Football only? Daniels hasn't joined hoops team
USF quarterback B.J. Daniels maintained all season that even though he had stepped up as a starter and team leader in football, he intended to join the Bulls' basketball team as soon as football season ended.
But as the basketball Bulls prepare for Sunday's game at Syracuse, Daniels has yet to join the team a full week after USF's bowl win in Toronto. USF coach Stan Heath said Saturday that he had a brief conversation with Daniels earlier this week and expected to talk with him again once he's back in Tampa.
"Everything's up in the air," said Heath, who said he respects Daniels' desire to play both sports -- it was one of the main reasons he chose USF as a recruit -- but also understands the demands of his football schedule in comparison to the time he would spend for sparse minutes as a reserve in basketball.
In the days leading up to the International Bowl, Daniels had reiterated his plan to start practicing with the basketball team as soon as he could. And the midseason departures of guards Jordan Dumars and Justin Leemow would seem to open up his chances of getting some minutes off Heath's bench. But this also could mean that Daniels is shifting his focus and year-round priority to football.
Heath said the ball is still in Daniels' court if he wants to join the team. We should have an update on this in the next few days ...
-- Point guard Anthony Crater will make his USF debut on Sunday at Syracuse, and Heath said he expects Crater to come off the bench against the Orange, with Dominique Jones, Chris Howard and Mike Mercer remaining in the starting lineup. Mercer has been slowed by swelling in his knee, but Heath said he expects him to be healthy and ready to play Sunday.
-- Center Alex Rivas, who hasn't played this season as he recovers from surgery on both legs, traveled with the team and could see his first minutes, providing much-needed depth in the post.