We've got a date with the South Florida Bulls on Thursday night at The Pavilion, so to prep for the game we had a chat with Ken DeCelles, who runs the fantastic USF blog Voodoo Five for SB Nation. We chat about expectations, Big East expansion, and most importantly, our favorite EPL team Tottenham Hotspur.
With all the crap surrounding 'Nova this year, I haven't really branched out to the rest of the conference. So, how are things with the USF Bulls? Are you below, at, or above your preseason expectations at this point?
We could have been better in our non-conference games, but considering Anthony Collins, Augustus Gilchrist, Jawanza Poland, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, Ron Anderson Jr., and Victor Rudd all missed time for one reason or another, I can't complain right now. Getting that first Big East win was big though against Rutgers, and we are finally seeing the team come together for the first time all year.
More fun with V5 after The Jump.
Give me the most underrated player on your roster and the most overrated, and why?
Overrated is easy, that's Augustus Gilchrist. For 3.5 years, people have expected Gus to emerge and become a 15-10 type of player. But for one reason or another he just never took the next leap in his development. Underrated i would have to say Hugh Robertson. He doesn't do anything flashy, but he plays great defense, rebounds well, and somehow ends up with 8-10 points.
What are your feelings on the addition of UCF to the Big East?
It needed to happen. UCF has a good football team, a improving basketball team, and quality Olympic sports in the program. Plus, it finally gives USF a traveling partner so the non-revenue sports can cut travel costs.
We will have to see how the NCAA comes down after getting some pretty heavy charges thrown their way. If the COI throws the book at them, it could set the Knights back for years.
Since we're both Tottenham Hotspur supporters and we're going to grow the fanbase, compare your starting 5 with Spurs players (squad, bench, or starting XI).
Oh this is going to be good.
Anthony Collins is Gareth Bale. Both are extremely quick players who can kick it in another gear. Both players can put in a great cross/pass, but they each need to work on finishing. They have a bright future, and could end up World Best XI/All-Big East.
Shaun Noriega is Rafael van der Vaart. Both can light up the scoresheet when needed, but their defense is lacking and sometimes they'll disappear for long stretches of the game. Neither player can pull out a full shift with quality options (JAWANZA! Poland & Jermain Defoe, which is actually another quality comparison.) on the bench.
Hugh Robertson is Scott Parker. Both players are the best defensive players on the team. While casual observers won't notice the small things they do on the court/pitch, the team wouldn't be half as good
without them out there.
Augustus Gilchrist is David Bentley. Both players are extremely talented, but they were never able to reach the level most people expected from them. Both will end up playing basketball in Europe or play in the Championship.
Ron Anderson Jr. is Brad Friedel. They are the steely vets on the team. Ron and Brad set up the defense, clear the line, and keep the ball from going in the net. They quietly go about their day, but will sometimes step up, like Friedel's ability to save PKs or Ron's 15 point effort against Rutgers on New Year's Day.
If you were drawing up the game plan to stop USF, what would it look like?
Play tough, pressure defense. Our worst offensive efforts of the season came when teams either pressed or played in your face man-to-man defense. We haven't played well on the road this year either, so it might just be just show up to the Pavilion. Either or.
Just because of your answer to my prediction (Editor's note: Make sure to check out V5 for my responses to Ken's questions!), USF wins this game 62-59 and the best haiku ever will be posted over here.
Thanks again to Ken for partaking, and good look to USF the rest of the way, outside of tomorrow night!