USF men’s basketball couldn’t defend the three-point line and couldn’t make a shot in the second half on their way to an embarrassing, and troubling 70-53 loss to IUPUI in the first game of the Cayman Islands Classic at home inside the Yuengling Center on Wednesday night.
“We gave them some early good looks,” head coach Brian Gregory said. “When you do that with shooters, then all of a sudden they start making some tough ones, and that’s exactly what happened.”
IUPUI’s due of Jaylen Minnett and Marcus Burk combined to go 6-for-9 from three in the first half to give the Jaguars a 38-36 at halftime. Minnett finished with 17 points and Burk scored a game-high 26 points and added nine rebounds.
In the second half, USF couldn’t buy a shot, going a woeful 7-of-26 from the field. The Bulls made just three of their final 19 shots to end the game, and two of them came when the game was already won for IUPUI. The Bulls also missed their final 11 three-point attempts.
“We didn’t have the grit to stick with what we needed to do, and try to grind one out” Gregory said. “And that’s a little disappointing. We should have the experience especially among some guys to be able to do that.”
Laquincy Rideau led USF scorers with 15 points, and seven steals. He also fouled out for the second straight game. Rashun Williams scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Junior guard David Collins picked up two quick fouls and never got in sync offensively, finishing with just three points on 1-of-6 shooting.
The Bulls have eight days off before they face Wofford at home in the final campus game of the tournament before the teams head to the Cayman Islands for three games.
Mayan Kiir No Longer With the Team
Head coach Brian Gregory announced after the game that junior forward Mayan Kiir is no longer with the team.
“I met with him earlier this week, and in a mutual decision, he’s going to look at different options, either go play professionally or possibly look at going to another school...He’s got our unwavering support on that.”
Kiir has not played this season for the Bulls. The LSU transfer averaged 4.7 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 12.5 minutes per game for the Bulls last season.