Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Questions and Answers: Starring AstroBull from Voodoo 5

(All female USF fans are this)

With a pivotal game with South Florida on the docket for later tonight, AstroBull and I thought it would be great to swap some questions about the teams. AstroBull writes the excellent Voodoo5, which has been fun to read with USF playing well. Sure enough, I answered some of his questions right here. He asked some great questions. Here are my amazing questions to him, with his even more amazing answers.

BearcatsBlog: Dominique Jones seems to have slowed down lately. Has he hit the wall, had a slump, getting tired? 

AstroBull: I think its teams figuring what what we can't do, which is the inability of shooting the ball from deep. Teams are collapsing on defense when we drive to the basket, forcing a pass out to Anthony Crater or Mike Mercer to shoot, but they can't do it consistently. Gilchrist coming back will scare some teams out of this as he is our best shooter, but teams are going to be content on making everyone but Jones beat them on a nightly basis. 

BB: Gus Gilchrist recently returned from injury. How did he look against Marquette? What can we expect from him?

AB:Coach Heath said that Gus was going at about 80% on Saturday, and it showed a little bit. He looked pretty good on the offensive end, but was a little slow defensively trying to guard the quicker forwards of Marquettte. He will probably get 20-25 minutes like he did on Saturday, and he should do a better job defensively against Toyloy and Gates. Offensively he just needs to hit the open shot when it gets to him and things will be all good.

BB:South Florida has dropped a couple on the road after their 4 game win streak. Do you think they have enough in the tank to finish the season strong?

AB: God I hope so. Having Gilchrist will be huge down the stretch, but I think the biggest thing is having 4 of the final 6 games at home. Even one of our away games is DePaul, so its a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way. Connecticut at home to end the season will be a big one if both teams are still alive for a NCAA bid.

BB: Besides Jones, who should we look out for in the game?

AB: I think you have to keep an eye on Gilchrist. He will make Gates or Toyloy play away from the basket, which should hopefully free up the lane for Jones or Mercer. At 6'11 he has the best shot on the team, including Jones. If the bigs play off of him a little when he is at the top of the key, he will make them pay all night long. The magic
number for him will be 15 points. If he get to 15 then I think the Bulls will win this one.

BB: How much fun has this season been after years of struggling?

AB: Words can not describe how happy I am for the basketball team. I've been following the team since 2003, and to finally see the team even in consideration for an NCAA bid has been huge. Seeing the big donor seats three-quarters empty for games was embarrassing. Student turnout was horrendous, as I could walk into the student section seconds before tip off and get a first row seat. People are finally starting to talk about the basketball team for the first time in ages. That alone makes this season a success. If an NCAA big comes out of it that is awesome, but even a trip to the NIT gets the ball rolling for next season.

100 thanks to AstroBull for answering my questions, and for giving such great answers. I'm pulling for South Florida to win the rest of the their games after we (hopefully) destroy them tonight. Visit Voodoo 5, it's great, and I'll be linking to it later in the Know Your Opponent preview, so click on it lots of times.

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