South Florida vs. East Carolina

TAMPA, Fla., (Jan. 31, 2023) – When South Florida and East Carolina met in Greenville last month, the Bulls were looking to end a four-game losing skid. When USF and ECU meet Wednesday in Tampa, the Bulls aim to end a two-game losing streak.

The Bulls are dropped two road games in heartbreaking fashion. First a three point overtime setback at Temple then a two point loss at SMU when a buzzer beater by Corey Walker Jr. was off the mark.

The Pirates fell at home on Wichita State Sunday. It was their sixth loss in their last seven games. has your quick facts and what to watch for against East Carolina:

Quick Facts

Matchups: USF (9-13; 2-7 AAC) vs. East Carolina (11-11; 2-7 AAC)

At your place: Feb. 1

Time: 7 pm ET

Location: Tampa, FL | Yuengling Center

watch: ESPNU

Radio: 102.5 The Strike HD-2 & Bulls Unlimited (TuneIn)

History: USF leads the all-time series with ECU 13-11. The Bulls defeated the Pirates 81-70 just over two weeks ago in Greenville, NC.

The Opponent: At the helm of ECU this season is Michael Schwartz, a first-year head coach who led the Pirates to a 10-5 start. ECU’s leading scorer and assist man, Javon Smallis sidelined for another 3-4 weeks (knee).

ECU has turned to 5-foot-8, 150-pound point guard Kalib LaCount while Small rehabs his knee. LaCount pushes it in transition but he is a shoot first PG. One out of every two shots are threes so USF must defend him with a high hand at all times. He will use ball screens and play off the bounce, but he can get out of control at times. LaCount will jump into defenders at the rim and shoot off-balance floaters and pull-ups.

Quentin Diboundje (Dih-BOON-zhay) scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Pirates when they lost to the Bulls earlier this month. What he wants to do is shoot threes – 58 percent of his shot attempts are three-pointers. You must locate him in transition because sometimes he runs and sometimes he’ll trail and spot up for threes. Diboundje is a capable driver and if the opportunity is there, he’ll drive from either wing to the middle.

RJ Felton is a very aggressive and physical scoring guard. At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Felton uses his athleticism off the bounce to draw fouls but it makes him susceptible to charging fouls. A capable shooter, look for Felton to spot up in transition. He likes to attack the rim going to his right and is a good offensive rebounder.

Sophomore, Brandon Johnson, is a space 4-man with length, athleticism and he stays active. Johnson is the second best rebounder in the AAC. He had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the first game. The 6-foot-8, 210-pounder gets threes off of drives-and-kicks. He will pick-and-pop and trail in transition for threes. Force him to score over his right shoulder in the post.

Fourth-year 7-footer Ludgy Debaut (LOU-gee Deh-BO) will likely draw the start at the 5 for ECU Wednesday. Debaut is not scoring much lately but in his last four games he is averaging 8.0 per game. That includes 10 against the Bulls (6 OREB). Debaut can make a hook over either shoulder. Be physical with him and box him out.

Ezra Ausar is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound freshman who is skilled and plays hard. He has range to 15-feet on his jumper and is comfortable on the perimeter. Ausar is willing to bang. He can score over either shoulder and goes hard to the glass. Box him out.

ECU likes to spread the floor and drive. They will always have at least four guys on the court who can drive it from the perimeter and multiple guys who can push it in transition.

Defensively, ECU is mostly man (96.5 percent). They will use a 3/4 court zone to try and slow teams down. Attack it. ECU is also using a 1-out-4-in zone to prevent paint touches. Recognize it and execute.


Don’t give up open threes or layups in transition, guard the ball in the half court, defend without fouling – ECU is second the AAC in FTA at 21 per game – REBOUND – ECU gives up 10 OREB per game – cut down on turnovers and move the ball.

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