After running the gauntlet of AAC heavies over the past six games, USF (11-11, 2-7 in AAC) heads to Orlando to face UCF for the first time in conference play Wednesday at 7pm ET. UCF wasn't brought into the conference for basketball: the Knights (9-10, 1-7) are tied with Temple for last place in the AAC. Still (or should I say somehow), UCF is the favorite. While their records are pretty close, USF has a better RPI and has played a tougher schedule.
The Knights are led by 6'6" do-it-all swingman Isaiah Sykes. Sykes leads the Knights in scoring (15.2 ppg), rebounds (6.9 rpg), and assists (3.5 apg). Much like the Bulls, UCF runs a lot of players out there; nine players have played in at least 18 of UCF's 19 games, and all nine average at least 14 minutes per game.
What the Knights do best is rebound, ranking in the top 20 in the nation. That's probably buoyed by their dreadful .436 shooting, good for 222nd in the country. However, the Bulls shooting, especially from deep, is even worse. The Bulls should use their inside game and overall size should limit the Knights rebounding prowess.
With the Bulls playing excellent ball the last two games, a win over SMU and a close loss at #7 Cincinnati. This should be an opportunity for USF to get one in the win column.