DALLAS — Your old partner, Uncle Mel joined some of his friendly kin folks that resides in the city of Dallas and together inside the warm and inviting Moody Coliseum along with 6,769 excited Southern Methodist University basketball fans watched a total domination performance by the Mustangs.
We were also waiting for the smoke detectors to fill the air with their piercing alarm of fire because the Mustangs shooting was so hot that the nylon that coats the cotton net began to melt.
SMU simply wore out the basketball, the rims, the backboard, the nets, the University of South Florida defense and left the building with a convincing 84-65, victory against the Bulls.
Your old cowboy uncle really started to believe that anybody wearing an SMU jersey could have put up a shot from anywhere in the building and the shot would have found the bottom of the basket.
Your old uncle wanted to stop and give the new interim University of South Florida basketball coach Murray Bartow a great big Texas-style greeting.
After witnessing the game out on the floor unfolded, Bartow was not in no mood for any simple conversation or a simple howdy.
In the first half, Bartow and your ancient uncle watched the smoke rise from the smoldering basketball cord as SMU shot 64 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from behind the three-point arch.
Now your old uncle thought that he heard the rumor that the Dallas Fire Department were outside Moody Coliseum and were ready-just in case they were needed.
USF offense didn’t do too bad either at keeping the nets stoked, in the first half the Bulls offense shot 39.3 percent and they also found success from the perimeter shooting 42.0 percent behind the arch.
Bartow used 10 players but here is the difference, out of those 10 players four of them did not score a single point including a starter.
Junior center Ruben Guerrero started his 12 game of the season for the Bulls, he took two shots and missed them both plus he could only reach one rebound for the Bulls.
SMU’s rotation is seven players and all of them scored at least one point as the Mustangs finished the game shooting 54.4 percent from the floor including making 15-out-of-30 from three-point land.
You all know that, Uncle Mel is not a math wizard but that figures out to be 50 percent-that is pretty good!
Southern Methodist University basketball coach Tim Jankovich told Uncle Mel that he believes his limited bench is making his team a better team.
“You live on the edge when you have as few players as we do,” Jankovich said. “On one hand is the stress of foul trouble, you’re living on that fine line, no one’s worried about not getting enough minutes, everyone’s sharing the ball and you’ve got guys playing with confidence.”
Fouls being called on the Mustangs was a problem that Jankovich did not need to worry about because SMU was only whistled for eight fouls and only sending the Bulls to the free throw line six times for the entire game.
Bartow did tell your old dusty sidekick that he is making one promise to the fans that watches the University of South Florida men’s basketball program and that is nobody will be out working the Bulls.
“What I can promise is we’re going to work incredibly hard,” Bartow said. “Nobody is going to outwork us with what we do on a daily basis. We’re going to grind, we’re going to work and I think you’ll see a team that will grow and get better.”
You know nieces and nephews your old uncle does not like trying a rope around Texas-tornado or kick up any dust.
There has been no question that the Bulls do not work hard during practice or during a game.
It is not about the work ethic, it is simple nieces and nephews, it is all about getting the ball through the net and scoring more points than the opponent.
At the start of the game against SMU Saturday night, the University of South Florida scored an average of 67.2 points per game which is ninth in the American Athletic Conference.
There are 347 teams that play NCAA Division 1 basketball and USF offense is ranked 295th in the nation and that just is not impressive or intimidating.
Former USF basketball coaches and now is an assistant coach at Boston College, Stan Heath and recently released Orlando Antigua’s offense had no excitement, no movement, no shooters, no points and there for not enough wins.
The question that all USF basketball fans are asking, can all the hard work that Bartow promises going to make accurate shooters out of the players that now play for the Bulls?
After three conference games and still trying to secure their first conference victory, with 13 players moving and now one coaching change is that really enough to make a difference for the Bulls and turn this season around?
University of South Florida Athletic Director Mark Harlan is hoping that Bartow and the rest of the coaching staff can make it happen, that there will be improvement and with that will come victories.
Old man winter has got his cold chilly-icy grip wrapped around the country including the great state of Texas and the city of Dallas.
As your old partner rides off into the sunset, the thought of a spring time miracle could make the kin folks that watch the University of South Florida warmer and happier.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.