USF to Host Temple to Close Out Season

TAMPA, MARCH 7, 2014 – Saturday will be senior day at the Sun Dome when USF hosts Temple at 2 p.m. in its final men’s basketball game of the regular season.

Martino Brock (Memphis) and Victor Rudd (Los Angeles) will play their final game in the Sun Dome and try to put the Bulls (12-18, 3-14 American) back on the winning track before taking part in the American Athletic Conference Championships on Wednesday.

Both seniors have been playing perhaps their best basketball of the season lately including the last game, a 78-69 loss at Houston on Tuesday when Rudd scored 25 points and Brock put up 19. Rudd increased his scoring average to 16.0 points per game, the seventh best in the conference, and has averaged 22.0 points over his last four games. He is 14 points shy entering the top 10 in career scoring at USF.

Brock ranks second on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game and is slated to start in his final appearance in front of the home fans.

Along with thanking the seniors, Saturday will be Fan Appreciation Day at the Sun Dome with hot dogs, fountain drinks and popcorn all $1. Also, Rocky the Bull bobbleheads will be given out to the firs 2,500 at the door.

The Owls (8-21, 3-14 American) won their last game, 86-78 against UCF on Tuesday. Dalton Pepper leads four players in double figures with 17.5 points per game. Anthony Lee leads the team with 8.7 rebounds per game while Will Cummings, who missed most of the first meeting between USF and Temple due to injury, is the team’s assist leader with 4.3 per game.

USF leads the all-time series 2-0 including an 82-75 win in the first meeting this season on Jan. 9 at Temple. The first meeting in the series was in the NCAA Tournament in 2012, a 58-44 win by the Bulls in Nashville, Tenn.

Seniors Victor Rudd scored a game-high 25 points and Martino Brock added 19 points, but it wasn’t enough as the USF men’s basketball team fell at Houston, 78-69, Tuesday night at Hofheinz Pavilion. The Bulls shot just 50 percent from the free throw line, making 12-of-24 attempts while the Cougars took advantage of their 14 attempts, making 12 for 85.7 percent.                                                                    

Victor Rudd has been on quite a scoring streak averaging 22.6 points over the last five games. Included in that stretch was a 26-point performance at Rutgers (March 1) and a 25-point outburst at Houston (March 4). The last player to record back-to-back 25-point games was Dominique Jones who had four consecutive 25-point games with 46 against Providence (1/23/10), 28 against Seton Hall (1/28/10), 37 at Pitt (1/31/10) and 29 at Georgetown (2/3/10).

USF has reason to be optimistic about the future of the program. The Bulls graduate just two seniors, Martino Brock and Victor Rudd, and return a slew of underclassmen including preseason second team all-conference guard Anthony Collins and experienced freshmen John Egbunu, Chris Perry and Josh Heath. Two freshmen on the team, Dre Clayton and Bo Zeigler, have not played this season and will return as freshmen next fall. Clayton, who suffered an achilies injury this past summer, is regarded as one of the best shooters on the team. Head coach Stan Heath has called Zeigler more athletic than Victor Rudd. The Bulls have also signed Troy Holston, a three-star shooting guard from Tampa’s Oldsmar Christian, with plans to sign at least one more.

USF joins the nine other conference teams at the Inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships held March 12-15 at FedExForum in Memphis.

SOURCE: USF Athletics