South Florida looks to snap a seven game losing streak to Houston when it hosts the No. 11 ranked Cougars Thursday night.
USF held East Carolina leading scorer Jayden Gardner to 10 points, seven points below his season average, in a 69-63 victory on Saturday at Minges Coliseum.
Marcus Sasser scored a career high 28 points as Houston beat Tulane 71-50 on Saturday.
BullsInsider.com has your quick facts and what to watch for against Houston.
Matchup: USF (7-5, 3-3 AAC) at Houston (10-1, 5-1 AAC)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 14
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Tampa, FL | Yuengling Center
Radio: USF Bulls Unlimited
History: This will be the 33rd meeting between the Cougars and the Bulls. Houston leads the series 20-12 and has won seven straight against USF.
The Opponent: In addition to their AP/Coaches Poll rankings the Cougars rank No. 6 in the NET and rank as the top team in the country in scoring defense at 56.4 points per game.
When you think of Houston you typically think of Quentin Grimes, DeJon Jarreau, Caleb Mills and Sasser – and with good reason. Well, Mills transferred out of the program last week and before you are done reading you will know the name of Houston’s glue guy.
Grimes (17.7 ppg) and Sasser (16.3 ppg) lead the Cougars in scoring. They are the second and fifth leading scorers in The American.
Grimes really looks to attack downhill in ball screens and will use the Euro Step to finish. He is an aggressive scorer in transition, hard straight line driver and will use a shot fake to set up his drive. We like his mid-range stop and pop shot.
Sasser is a shooter with deep range – 67 percent of his shots are threes and he’s making 37.8 percent of his 3FGA. He is always moving and will shoot behind ball screens or hand-offs. Sasser uses a shot fake to set up his drives. He prefers to pull-up or shoot a floater. USF must stay down on his shot fake and guard the ball.
Jarreau is a long, athletic, 6-foot-5 point guard who changes speeds really well. He wants to get downhill, has a nice floater and added a pull-up jumper to his repertoire. Houston sets a ton of ball screens for Jarreau. He is not a great three-point shooter but he has already made as many threes (seven) as he did all of last season.
After playing in a limited role for the Cougars last season, 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward Justin Gorham is having himself a heck of a season in place of injured Fabian White. Gorham ranks third in the Nation in offensive rebounds per game at 4.73. The Bulls MUST put a body on him and cut him out of rebounds. But that’s not all Gorham is good at doing. He is a capable pick and pop 3FG shooter (46.7 on 7-of-15). Gorham will look to spot up for kick out three off teammate’s penetration (he likes the corners). In the post he wants to get to his left shoulder – right hand jump hook and will play along the baseline for drop-offs and put-backs.
Houston plays almost exclusively man (95.5 percent) and are excellent at it. In the three games we watched we only saw a 3-2 zone.
USF 58 Houston 67
To win USF must avoid long scoring droughts, be the tougher team for 40 minutes, take care of the ball, attack Houston to score but be ready to kick out because they over help. Rebound with all five guys and limit Houston to one shot. Guard the ball, Houston tries to isolate its best players in space to score.
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