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USF-FAU Preview, Or Let's Not Lose To Them Two Years In A Row

Your USF Bulls (4-2) finish off a quick homestand as they take on the Florida Atlantic Owls (3-3) tonight at the University of Tampa's Bob Martinez Center. Game is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will only be heard on 1250 WHNZ. Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas will have the call for you. Here are your probable starting lineups for tonight.

Georgia Southern
5'6" Jr. Raymond Taylor G 6'1" Soph. LaVonte Dority
6'2" Jr. Greg Gantt
G 6'6" Sr. Hugh Robertson
6'4" Soph. Pablo Bertone
G/F 6'8" Soph. Victor Rudd
6'6" Fr. Kelvin Penn
G/F 6'8" Jr. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick
6'8" Jr. Kore White
F 6'8" Ron Anderson Jr.

The Owls are led by the inside-outside combination of Greg Gantt (14.7PTS/3.3 REB) and Kore White (11.0 PTS/6.2 REB/2.3 BLK). Gantt is an excellent shooter and rarely strayed inside the lane. Half of his shots are from behind the arc, and he's shooting an impressive 41% from behind the arc so far this season. Gantt's offensive ability is why I think Robertson will get the start over Shaun Noriega today. White has been a nice 2nd option for the Owls this year, but at 44% shooting, you'd like him to have a higher shooting percentage for post.

After starting the first 4 games off the bench, Pablo Bertone (9.8 PTS/4.2 REB/1.3 AST) has moved into the starting lineup the last two games and has produced well. Bertone does most of his work inside the arc, but he does have the ability to shoot from distance when asked. The lilliputian Taylor (7.0 PTS/3.0 REB/4.5 AST) is the main ball handler, and does a good job running the offense. With Taylor's lack of height, he stays on the perimeter, but he's only shooting 28% from three this season. Kelvin Penn (2.3 PTS/4.0 REB/2.7 BLK) rounds out the starting five, and the freshman is really there for defensive reasons.

FAU likes to go deep in their bench, and it starts with 6'4" Omari Grier (8.8 PTS/1.7 REB), 5'11" Alex Tucker (4.8 PTS/2.8 REB/5.2 AST), and 6'3 Shavar Richardson (5.5 PTS/1.7 REB). The Owls will run a lot of 4 guard sets, and each average over 14 minutes a game. 6'6" Jordan McCoy (3.0 PTS/4.6 REB) is the first post off the bench, but he missed the Hofstra game earlier this week for unknown reasons. 6'7" Andre Mattison (1.3 PTS/1.0 REB) will be the other post option if needed.

Once again, the big question for Bulls fans is if Augustus Gilchrist will be able to play today after injuring his shoulder last Sunday against Penn State. I think Gus will dress, but will only play if he's needed this afternoon. With Big East play coming up and some big non-conference games on tap next week, Heath will want to be cautious with Gus. Even if Gilchrist plays, expect the Bulls to go small with Victor Rudd at the 4 for stretches today.

FAU will live and die by the three tonight. They average over 22 attempts from deep, and if they get hot, it will be tough to beat them. I think Robertson will give Gantt fits all night tonight, and if he's able to keep him under control USF will be able to roll. It won't be as easy as the Georgia Southern game, but I think the Bulls will win by 8 points.