MBB: South Florida Hosts No. 11 Houston Thursday in Primetime

Matchup: USF (7-5, 3-3) vs. Houston (10-1, 5-1)
Date: 
Thursday, Jan. 14
Time:
 7 p.m.
Location: 
Tampa, Fla. | Yuengling Center
TV: 
ESPN2 (John Schriffen, Brooke Weisbrod)
Radio: 
Bulls Unlimited (Jim Lighthall, Joey Johnston)

TAMPA, FLA., JAN. 13, 2021 – The USF men’s basketball team looks for its first signature win of the season Thursday at 7 p.m. when the Bulls host 11th-ranked Houston at the Yuengling Center in a match-up set for a nationally-televised audience on ESPN2.

USF has won two of its last three games following a 69-63 victory at East Carolina on Saturday behind 16 points, five rebounds and five assists from senior David Collins (Youngstown, Ohio). Justin Brown (Atlanta) added 12 points and knocked down three 3-pointers, while Alexis Yetna (Paris) chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds.

Collins leads the USF offense with 12.3 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from three-point range. Yetna adds 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, while junior Michael Durr (Atlanta) paces the team with 8.1 rebounds per game. Freshman Caleb Murphy (Youngstown, Ohio) scores in double figures with 10.1 points per game to go along with 42 assists.

USF AND HOUSTON
USF and Houston will meet on the hardwood for the 33rd time in school history when the two teams battle on Thursday. The Cougars own a 20-12 lead and have won seven straight in the all-time series that dates back to the 1976-77 season. USF has not defeated the Cougars since winning 71-62 on Jan. 23, 2016 in Houston. The Bulls’ last home win over Houston came during the 2014-15 season. In the most recent match-up, Houston won 62-58 last season in Tampa behind 22 points, six rebounds and five assists from Quentin Grimes. Laquincy Rideau led USF with 21 points and two steals.

PULLING RANK
USF enters play Thursday against No. 11 Houston in search of its first win over a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 in the last nine seasons. USF has not defeated an AP ranked team since the Bulls took down No. 19 Louisville 58-51 on Feb. 29, 2012 at the KFC Yum! Center. Overall, USF has lost 30 straight games against ranked opponents following its 62-58 setback to then-No. 20 Houston last season.

THE TOP TWO
Thursday’s game between Houston and USF will feature two of the top rebounding teams in the American Athletic Conference. In fact, Houston enters play with the top rebounding margin in the league, as the Cougars average 10.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents. USF stands second in the conference in rebounding margin, averaging 6.8 more rebounds per game than its opponents.

MAY I HELP YOU?
USF guard Caleb Murphy registered four assists Saturday in a win over East Carolina and up his season total to 42. Murphy enters play Thursday against Houston needing 24 more helpers to move into 10th place on the USF single season list for assists by a freshman. Senior guard David Collins currently ranks 10th on the list with the 65 assists he delivered during his 2017-18 freshman season.

X-FACTOR
USF junior guard Xavier Castaneda hit two of his five 3-pointers Jan. 6 against Tulsa and enters play Thursday against Houston scorching hot from down town. Castaneda is shooting 55.6 percent (10-for-18) from three-point range over his last six games. Overall, Castaneda is shooting 44.4 percent from three-point range and ranks sixth in The American.

BOARD BROTHERS
USF junior posts Michael Durr and Alexis Yetna have gobbled up rebounds since they arrived on campus as freshmen, and this season is no different as the duo are two of the top rebounds in The American again this season. Durr stands third in the league with 8.1 rebounds per game and Yetna ranks sixth with 7.6 per game. USF is the only team in The American with two players ranked in the top eight in rebounding.

DOUBLE DIGIT DURR
USF junior center Michael Durr saw his five-game streak of double digit rebounds come to an end Saturday at East Carolina when he finished with six rebounds. Despite falling four boards short of double digits, Durr enters play Thursday against Houston averaging 10.3 rebounds per game over his last six games, which included a career-high 14 Dec. 22 against Wichita State. Durr averaged 5.8 rebounds per game over the first six games of the season.

To stay up-to-date on the latest USF men’s’ basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).

About USF Men’s Basketball
The USF men’s basketball team is led by head coach Brian Gregory. On March 22, 2017, Gregory was introduced as the 10th head coach in program history. He previously led programs at Georgia Tech (2011-16) and Dayton (2003-11). Gregory spent nearly a decade as an assistant coach under Michigan State’s Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo and helped the Spartans win the 2000 NCAA National Championship. Gregory owns over 300 career head coaching wins and six postseason appearances, including the 2010 NIT Championship. In his second season at the helm of the Bulls, Gregory led the team to the best win turnaround in the NCAA, the most single-season wins in school history and the 2019 College Basketball Invitational championship. 

USF has retired three numbers in its 47-year history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30) and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA tournament bids, appeared in the NIT eight times and won the 2019 College Basketball Invitational.

For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to USFBullsTix.com.

– #GoBulls –

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