Collins: I'm committed to staying at USF
He still can't walk without pain, much less cut or accelerate, but Anthony Collins' ailing left knee still is good for a few figurative exercises.
Such as stomping out scuttlebutt, which he did Monday afternoon.
Amid speculation that he has played his last game for USF, the junior point guard voluntarily approached reporters in the team's practice facility Monday to assure Bulls fans he's not going anywhere.
"I love it here in Tampa," said Collins, limited to eight games (none since Dec. 19) due to complications from summer surgery to remove an inflamed bursa sac.
"It's like home in Houston. I've met a lot of nice people from Coach (Stan) Heath to the coaching staff and I love being around the team, and I'm committed to being here."
Collins, whose team is 2-8 since he last played, said he was prompted to address his status because of "speculation and stuff" regarding his future.
As for his lingering knee problems, he said an unforeseen blood reaction led to post-operative complications including swelling. Since then, he also has developed tendinitis and a bone bruise.
"Just like anything you do, you have a swelling in your ankle it hurts when you walk. But it's like that in my knee," Collins said. "You can probably picture what that feels like. ... It's no one's fault that it happened."
The offensive catalyst during the Bulls' improbable NCAA Tournament run two winters ago, Collins said he hasn't explored the possibility of a medical redshirt in great detail. If he sought one, he wouldn't get an answer from the NCAA until the end of the season.
As the Times outlined recently, medical redshirt candidates can't appear in more than 30 percent of a team's games, though other factors could affect a player's status.
Whenever he returns, Collins insists it will be as a Bull.
"I want to be 100 percent here because I feel that I can help the team win instead of being hobbled on one leg," he said.
"I just want to get the swelling out of my knee and get it to look normal and play for Coach Heath. He brought me here and I love playing for him."
RUDD'S RETURN: After being benched for most of the second half of Sunday's 80-58 loss at Memphis, senior F Victor Rudd will return for Tuesday's home game against SMU, Heath said.
"Lost his focus," Heath explained of the prolonged benching. "Coach's decision-type thing."
Rudd, 10 points shy of 1,000 for his USF career, had six points on 2-for-8 shooting (0-for-3 from long range) before being pulled Sunday. He spent the rest of the game near the end of the Bulls' bench. He'll likely start against SMU.
"As long as he practices well and does the things I ask him to do, he'll be fine," Heath said.