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USF Basketball vs. Rutgers: Bulls In A Must-Win Tonight In Piscataway?

If the Bulls want to be competitive in Big East basketball this year, they really need to knock off Rutgers tonight and avoid an 0-4 start.


This isn't quite how anyone pictured basketball season going, I would think. A listless 0-3 start in Big East play has the South Florida Bulls at the bottom of the standings as the league's only winless team in conference. To avoid an 0-4 start, they will need to knock off the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this evening at the RAC in Piscataway.

Let's take a look at the matchup:

Don't be surprised if Austin Johnson, who started the first 12 games of the season, returns to the starting lineup tonight to give the Scarlet Knights a better matchup with USF's frontcourt. After what happened to the Bulls on Saturday, a lot of teams are probably going to get their bigs a little bit more playing time against USF.

Rutgers gets the biggest contributions from their sophomore guards, Eli Carter and Myles Mack. The two of them combined for 37 of Rutgers' 65 points the last time USF faced them, and Carter added five steals. They're pretty efficient on offense and shoot over 46% from the field as a team, and it can be hard to catch up if you fall behind because Carter and Mack are both outstanding at the free-throw line. Wally Judge, who sat out last season after transferring, is the main post player, but Rutgers doesn't really have a standout on the front line, which could help the Bulls match up with them.

Kore White may return tonight after missing five games with a toe injury. It's unclear as of this morning whether or not he will play, but obviously it would be good to have him available again. And generally, USF needs a much better effort than they gave on Saturday in Louisville. Knowing how badly they match up against Georgetown, their next opponent, the Bulls should think about treating this as a must-win game.