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USF-Notre Dame Preview And GameThread

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Your USF Bulls (9-7, 2-1) look to continue their two game winning streak as they head to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-6, 2-1). Game is scheduled for 7:00 PM, and can be seen regionally on BHSN and nationally on the Big East Network. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.com, and will be broadcasted on 1250 WHNZ, where Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas will have the call. Here are your probable starting lineups for tonight.

Notre Dame USF
6'1" Soph. Eric Adkins G 6'1" Fr. Anthony Collins
6'5" Soph. Jerian Grant
G 6'4" Jr. Shaun Noriega
6'7" Soph. Alex Dragicevich G 6'5" Sr. Hugh Robertson
6'8" Sr. Scott Martin
G/F 6'8" Jr. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick
6'9" Jr. Jack Cooley
F 6'10" Sr. Augustus Gilchrist

Notre Dame has a pretty short bench, with 6'5" Fr. Pat Connaughton, 6'6" Jr. Joey Brooks, and 6'9" Jr. Tom Knight as the only consistent options off the bench for Mike Brey.

Here are your three keys to the game, in no particular order:

1. Protect the perimeter.

With Notre Dame's lack of depth, the Irish run a 4 out 1 in offense with Jack Cooley as the only post presence. While its a short sample size, Notre Dame is attempting over 24 three pointers a game in Big East play. USF has done a good job protecting the perimeter throughout the season, and will once again need to do a good job if they want to win tonight.

2. Contain at least one of the big three.

While Dragicevich is a good scoring option for Notre Dame, Brey heavily relies on the trio of Adkins (13.6 PPG), Cooley (10.3 PPG), and Grant (13.4 PPG). Each are completely different scorers, be it by driving to the basket (Atkins), solely in the post (Cooley), or on the perimeter (Grant), but the Bulls will need to contain at least one of them and force someone else to step up tonight.

3. Make each possession count.

With both teams in the bottom half in the NCAA in possessions per game, USF will need to make each one of them count to grab their 2nd road win of the year. Augustus Gilchrist in particular can't have the black hole possessions we've seen from him if we want to win today. Do that, and we might be able to break Notre Dame's 2 year home winning streak.

Hope to see you guys in the GameThread tonight. Go Bulls!