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Previewing South Florida: Rutgers Basketball Game 18

Here come the Bulls. 

Two teams struggling in Big East play, both with their only wins over Providence.  We caught up with Voodoo Five, the South Florida blog to get a sense of their team.  Look for the the Rutgers treatment over on their blog.  The game'll be aired a 7pm on ESPN 2 Thursday night.  But get out to the RAC and support the team.

Catch the interview after the jump...

1) USF started 0-5 in the Big East before getting their first win the other day against Providence.  Is this more a factor of scheduling or is the team not very good?

This has It didn't help that we opened up against Connecticut, Villanova, Louisville, and Cincinnati before getting a much needed win against the Friars. This has been a big transition year now that 4 year starter Chris Howard and 3 year starter Dominique Jones are gone.

We've talked amongst ourselves that Heath built this team around Jones for a deep run this season, but with him leaving and getting drafted, it put a huge wrench in our plans.

So now we see how our young squad does this year, and who is going to take the next step. We only have one senior on the roster in Jarrid Famous, so all I ask from the team is to work hard and continue to get better as the season continues.

2) What happened with Gilchrist's leave of absence?

I really have no idea. It all started when Gilchrist didn't make the trip up to Kent State due to "philosophical differences". Heath said Gus would miss the next game against Auburn, and during the postgame press conference, Heath said he didn't expect Gus back on the team. They talked later that week, and Gus asked Stan if he could come back on the team. Heath said sure, made him sit out another game, and now he's back like nothing happened. Just a weird sequence of events.
3) What style of play does USF employ on defense? On offense?

We will slow down the pace of the game as much as possible on both ends of the court. We run a straight man to man on defense most of the time, but will change it up with a 2-3 or 1-2-2 zone for about 5 minutes a half.

Offensively, we run it around the perimeter until one of our posts has good position down low and he'll either go up for the shot, or kick it out to start it all over. It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but it's the only way we've been able to compete in most games this season.
4) How has USF faired on the road this year? Why?

Is awful a good answer? We still haven't won a road game this season, and hopefully we finally get off the snide Thursday. One huge reason has been the 17 turnovers we've committed a game. A lot of teams have pressed us over the season, and it took until Big East play to finally figure it out. We still turn the ball quite a bit, but its starting to get better. 
5) Why do you think this game is on ESPN 2?

Because they didn't want to air WSOP reruns for the 12th night in a row. I'll take it, but I don't think a lot of people will be tuning in for this one.
6) Do you have a prediction for Thursday night?

I have banned myself from predicting games after the Cincinnati game earlier this year, but I will say that it should be a close one. No more than a five point win either way.