With the USF Sun Dome undergoing renovation, our intrepid basketball reporter will follow the South Florida basketball team around the USF campus this season, as the team plays its games in different buildings across the campus. Check back after each home game for updates.
Tampa - USF proved they could win a high-scoring contest by defeating Providence College 81-78 at the Beef o' Brady's in the Marshall Center.
The Bulls had five players scoring in double figures, paced by guards Hugh Robertson and Anthony Collins who each had 15 points.
Prior to Sunday's contest, the Bulls had averaged about 60 points per game. When asked how the team got motivated to increase their scoring output, coach Stan Heath gave a one-word answer, "Wings."
"When we played UConn at the Copper Top, I saw how anxious they were to eat some wings," Heath said.
"So before the game, I told that guys that however many points they could score, that's how many wings they'd get to eat after the game," Heath said. "I saw their eyes light up and knew they would give it their all."
"I couldn't have been more motivated," said Collins, who was munching on a basket of 15 honey barbecue wings after the game. "Every time I got near the hoop all I could think of was Beef o' Brady's award-winning jumbo-sized wings that are made fresh to order, then hand-tossed in one of 11 famous sauces or two dry rubs."
As he was sitting in front of his locker eating a basket of 15 nuclear wings, Hugh Robertson agreed. "Coach couldn't have come up with a better motivation tool than that," said Robertson
"Hugh hadn't scored more than 12 points all season," Heath said. "Now I know what to do to get his (expletive) in gear."
"He better hope his (expletive) is in gear after all those nuclear wings," said Collins. "Nuclear in, nuclear out."
Ron Anderson scored 14 points and ate a basket of blackened dry rub wings. "I'm kind of a wing aficionado, so I like to try all the new sauces," Anderson said. "The blackened dry rub came out recently, and I'd been really looking forward to trying it. I'd rank them in the top five, for sure.
"It doesn't touch the Kickin' Bayou Barbecue though," Anderson continued. "The complexity of the herb structure, combined by the spicy and smoky yet mellow mouthfeel, keeps Kickin' Bayou Barbecue in the number one spot"
Tolaryn Fitzpatrick scored 13 points and was 3-4 from behind the three-point line. After every made three-pointer, Fitzpatrick did a chicken dance, flapping his arms rapidly by his side. He opted for the sweet jalapeño wings.
Augustus Gilchrist had 11 points, and enjoyed a basket of 11 wings with Beef's Signature Buffalo Sauce.
Victor Rudd just missed out on double figures, scoring nine points and receiving nine Kickin' Bayou Barbecue wings.
Heath used a short bench, playing only eight players, seven of which over 20 minutes each. Guard Black Nash brought up the rear, and was scoreless in three minutes of play.
"I'm glad we won, but it would've been nice to score and get a few wings," Nash said while drinking a mango blast smoothie at the neighboring Jamba Juice. "A smoothie is alright, but I'd rather have wings."
The employees at Jamba Juice nodded approvingly.
"At least I got some bleu cheese off of Victor (Rudd)," Nash said.
Notes: After the game Heath followed Anderson's advice and went with the Kicken' Bayou Barbecue. He was bemused however when he found out he couldn't have a beer. After seeing students and employees drinking beer at lunch after Beef o' Brady's opened, USF President Judy Genshaft ordered that no alcohol can be served at Beef o' Brady's until after 5pm. The day game finished at 4pm.
"We just won a big conference game at an on-campus venue and I can't order a beer? That rule is ridiculous," Heath said.