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USF vs Bradley Preview and GameThread

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Ethan Miller

Men's basketball returns tonight as USF takes on the Bradley Braves for their final game of 2013 and last non-conference match of the season. Tip off is set for 8 pm at Carver Arena in Peoria, Illinois. Tonight's game will be streamed online at BradleyBraves.com with a feed link also available at GoUSFBulls.com.

The Bulls (8-4) are coming off back-to-back tough losses against Mississippi State and Santa Clara to finish out the Las Vegas Classic at 2-2. Anthony Collins sat out both losses due to his ongoing knee issues. Freshman center John Egbunu got his first career double-double against Santa Clara with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Braves (5-7) have lost their last five games and seven of their last eight after starting 4-0. Ken Pomery has the Braves ranked at #247 (USF at #155). They have three players averaging double digits in scoring, led by senior guard Walter Lemon Jr with 14.9 points a game.

Both teams average around the same statistics in all major categories. The Bulls average 70 points a game to Bradley's 67 and 37 rebounds to Bradley's 36. They match each other in steals per game at 7, but the Bulls have a slight edge in turnovers at 13 committed a game to Bradley's 14. They booth shoot the ball equally well, with the Bulls leading in field goal percentage by only a slim margin (45% to 43%, respectively). The only category in which Bradley actually beats USF in is free-throw percentage, but event that is close at 72% to USF's 66%. They are both also equally terrible in three-point shooting (USF shoots 28%, Bradley at 27%) that if one of them gets hot and makes a few, it might prove to be the difference since the other team will unlikely be able to match.

Here is your four factors chart:

<div style="margin:0px auto;text-align:center"><a href="http://statsheet.com/mcb" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:none;color:#999;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:11px">NCAA Basketball Stats</a><br /><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://statsheet.com/charts/chartlets/2013/12/28/mcb_games_2013_12_28_2013_12_28_south_florida_vs_bradley_216052.js"></script></div>

In the first meeting of these two schools last year, USF had no problems handling Bradley- winning 82-63 in Tampa. A win today would give the Bulls a respectable 9-4 record heading into conference play, virtually the same situation as last year (they were 9-3) but we all know how that ended (finishing 3-16 in Big East play).

The Bulls will take on the #17 Memphis Tigers next to start conference play on New Year's Eve at the Sun Dome. The game will start at 7 pm and be broadcasted on ESPN2.