked up three commitments from Miami-area standouts.
Todd Chandler, a 295-pound nose tackle from Miami Northwestern who had committed to Miami, said he committed to USF on Monday, saying he felt he fit in better with USF's coaches and defensive scheme.
According to USFnation.com, the Bulls picked up commitments from two stars from Miami Central, QB Jeffrey Godfrey and OL Jose Jose, who had committed to Tennessee.
A top honor: Soccer standout Zak Boggs is one of five finalists for the Wooden Cup Award, given to the college athlete who has made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. Texas QB Colt McCoy is another one of the finalists. Boggs, who was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship this year, was the Big East male scholar-athlete of the year for the 2008-09 season.
This and that: G Jeff Attinella was named a first-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. … Senior C Jessica Lawson was named Big East player of the week after getting 26 points and 16 rebounds in Sunday's win against Jacksonville.
Greg Auman can be reached at email@example.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.