Stan Heath's Bulls are 5-3 on the year. USF has struggled on the road this season, including a 69-46 setback at VCU earlier this week.
The Jayhawks are just 4-2 on the young season. Bill Self's squad advanced to the championship game of the Maui Invitational, but dropped a 68-61 decision to Duke. Kansas returned home and got back in the win column this week with a 77-54 rout of Florida Atlantic.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the hardwood.
South Florida's inconsistency is a direct result of its lack of offensive punch. The team is shooting a modest 44.6 percent from the field overall, resulting in a meager 63.8 ppg. The defensive effort has made up for any offensive liabilities, with the Bulls giving up just 57.5 ppg and holding foes under 40 percent shooting (.399). Victor Rudd leads the team with 12.5 ppg. Augustus Gilchrist, who has missed time recently with a shoulder injury, is next in line at 11.6 ppg. Ron Anderson Jr. rounds out the top scoring threats at 11.0 ppg. Gilchrist and Anderson have been a strong duo on the glass, combining for 14.4 rebounds per game. In the loss to VCU, South Florida shot a mere .375 from the floor, a number weighed down by a miserable 3-of-14 showing from behind the arc (.214). Anderson led the way with 15 points and nine rebounds. Rudd chipped in with 10 points. USF turned the ball over 15 times and were outrebounded by the Rams, 34-27.
The Jayhawks are usually a potent offensive squad, but Kansas has yet to take off at that end of the floor this year. The team is putting up modest numbers overall, averaging 73.7 ppg, doing it on .465 shooting. Kansas relies heavily on the scoring exploits of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. Robinson has been a force in the frontcourt, averaging a double-double with 16.5 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. Taylor is a close second in the scoring column at 6.3 ppg. Four Jayhawks notched double figures in the win over Florida Atlantic. Robinson was once again unstoppable down low, posting 19 points and 17 rebounds. Taylor poured in 18 points, while Travis Releford and Jeff Withey chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.