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November 23, 2013

Analysis: Bulls 4-0 with a win over Stetson

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The Bulls improved to 4-0 last night with a 72 to 63 win over Stetson, a game that was a lot closer than many (including myself) had projected. The Bulls were down by as many 5 in the second half, but clutch shooting, strong defense late, and free throw shooting sealed their win. Despite the win, there are a lot of issues to address, so let's dive in.

Sloppy Defense

The Bulls just were not right tonight. Some credit has to go to Stetson for executing at a very high level and hitting their shots, but so many chances and looks were handed to them from the Bulls. In man defense, the Bulls struggled with two major issues, first rotating on passes into the paint. So many times, Stetson got good looks inside and the Bulls were late getting to the basket. Secondly, when there were shifts, Corey Allen who barely weighs in over 150 lbs., was matched against a small forward and was taken advantage of. This all comes down to bad alignments and assignments from the coaches at times (which was cleaned up later) and lack of movement and vision from USF players. These are things that can be fixed but they have to be fixed quickly with Oklahoma State coming in on Monday. If not, the next game it could get bad.

Anthony Collins getting there

Anthony Collins got the start against Stetson, which was a good thing to see with his health improving. Collins had 15 points, shooting 3 of 4 from 3-point range, was 6 of 7 from the free throw line, had 6 assists and 2 steals in an all-around strong game from him. Coach Heath mentioned that Collins is very effective and progressing well. Collins played for about 32 minutes in the game, right where the coaches want him to be at, not wearing him down late in games and later in the year. Collins looked strong, his shot has progressed from last year and the rust is slowly coming off. He had some bad passes at times, but made plays and seems to be getting back to where he was last season.

Corey Allen continues to shine

Allen, getting the start in the backcourt with Collins,looked off in the game, not getting clean releases on shots, not playing well on defense, and just being frustrated against Stetson. However, Allen turned it on late. Late in the game, he had two huge steals and threw both down for monster dunks that gave USF the lead and got the fans up and rocking. He made a clutch drive late and flipped the ball and got the lay-up and made some free throws down the stretch to lead the way in scoring for the Bulls. Allen had 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and got after it on defense with 6 assists. Can he start more games with Collins in the backcourt? Probably not because of his size on defense, but he has shown he can play both running the offense and becoming a key scoring threat for the offense.

Rebounding woes

The Bulls have been dominate in the paint all this year but not in this game. Stetson out-rebounded the Bulls 31 to 27. John Egbunu had 8 rebounds, but it wasn't enough. What happened? As mentioned before, the bad shifts and rotations had people out of position all game long and the Hatters just took advantage of it. The Bulls are not a great shooting team and need to rebound and play tough defense to get the offense more looks. Against Stetson, they survived being beaten on the boards, but down the road, they can't survive against the AAC or anyone else with efforts like that.

Oklahoma State is coming

The Bulls won, but it was way too close. There were too many mistakes, too many bad plays, and too many things that should have gave Stetson the win. Credit to USF, they battled, but with the 7th ranked team in the nation, with Marcus Smart, arguably the best player in the nation coming, this one on Monday could be ugly. The Bulls have to correct these mistakes fast, real fast, if they want to stay on the court on Monday night.



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