That was something we've rarely seen in Big East play. USF was obviously a better team, and they played like it after the first four or five minutes.
At first the Bulls looked a little confused as St. John's switched defenses almost every time down the floor. They played a 2-3 zone, an extended man-to-man, some 3/4-court press, some half-court trap. But once they started recognizing the sets the Johnnies were playing, they started breaking them down and getting some good shots. JAWANZA! and Ron Anderson Jr. came in and helped stabilize on both ends of the floor. Anderson did a lot of everything in the first half and ended up with nine points and eight rebounds. He continues to be USF's best pure post player.
And then Victor Rudd... where did that come from? 24 points, all in the second half. This was the same guy who airballed his first shot of the game and bricked another one later in the first half. Then the second half begins and he makes two free throws, then two threes, then another three, and then a vicious putback slam after Fitzpatrick missed a three. (Rudd took off from the left wing towards the rim as soon as that ball left Fitzy's hand. It might have been even more impressive than the dunk he threw down later.) He wasn't even heat-checking and jacking up some crazy 28-footer with a hand in his face. They were all open shots, like they were in the first half. He just started making all of them. Obviously you can't expect a binge like that every night, but it's good to know he hasn't completely lost his scoring touch.
(By the way, you need to go back and see the bench reaction to Rudd's posterizing of God's Gift Achiuwa. They all sprung out of their seats and looked like they were ready to charge the court. Remember last year, when JAWANZA! threw down a nasty dunk against DePaul, the reaction was much more subdued. Loved seeing that. Blake Nash and Jordan Omegbehin had to be the get-back guys to keep them from getting T'ed up. And Jim Burr was there, so you know he would have done it to fulfill his required "turd in the punch bowl" duties.)
There aren't too many games left on the schedule that you could consider "easy," but one of them would be at DePaul on Sunday afternoon. It's important for USF to not miss out on winnable games during... wait for it... yes I'm going to use it... #TheQuestFor16.