Heath seeking long-range help
For those bemoaning the Bulls' long-range impotence, Coach Stan Heath indirectly sent a message Monday:
Help is on the way.
Heath, whose 12-12 team remains 350th out of 351 Division I teams in 3-point percentage (25.4), said he plans to sign at least one player -- and maybe two -- in the upcoming spring signing period.
Already on board is 6-foot-4 Oldsmar Christian two-guard Troy Holston, who signed in November.
"We have one scholarship we're sitting on and we're gonna expect to maybe even try to get two guys," said Heath, whose club plays Wednesday at No. 24 Connecticut in Hartford.
"We've got to improve our shooting -- that's the biggest thing -- and maybe add one more frontcourt player, like a four-three kind of a guy. We already have one really good shooter (Holston), so I think that will help."
Additionally, Heath said he thinks "our fans will be surprised at how effectively" freshmen Bo Zeigler and Dre Clayton will perform.
Though both appear destined to remain redshirted, Heath said Clayton, a 6-6, 245-pound forward from Orlando, could be contributing right now if not for an Achilles' injury.
As for those currently in the rotation, Heath said he's hopeful sophomore Javontae Hawkins can provide a spark down the stretch. Hawkins (4.3 ppg) had a late 3-pointer in Saturday's 79-69 loss to Rutgers, his first points in nearly two weeks.
"I'm hoping he gets it now," Heath said. "His (issue) was (hip) injuries, then he came back and I think he was just a little bit down, but he seems to be in a good place right now."
His optimism was more guarded toward Musa Abdul-Aleem. Initially counted on to provide a long-range shot in the arm, Abdul-Aleem (3.9 ppg, 13-for-54 from 3-point range) hasn't played in six of USF's last seven games.
"All mental, just all mental," Heath said. "I think sometimes he's engaged, sometimes he's not. ... (Hawkins) is the guy we're looking at right now, and if Musa comes around, there's great opportunity for him because we could certainly use shooting from him, too."