TAMPA — As exhibitions go, Monday night's wasn't what Stan Heath wanted, with his Bulls committing 23 turnovers and unable to extend an early lead in a lackluster 75-58 win over Division II Eckerd College in the Sun Dome.
Heath took the unusual step of sitting two projected starters, point guard Anthony Crater and small forward Hugh Robertson, until three minutes into the second half; another top contributor, point guard Shedrick Haynes, never made it on the court. Heath said his decision wasn't from any one incident but rather the three players' overall attitudes in practice.
"It's not like they did a whole lot out there," Heath said. "I think that they have to make a better commitment to the team. I just haven't been happy with what they've been doing out there on the court. … There's really nothing to say except those guys have to step it up. Just in general, I don't think they're taking care of business."
With shooting guard Mike Burwell at the point and sophomores Shaun Noriega and Jawanza Poland starting on the wing, USF took a 43-23 lead late in the first half but was never able to extend it beyond that. Eckerd hovered within 15-20 points the entire half, and the entrance of Crater and Robertson did little to spark the Bulls on either end of the court.
Forward Augustus Gilchrist led the Bulls with 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, and Burwell added 12 as the only other player in double digits. Of the newcomers, Poland led the way with eight points.
"I thought we got into a cruise mode, a relax mode in the second half, just kind of thought the game was semi-over," Heath said. "The thing that bothered me more than anything was just when they came after us, I don't think we handled that very well. As a coach, that's a hard thing to swallow. I pride myself on us having a tough team. We have to step it up in that area."
Forward Lance Kearse, a transfer from Virginia Commonwealth, led Eckerd with nine points.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA: Fierce rivals, Duke and North Carolina are all tied up to start the preseason.
Duke's Kyle Singler was the leading vote-getter and only repeat selection for the Associated Press preseason All-America team, and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes became the first freshman to make the list since voting began before the 1986-87 season.
The team was chosen by the 65-member national media panel that selects the AP Top 25 poll.
Singler, the leader of the Blue Devils' run to a fourth national championship last season, was listed on 62 of 65 ballots. Barnes received the lowest vote total of the starters with 17.
Joining Singler and Barnes on the team were Jacob Pullen of Kansas State with 53 votes, Jimmer Fredette of BYU with 49 votes and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue with 46.
"This is indicative of the great respect that Harrison has nationally, and it's an unbelievable accomplishment for a freshman," said Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who is coming off his first non-NCAA Tournament season at North Carolina. "I know Harrison would agree, however, that it would be even more exciting to make the All-America team that's picked after the season.
"So far in practice, he has shown the ability to grasp things that we are teaching very quickly, he has tremendous concentration, and I fully expect that he is going to be a very important player for us from Day 1."
Singler, a 6-8 senior forward, averaged 16.5 points and 7.7 rebounds last season, which he started on the preseason All-America team and finished with an honorable mention postseason selection.
"Someone asked me if we don't win a national championship, will it ruin the year? You just never know what to expect in the year and toward the end of the year. We're not worried about that right now," Singler said of the 2010-11 Blue Devils.
IOWA: The school said the NCAA won't penalize the Hawkeyes for allowing two recruits to meet celebrity fans Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. The school said that the NCAA ruled the actions by staffers were "secondary" in nature and both unintentional and accidental. It also said the recruits, Josh Oglesby and Marcus Paige, have been fully cleared.
MICHIGAN ST.: Coach Tom Izzo suspended guard Korie Lucious for the Nov. 12 regular-season opener as well as one exhibition game. Lucious pleaded guilty in September to misdemeanor reckless driving.
CIAA TOURNAMENT: The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association voted unanimously on a three-year extension that will keep its tournament in Charlotte through 2014. Commissioner Leon Kerry said the Division II league of mostly historically black colleges and universities decided to stray from history, when the event changes spots after six years.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.