Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Anthony Collins' scoring could be key for USF Bulls

TAMPA — As good as Anthony Collins has been in finding open teammates for USF, could it be that the key to the Bulls' success in the Big East is getting the sophomore point guard to pass less and shoot more?

The Bulls (10-7, 1-4) got a spark in Saturday's win against Georgetown when Collins hit a 3-pointer and another shot with his foot on the line on back-to-back possessions to give the Bulls a 43-41 lead; they didn't trail again. Collins had 14 points, all in the second half, and coach Stan Heath said Collins hitting open shots from the perimeter creates a huge advantage for the Bulls.

"I think Collins has to score the ball for us," Heath said. "I think he's got a true point guard mentality: Get everybody else involved. But I think he understands if things aren't working that way, boy, I better step my game up."

Much is made of Collins' talent in piling up assists, but the statistics put a direct link between his scoring and USF winning. The Bulls are 9-0 all-time when he scores 14 or more; conversely, USF is 0-5 this season when he scores five or fewer. His ability to drive and draw fouls also goes hand in hand with winning — the Bulls are 7-0 in his two seasons when he takes seven or more free throws.

"He pretty much is the USF offense," senior F Toarlyn Fitzpatrick said. "He makes our team go on offense. We're trying to get him the ball. He's very hard to contain, and he draws so much attention that he's an outlet for other guys to get open shots. … (When he hits outside shots), that's going to be huge. It forces guys to play him honest … if he's making them, you have to put some type of pressure on him. If you get too close to him, he's going to go right around (you)."

CLOSE TIES: Leading up to the Super Bowl, you'll read about USF football coach Willie Taggart's close ties to the Harbaugh family, but Heath also knows the family well. He was an assistant at Michigan State from 1996-99 with current Indiana coach Tom Crean, who is married to Jim and John Harbaugh's sister, Joani, and the brothers followed the Spartans during their run to the 1999 Final Four in St. Petersburg.

"I met them quite a bit," Heath said. "Especially when we went on the NCAA Tournament runs, the Harbaugh brothers would come around quite a bit, and their dad (Jack) as well, with Joani. They came to support us. It was kind of unique, because Jim Harbaugh was the big-time Michigan quarterback of course, and Michigan and Michigan State have a nice little rivalry. So we kind of let him in, but we had one eye open for him. You look at Tom's team, both the Harbaughs in the Super Bowl, and we've got Willie Taggart. That whole tree is having tremendous success."

THIS AND THAT: Andrea and Andrell Smith get much of the attention in USF's women's basketball success, but freshman Alisia Jenkins has become a consistent presence inside. She has taken over the team lead at 5.8 rebounds per game, leading the way for a squad that leads the Big East in total rebounds. … USF softball's season opener is fast approaching on Feb. 8, and Ken Eriksen is eager to see freshman Erica Nunn, who adds to USF's outstanding returning pitching depth and will be an everyday bat as well.

Comments
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Athleticsí Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

Athleticsí Sean Manaea no-hits Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. – Sean Manaea watched as Marcus Semien fired a ball from short to second baseman Jed Lowrie, turned around, and jumped into the arms of catcher Jonathan Lucroy. History was made at the Coliseum.Manaea no-hit the Red Sox on ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

Maple Leafs force Game 6 with Bruins

BOSTON — Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second period, and then the Maple Leafs killed off a 5-on-3 and three more power plays in a row to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoid playoff eliminatio...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Sundayís sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNHRA: SpringNationals2 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama3 p.m.NBCSNBaseballTwins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Brewers2 p.m.FSFIndians at Orioles2 p.m.MLBCubs at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBNationals at Dodgers8 p.m.ESPNColle...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Yankees give top prospect Gleyber Torres a shot in majors

Yankees give top prospect Gleyber Torres a shot in majors

Gleyber Torres cannot help an erratic staff of starting pitchers. Nor can he help shake Giancarlo Stanton from his April funk. But the Yankees hope that calling up Torres from Triple A on Saturday will provide a jolt before they fall much farther beh...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Georgi Hristovís 57th goal ties Rowdies team record

Georgi Hristovís 57th goal ties Rowdies team record

ST. PETERSBURG — Georgi Hristov tied a 40-year-old franchise record with his 57th career goal Saturday at Al Lang Stadium, fueling the Rowdies' 2-0 shutout of previously unbeaten Real Monarchs SLC.Hristov, a forward in his sixth season with Tam...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

TAMPA — It was a couple of days after the Lightning beat the Bruins at home late in the regular season when associate coach Rick Bowness talked about how the defensive effort used in that shutout victory was the one the Lightning would need in ...
Updated: 8 hours ago