Crater to join Bulls Jan. 10; Gilchrist improving
Sophomore point guard Anthony Crater will make his USF debut on Jan. 10 when the Bulls play at Syracuse, six games later than originally expected, coach Stan Heath said Friday.
Crater, a transfer from Ohio State who was originally slated to join the Bulls last week, will miss the additional games because of a disciplinary action from last spring, Heath said. AOL sports site Fanhouse.com has reported that Crater's suspension is for a second failed drug test, in violation of the athletic department's substance abuse policy. Heath said Crater won't likely start immediately but will see significant minutes in competing with senior Chris Howard and sophomore Justin Leemow for playing time at point guard.
Heath said there's been encouraging progress in the recovery of sophomore forward Gus Gilchrist, who suffered a high ankle sprain with torn ligaments 11 days ago. Gilchrist, originally thought to be sidelined until late January to early February, could now return "in mid-January to late January," Heath said. Gilchrist, still walking with crutches, is now walking in a rehabilitation pool and is taking steps without a boot on his injured foot. Heath said the Bulls' leading scorer from their first eight games has made "really good progress."
Another Bulls player on the mend, senior center Alex Rivas, is still on pace for a January return and is now doing some non-contact work, jogging with the team in warmups before practice. Heath said if everything goes well, he could have all three players in USF's rotation for the majority of the Big East season.
Heath also said Leemow, who missed Wednesday's game against Central Florida, has rejoined the team. Leemow went home to New York to be with his family as his grandfather was hospitalized, and Heath said the grandfather is recovering well after having a Pacemaker installed.