Cincinnati.com
Men's College Basketball
Preview
South Florida at East Carolina
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Where: Minges Coliseum, Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina goes after a sweep of the regular-season series when it hosts South Florida on Wednesday night in a battle between two of the bottom teams in the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates rallied from a six-point halftime deficit for a 67-65 victory at USF on Jan. 3, but have not been able to build on that effort while suffering three consecutive losses.

“There is a big divide in the league,” East Carolina interim coach Michael Perry told reporters. “The challenge for everybody, including ourselves, is to try and bridge that divide and try to compete among the guys who kind of look like you, and then try to get better in terms of closing the gap with the teams at the top of the league.” The Pirates lost their last two against a pair of the three top teams in the AAC - Wichita State by 35 and Houston by 16 - and South Florida is still winless in the league after dropping a 78-55 decision against the other conference frontrunner Cincinnati. The Bulls shot 57 percent from the field in the first half against the Bearcats on Saturday to trail by just two before connecting on 25 percent in the final 20 minutes. Senior forward Payton Banks leads USF in scoring (13.3) after pouring in 22 last time out, following a stretch where he missed three of the previous four games due to illness.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3

ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA (7-11, 0-5 AAC): Banks came within two points of matching his career high, which came when he was at Penn State, on Saturday while coming off the bench and was the Bulls’ only double-digit scorer. Senior guard Stephan Jiggetts is second on the team in scoring overall (10.9 points, 3.6 assists, 91.4 percent on free throws), but is just 11-for-46 from the field in AAC play. Freshman guard David Collins continues to get a bigger role, making 14-of-30 from the floor in league games, and 6-10 senior Isaiah Manderson is averaging 8.5 points overall.

ABOUT EAST CAROLINA (7-10, 1-5): Senior guard B.J. Tyson tops the team in scoring (15.5) and has recorded at least eight points in every game this season while junior backcourt mate Isaac Fleming is next (12.0), although he has connected on 6-of-28 from the field the last three games. Junior guard Kentrell Barkley (11.9 points, 6.4 rebounds) must recover from a 1-for-13 shooting performance against Houston last time out, although he scored 16 against USF earlier this month. Freshman guard Shawn Williams (8.2 points) scored 17 off the bench to lead the way against Houston.

TIP-INS

1. The teams have alternated wins and losses over the last eight meetings, but USF triumphed in two of the last three at East Carolina.

2. Bulls sophomore F Tulio Da Silva averages a team-high 5.8 rebounds, but has hauled in just 2.4 per game in league play.

3. Tyson became the ninth East Carolina player to reach 500 career field goals last time out and needs eight to move into sixth place on the school’s all-time list.

PREDICTION: East Carolina 63, South Florida 58
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
South Florida 7-11 L5 6-6 1-5 0-0 1-2 6-9 0-5
East Carolina 7-10 L3 6-7 1-3 0-0 2-6 5-4 1-5
Last Meeting
South Florida East Carolina
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/3/18 ECU 67 USF 65 65 30 46.0 67 21 45.3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
South Florida S. Jiggets 18 54.5 2
East Carolina K. Barkley 16 46.2 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
South Florida M. Martin 7 0 7
East Carolina J. Craig 8 3 5
Assists Player  
South Florida S. Jiggets 5
East Carolina I. Fleming 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
South Florida P. Banks 200 41.9 30
East Carolina B. Tyson 264 43.9 52
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
South Florida T. Da Silva 104 25 79
East Carolina J. Craig 111 40 71
Assists Player  
South Florida S. Jiggets 64
East Carolina I. Fleming 78
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar South Florida Off vs  red bar East Carolina Defense
blue bar 63.0 Points For
red bar 70.6 Points Against
blue bar 41.4 FG%
red bar 42.3 FG%
blue bar 30.3 Reb
red bar 34.1 Reb
red bar East Carolina Off vs  blue bar South Florida Defense
red bar 64.4 Points For
blue bar 70.2 Points Against
red bar 41.5 FG%
blue bar 43.7 FG%
red bar 32.3 Reb
blue bar 30.4 Reb