USA TODAY Sports
The South Florida Bulls travel to the Pavilion to take on the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday at 3PM. South Florida is coming off a 23-point blowout loss at home to Marquette (70-47), while Villanova’s last game was a 23-point blowout victory over DePaul, (94-71). Villanova may have played their best basketball in that win over DePaul as they seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. Villanova shot 60% from the field, their best shooting percentage for the ‘Cats on the season. On the other hand, South Florida is really struggling. They have lost five in a row and now find themselves in last place in the Big East. South Florida is a pretty good defensive team, with their struggles coming mainly on the offensive end. The Bulls are only averaging 60 points per game, which has them at 311th in the country.
Here are some things Villanova will have to do to knock off the Bulls.
Feed the Big Men
In the first meeting on January 9th, Mouphtaou Yarou, Daniel Ochefu, and JayVaughn Pinkston contributed 70% of Villanova's points in the 61-53 win at South Florida. Mouph has played very well in Big East play this season, and a lot of that has to do with the presence of Ochefu. Once Ochefu was inserted into the starting lineup, Yarou's play has improved significantly. Also, JayVaughn Pinkston has been very good down low on the block. He is definitely a mismatch problem everywhere on the floor. Look for Villanova to use a high-low offensive strategy, with all three of these players scoring around the rim and leading 'Nova to another victory.
Contain Anthony Collins
Anthony Collins is a guy who distributes the basketball effectively and loves getting his teammates involved, but he will also take good, smart shots when his team needs him to take over. Ryan Arcidiacono and Villanova's defense in general will have to try to limit the passing lanes to make him less effective. Collins is averaging 6.7 assists per game while also scoring 9 points per game. In their first meeting vs Villanova, Collins had 11 points and 4 assists, as the 'Cats did a pretty good job of containing him throughout the game.
Darrun Hilliard is going to be the x-factor in this Big East basketball game. After starting the season off very slow, shooting a dreadful 29 percent from the field, Hilliard has really gotten into a groove. He has been Villanova's most consistent player over the last 7 games. In those games, Hilliard is averaging 16 points per game. He is one of the few players on this Villanova team who can create his own shot. He only had three points in the first meeting vs USF. Look for him to have a much better performance this time around vs the Bulls.
Villanova wins 63-48