TAMPA — It wasn't anything dominant, but USF's men's basketball team pulled out a 74-65 exhibition win against Division II Eckerd College in the Sun Dome on Monday night, with junior Victor Rudd scoring 14 to lead four Bulls in double figures.
USF has plenty of areas to improve on for Saturday's opener against Central Florida. The Bulls went 3-for-19 on 3-pointers, were outrebounded 42-34 and struggled at the free-throw line, hitting just 57 percent.
"We better shore up that rebounding. We thought we were just going to out-athlete people and just jump and grab them," coach Stan Heath said after the team's first showing in the newly renovated Sun Dome. "That's not going to work, especially with our lack of size. We've got to shore up the free-throw shooting. … I do think we're a much better 3-point shooting team. I know it was absymal (Monday), but that will get better."
Point guard Anthony Collins, limited by a calf injury, played just 22 minutes, getting eight points with four assists offset by three turnovers. Junior Martino Brock was sharp filling in, getting nine assists against zero turnovers, his game spoiled by a 2-for-9 showing at the line. Rudd's 14 points led the way, but USF also got 13 from Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and freshman guard JaVontae Hawkins, who had a personal 8-0 run late in the first half to put the Bulls in control.
"We've got to get a lot better if we're going to compete in the Big East," Fitzpatrick said.
Forward Malcolm Brunner Jr. led the Tritons with 12 points and added 11 rebounds; forward Darrien Mack had 11 and 12.
WHITE LEADS 'NOLES: Junior forward Okaro White, the former Clearwater High standout, had 16 points to help FSU close its exhibition season with a 65-56 win over Saint Leo.
The Seminoles held the Division II Lions to 32.4 percent shooting but also made only 4 of 21 3-pointers and committed 20 turnovers. "We have a ways to go, but we made some improvement this week," coach Leonard Hamilton told the Orlando Sentinel.
The defending ACC champions open the regular season Friday against South Alabama.
CALHOUN IN BOOTH: Former Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has agreed to make his debut as a radio commentator during the Huskies' season opener against Michigan State in Germany.
The Hall of Fame coach, who retired in September, will provide color Friday alongside Joe D'Ambrosio's play-by-play of the Armed Forces Classic on the UConn Radio Network. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
LOUISVILLE: Coach Rick Pitino confirmed that the school lost its waiver appeal with the NCAA over the eligibility of center Mangok Mathiang, forcing the Sudan native to sit out this season.
MARQUETTE: Sophomore guard Todd Mayo, the younger brother of Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo who played in 35 games last season, was declared academically ineligible.
NEBRASKA: Guard Deverell Biggs, a first-team junior college All-America last season, will sit out this season as a redshirt.
WOMEN: Vanderbilt junior center Stephanie Holzer, an honorable mention all-SEC selection the past two seasons, will miss the season after dislocating a knee.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.