TAMPA – A USF season seemingly destined to again go deep into March seems a bit imperiled here in mid-November.
With primary offensive weapons David Collins and Laquincy Rideau sidelined for long stretches due to foul trouble, the Bulls finished with more turnovers (23) than field goals (20) in a 70-53 loss to Horizon League foe IUPUI (2-2).
Before an announced Yuengling Center audience of 2,474, the Bulls (1-2) shot 37 percent from the floor (20-for-54) while being steadily flustered by IUPUI’s barrage of 3-pointers and baseline cuts.
USF went more than nine minutes without a field goal in the second half, during which IUPUI went on a 12-0 run to seal things. Subtract sophomore Rashun Williams’ two 3-pointers (in as many tries), and the Bulls were 3-for-21 from long range.
“We’re struggling to kind of get an identity of how we need to play…and that’s something obviously that we need to really, really address during this off-week now,” said Bulls third-year coach Brian Gregory, who lost resident double-double machine Alexis Yetna (knee) for the year and confirmed Wednesday that 6-foot-9 junior Mayan Kiir formally is exploring other options.
“We kind of planned on how we were gonna play for six months; we’re not gonna be able to play that way. Some guys need to step up, there’s no question about that.”
The Jaguars, who played a game Monday night in Indianapolis, shot 51 percent (25-for-49) from the floor and 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from long range.
Campbell transfer Marcus Burk, who hit 10 3-pointers in a single game two seasons ago, led IUPUI’s long-range onslaught, hitting four of five from long range en route to 26 points.
By contrast, Collins, sidelined more than 15 minutes in the first half, finished with three points. Rideau led USF with 15, but played the last 7½ minutes with four fouls.
“We had a good day of shoot-around today. I thought everybody was feeling pretty good, but you never really know until the game gets going," said Williams, who finished with 11 points.
"Give a little credit to them; they played fairly well on defense. But a lot of those shots were open and we’ve got to start to cash in on those a little bit more.”
Contact Joey Knight at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.