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The USF Bulls are 1-0 and are hoping to run their record to 2-0 as they take on Bethune Cookman in the second game of the season. Bethune Cookman is 1-0 on the year after beating Trinity Baptist to start their season (91 to 74 win). BCC is coming off of a 14-20 (7-9) season where they averaged just 67 PPG and were 2-15 away from home.
USF and Bethune Cookman have played each other 14 times in the past with the Bulls holding the all time record at 13-1. The last time the two sides faced each other was back in 2006 when the Bulls won 82 to 49.
For their starters, junior Travis Elliot (6'8" 230 lbs.) who transferred out of High Point College (sat out last season, averaged 2.9 PPG there) had 6 points and 6 rebounds in the season opener. He is their big presence inside and will be matched against John Egbunu and Chris Perry. Junior guard Maurice Taylor (6'2" 180 lbs.) is a key junior college player (averaged 8.5 PPG and 3.1 RPG at Kilgore JC) who had 15 points and 7 rebounds in his debut.
Junior guard Mikel Trapp (6'2" 195 lbs.) had 12 points and 2 rebounds in the first after playing in just 7 games last season, averaging 4.7 PPG in his limited playing time. Freshman guard Clemmye Owens (6'1" 185 lbs.) had 12 points and 3 rebounds in his debut. Junior guard Ricky Johnson (5'9" 160 lbs.) had 22 points, 3 rebounds, and led the team with 3 assists (averaged 6.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, added 74 assists, 55 turnovers, and 22 steals last season). He will matched up against Corey Allen at the point guard position (if Collins is still not active in the game), proving to be a key battle to watch.
Two players to watch off the bench for BCC is senior guard Malik Jackson (6'" 188 lbs.) who had 8 point and 3 rebounds off the bench (averaged 4.5 PPG and 2.5 RPG last year). They list him at guard, but he will play at the forward spot and will probably draw Victor Rudd on defense. Sophomore Allan Dempester (6'7" 210 lbs.) had 10 points and 3 rebounds in their first game and will be another player to watch in the paint due to his size.
This is a game where USF should have the advantage inside with Chris Perry, John Egbunu, and Victor Rudd, meaning they should dominate on rebounds and attack inside. The Bulls will have to do a better job in making the open shots they can get and hitting their free throws but they have the size advantage and the shooters to get the job done. Look for a close game early, but for the Bulls to flex their muscles and pull away late in the game.