The Cincinnati Bearcats (16-2 overall; 5-0 AAC) will take their nine-game winning streak on the road to Tampa Bay to face off against the South Florida Bulls (10-7 overall; 1-3 AAC). The Bulls are coming off of a 71-54 loss to Southern Methodist University but thus far has posted impressive wins against the Crimson Tide of Alabama at home (66-64) and defeating the Temple Owls on the road (82-75).
The Bulls are led by their senior forward from Los Angeles, Victor Rudd. Rudd currently leads the team in points per game (15.5) and rebounds per game (7.0). Rudd's season-high in points is 23, which he achieved three times this season against Florida Gulf Coast (W), Tennessee Tech (W), and Temple (W). His best overall output was against FGCU in a double-overtime victory when he posted a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Another player that the Bearcats should keep an eye is junior guard Corey Allen Jr., who is second on the team in points per game (11.8) and averages 4.5 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists per game. His best output thus far in the season was the second game of the season against Bethune-Cookman University when he posted 21 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. He also had very efficient games against Florida A&M and Temple so if both Allen Jr. and Rudd are able to get into a groove early in the game, the Bulls may present the Bearcats with a few problems.
Despite the two scorers, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin will have his team ready to go come Saturday. In an interview with the media, coach Cronin talked about the defensive intensity and the toughness of his team.
"When you have three players on your team who will run full-sprint every second of the game, its hard to beat a team like that. When you have defensive players like Rubles, Jackson and SK, when they're playing at 100%, we're an extraordinary defensive team. The stats show it that we're the best team in the conference right now. But when those three are not playing their hardest, we're just an ordinary team....We have to learn how to not be complacent with being ranked. From what I see, we're 0-0 every game we play."