NIT 2024: USF is looking for a full house as they entertain VCU at home tonight. The Bulls hope to advance to the next round and keep this magical season alive.

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South Florida Bulls during a men's basketball game against the University of Central Florida Knights on March 19, 2024. (Mary Holt/South Florida Basketball)

USF Welcomes VCU for NIT Second Round on Sunday

Bulls to host sixth postseason game, first since 2010 NIT

TAMPA, Fla. (March 22, 2024) – The University of South Florida men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Yuengling Center for the second round of the NIT as VCU makes the trip to Tampa. The Bulls (25-1) and Rams (23-13) are slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip on ESPNU.

Earlier this week, USF picked up its first NIT victory since 1995, as the Bulls defeated the UCF Knights 83-77 on Tuesday.

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CY in the YC

Chris Youngblood was named the AAC Co-Player of the Year. He was the first Player of the Year since Charlie Bradley in 1983. He also picked up a First-Team All-AAC and is the first player to do so since Dominique Jones in 2010. In conference play, he averaged 15.7 points per game with 40 assists, 10 steals, and nine blocks. He led the conference with a 3-point field goal percentage of 45.0 percent. His 45 3-pointers were the fourth most in the AAC. He produced 16 games in double figures, with four games of 20 or more. He produced a career-high 29 points in the win against Tulane on March 3. He shot 46.0 percent from the field and 78.3 percent from the free-throw line. For the season, he is second on the team with 14.9 points per game. He is averaging 2.4 rebounds per game to go along with 68 assists, 19 blocks, and 19 steals. He is shooting 82.0 percent from the free-throw line is 150th in the country and fourth in the AAC. His 2.16 3-pointers per game are tied for 211th in the country and tied for eighth in the conference.

‘Sel’ing Point

Selton Miguel earned his first Sixth Man of the Year and his first Most Improved Player accolades. He landed on his first all-conference nod with a second-team honor. He is the first Sixth Man of the Year since Altron Jackson in 2001. He averaged 14.9 points per game with 3.0 rebounds per contest. He tallied 40 assists, 19 steals, and eight blocks. He produced 16 games in double figures, with three games of 20 or more. He recorded a career-high 25 points in the win against No. 24 Florida Atlantic on February 18. He produced a career-high three blocks against UAB on January 7. He finished conference play shooting 79.1 percent from the free-throw line, 41.4 percent from the field, and 33.3 percent from 3-point range. For the season, he is tied for 176th in the country with 2.22 3-pointers per game, which is sixth in the conference. He leads the team with 15.0 points per contest. He is averaging 3.2 boards per game. He is tied for second on the squad with 37 steals and is second on the team with 69 assists. He has added 10 blocks. He is shooting 81.0 percent from the free-throw line, which is tied for 184th in the nation and eighth in the conference.

Chef Boyar“Reid”

Jayden Reid was named to the AAC All-Freshman Team. He finished his first year with 5.7 points per game and 2.3 rebounds a contest. He led the team with 47 assists. He added 21 steals. He tied a career-high five field goals made against Temple on January 4, where he finished with 14 points. He tallied three games in double digits during conference play. He dished out six assists in the win against Tulane on March 3. He shot 53.8 percent from 3-point range, 42.9 percent from the field, and 72.5 percent from the free throw line. For the season, he leads the team with 100 assists. He is tied for 306th in the NCAA with 3.1 assists per game and is tied for 11th in the AAC. He has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.08, which is tied for 121st in the country, is sixth in the conference, and 10th among NCAA freshmen. He has a team-best 39 steals. He averages 2.4 rebounds per game to go along with 6.7 points per contest.

Head Coach AAR

Amir Abdur-Rahim became the first USF coach to win an American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year accolade. He was named a semifinalist for Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of The Year. In his first season at South Florida, he has led the Bulls to a 20-win season, just the sixth time in program history. The 23 wins are the most during the regular season. The 25 wins are the most in program history. USF earned their first-ever ranking and reached No. 24 in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. He guided South Florida to 16 wins in conference play, the most in program history. The Bulls went on the program’s longest winning streak with 15 games. He is the only coach to win their regular season and conference debuts.

Bulls at a Glance

Kasean Pryor leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per contest. His 6.32 defensive rebounds per game are 48th in the NCAA and fourth in the AAC. He is third on the squad averaging 13.0 points per game. He leads the squad in blocks with 23. He is tied for second on the team with 37 steals. He has added 53 assists. He is shooting 81.4 percent from the free-throw line, which is tied for 171st in the country and seventh in the conference. Kobe Knox is second on the team with 21 blocks. He averages 8.6 points per game and 3.0 rebounds per game. He has 50 assists and 18 steals. Brandon Stroud is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per contest. He averages 5.2 points a game with 54 assists, 33 steals, and 13 blocks.

