Sore winner: Rudd played in pain at UCF
The day after what he described as one of the top five performances of his career, USF senior Victor Rudd said it nearly never came to fruition.
His knees, especially the right one, were that sore.
Rudd said Thursday afternoon he briefly contemplated not playing in the previous night's 79-78 overtime win at UCF because of a recent bout with tendinitis. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes, scoring eight of the Bulls' nine points in OT.
"At walk-through I told (Coach Stan Heath) I didn't know if I was gonna play that night," Rudd said. "But I had to play. Rivalry game; we had to get that win."
Rudd sank a 3-pointer 61 seconds into the game, but scored only four more in the first half, on two dunks. After some stretching and heat application on the knees at halftime, he said the pain subsided.
"I had to dunk the ball just because somebody probably would've blocked it, but it killed me to do that," he said. "But the second half it felt better."
Heath said the concerns he had about Rudd before the game mostly subsided after his initial trey. In the huddle prior to the overtime session, Heath said Rudd told a Bulls assistant he could take his defender and wanted the ball.
"After he hit that first (3-point) shot, I think he was fine," Heath said. "He carried us in a big way. There were a lot of big plays throughout the game, but Vic really carried us."
Rudd said he underwent roughly 90 minutes of treatment before Thursday's practice, which was expected to be light. He said he should be fine for Saturday night's home game against Rutgers.