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Victor Rudd makes a splash in USF Bulls basketball debut

TAMPA — In his entire freshman year at Arizona State, Victor Rudd struggled to make it onto the court, scoring a total of 38 points in 15 games.

It has taken the 6-foot-8 forward just two games in his Bulls career to pass that, as he followed a 12-point debut with a promising 30-point game Monday in an 81-67 win against Marist at St. Pete Times Forum.

Bulls coach Stan Heath was pleased by the variety of ways Rudd got his 30 points, with a mix of 3-pointers, dunks and pullup jumpers, leaving opponents to wonder how best to defend him.

"He did it the way I've been preaching to him. Sometimes he wants to rely on his long 3-point shot," Heath said. "When he starts attacking the rim, that's what makes him a tough player, because now he can hurt you in both directions. … We just rode that wave."

Rudd could have scored more but went out of his way to show unselfish play down the stretch. With the game in hand, Rudd passed up an open 3 in the closing minutes, then a moment later had a path to the basket but passed to Toarlyn Fitzpatrick for a dunk.

"That's what I like about him. He did a lot of different things," Heath said. "He rebounded the ball, pushed it in transition, made some passes to his teammates. He posted up, he hit a midrange shot, hit some 3's. He's got a nice package there, and when he really wants to defend, he can do that as well."

Rudd got to a 30-point game far faster than you'd expect, in just his second game; former Bulls G Dominique Jones, for comparison, didn't get his first 30-point game until the eighth game of his career. It's not the fastest route to a 30-point game, however: John Kiser scored 30 in USF's first game, a win against Stetson in December 1971.

NEW CLASS HONORED: USF will induct a third class of former Bulls into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, and while the most recognizable names are DB Anthony Henry — the first football inductee — and basketball's Radenko Dobras, USF has a current employee being honored in softball assistant coach Monica Triner, a two-time All-American as a pitcher in 1998-99.

Triner remembers when the late Lee Roy Selmon called her this spring to let her know she was being inducted, and the enshrinement will be special because of the teammates coming together to honor her. She was disappointed to see a low turnout for USF's alumni weekend this fall, only to learn that many were sacrificing that trip so they could come to Tampa for her Hall of Fame weekend.

"It means a lot to me," said Triner, an East Bay graduate and the first softball inductee. "It's an honor to know I am the first one, but there's going to be a lot more. (Teammates) are like, 'Oh, you were so good.' I wouldn't have been as good as I was if it weren't for the people I played with. One of the girls wrote something on Facebook, congratulating me. I was like, 'No, I need to thank you guys.' There were days I didn't pitch so well and they made me look good."

THIS AND THAT: Sophomore PG Lavonte Dority has just one turnover (and 11 assists) in his first two starts. The fewest turnovers committed in any two-game stretch last season by starting PG Anthony Crater was three. … USF volleyball's loss Sunday at Pittsburgh cost the Bulls a spot in the Big East tournament, missing the cut for the first time since 2005, their first year in the league. … USF men's soccer, a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, holds a 5-0-2 record against teams in the 48-team NCAA field. The Bulls have an opening-round bye, then host either Central Florida or Florida Gulf Coast at Corbett Stadium at 6 Sunday.

Victor Rudd makes a splash in USF Bulls basketball debut 11/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:31pm]
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