Strong Bench

South Florida’s bench is 17th in the NCAA and second in the conference averaging 29.19 points per contest. The USF bench has outscored its opponent’s bench 934-555. Opposing benches are averaging just 17.34 points per game.

Cashing in on Free Opportunities

The Bulls are tied for 39th in the NCAA and tied for fourth in the conference with 16.2 made free throws per game. USF is tied for 48th in the country with 22.0 free-throw attempts per game, which is fifth in the AAC.

Fast and Furious

The Bulls have been playing stout defense and are tied for 41st in the NCAA holding opponents to just 31.3 percent from 3-point range, which is the best in the AAC. USF is tied for 54th in the NCAA with a turnover margin of 2.2, which is tied for first in the conference. South Florida is 96th in the country with 12.81 forced turnovers per contest, which is fifth in the AAC. USF has used the turnovers to lead to fastbreak opportunities. The Bulls are 71st in the nation with 12.13 fastbreak points per game, which is sixth in the conference.

Last Time Out

The Bulls set a program record with 25 wins, with an 83-77 victory over in-state rival UCF. South Florida recorded its first win in the NIT since a 75-59 victory against Coppin State in 1995. Selton Miguel led the Bulls with 19 points, his 28th game of the year in double digits. He added two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Kasean Pryor produced his 18th game in double figures with 17 points to go along with eight rebounds. Jose Placer recorded his fifth game in double digits behind a 14-point performance to go along with two assists. Jayden Reid closed out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. He dished out one assist and picked up one steal. Brandon Stroud finished tied for a game-high nine rebounds. He chipped in with five points, a team-high three assists, and added a steal.

History with VCU

The Bulls and Rams will meet for the 39th time on Sunday. VCU leads the series 26-12. The two sides have split the last four meetings, 2-2. The Rams won the last matchup on November 30, 2011, in Richmond, Virginia, 69-46. South Florida is 8-9 at home against VCU.

Scouting the Rams

As a unit, VCU is tied for tied for 12th in the NCAA with a free-throw percentage of 78.0 percent. Their bench averages 27.67 points per game, which is 24th in the country. The Rams hold their opponents to 40.6 percent from the field, which is tied for 21st in the nation. VCU is tied for 37th in the NCAA holding its opponents to 31.2 percent from 3-point range. Their defense holds opponents to 66.5 points per contest, which is tied for 31st in the nation. Max Shulga paces the team with 14.5 points per game. His 87.9 shooting percentage from the free-throw line is tied for 34th in the country. He averages 2.40 3-pointers per contest, which is tied for 129th. He has a team-best 130 assists. He averages 4.7 rebounds per game to go along with 34 steals and nine blocks. Joe Bamisile is second on the squad averaging 13.8 points a contest. He averages 3.4 rebounds a game with 21 steals, 16 blocks, and 14 assists. Zeb Jackson rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.5 points a game. He is second on the team with 116 assists. He has a team-best 50 steals and has added seven blocks. Toibu Lawal leads the team with 6.1 rebounds a contest to go along with 9.7 points per game. Christian Fermin has a team-high 52 blocks, which is tied for 69th in the NCAA.

Tale of the Tape 

USFCategoryVCU
76.1POINTS PER GAME71.5
69.3OPP. POINTS PER GAME66.5
.442FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE.443
.418OPP. FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE.406
.3713-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE.357
.313OPP. 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE.312
.737FREE THROW PERCENTAGE.780
36.0REBOUNDS PER GAME35.2
-0.9REBOUNDING MARGIN2.5
14.9ASSISTS PER GAME13.7
10.8TURNOVERS PER GAME12.2
2.0TURNOVER MARGIN-1.0
7.0STEALS PER GAME6.5
3.5BLOCKS PER GAME4.4

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About USF Men’s Basketball

The South Florida men’s basketball team is led by Amir Abdur-Rahim, who was named the 11th head coach in program history on March 29, 2023. Abdur-Rahim was named the 2023 Mid-Major Coach of the Year (Hugh Durham Award) after leading Kennesaw State to its first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament berth in 2022-23. Abdur-Rahim’s Kennesaw State team set an NCAA record as the fastest team to ever reach the NCAA Tournament after a one-win campaign, accomplishing the feat in a span of just three seasons. He was also named the 2022-23 NABC District 3 and ASUN Coach of the Year after leading Kennesaw State to both the regular season and tournament titles, and a school-record 26 wins.
 
USF has retired three numbers in its history: Chucky Atkins (12), Charlie Bradley (30), and Radenko Dobras (31). The Bulls have earned three NCAA tournament bids, appeared in the NIT eight times, and won the 2019 College Basketball Invitational.
 
For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to 
USFBullsTix.com.