TAMPA, Fla. —- Get ready, get set and away we go!
The first order of business to concluded is to review the poll conducted by the American Athletic Conference coaches and you all know the song and dance.
It is, after all just a popularity contest, who will be the best team in the league, which team is the worst team in the conference and then all of the rest.
In most cases that statement is true but for the purpose of this poll the results-might be right!
Pulling out the name from the hat and revealing the best team in the American Athletic Conference and really no contest or surprise to win it all again this year the coaches pick - the University of Louisville.
That’s right, the Cardinals will have another power-packed team, with plenty of talent returning to a team that is making a habit and getting proficient at making hotel reservations during the NCAA Basketball Championship and really this year should be no different.
The Cardinals will have three starters returning from last year’s NCAA men’s Basketball Tournament Championship team including last year’s conference scoring champion guard Russ Smith.
So according to the coaches, the University of Louisville is the best that the American Athletic Conference has to offer to the world of NCAA basketball and the coaches think that, Rutgers University will be a team that will struggle to find there way out of last place.
The fans that follow the University of South Florida men’s basketball all want to know is this and ask this question.
What about the Bulls?
Last season, the University of South Florida finished with an overall record of 12-19 and struggled to score points, the coaches think that the Bulls will finish eighth in the conference.
University of South Florida basketball coach Stan Heath is not tipping off his hand and is trying to play close to the vest when it comes to talking about the Bulls.
The Bulls return a pair of Preseason All-Conference selections. Guard Anthony Collins and forward Victor Rudd they were selected second-team to the preseason team.
Collins is a two-year starter for the Bulls and last season he averaged 8.6 points per game and he finished the season with 194 assist and Heath says Collins is quick thinking on the floor and also says that Collins is a fast players and that should give the Bulls a different look on the court.
Rudd will play at a forward spot for Bulls, he led the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and he hulled in 6.9 rebounds per game both players give Heath two players that have valuable experience on the court.
Many coaches say, that there is nothing like having an experience point guard that understands the offense and sees the entire floor and a player that has broad enough shoulders that he wants the ball because, that player knows how to get to the basket for points and drawing fouls.
“Like most coaches we will kind’ve adjust to our personnel and who we have on our team,” Heath said about his team. “We are a lot deeper, we are lot more athletic and we have to find more ways to score whether its through our defense or pushing the ball to get an easy basket. I think I have one of the fastest guards in the league so it fits his style. He is defiantly one the top assist players and I got some high-risers players that can play above the rims and we are still a work in progress.”
Heath is talking about the addition of 6-10 John Egbunu and 6-8 Chris Perry both are freshman and both players will give the Bulls some bulk under the basket but being so young and have no experience Bulls fans have to ask.
Will that hurt the Bulls?
The freshman have practice well and have opened there eyes of their team mates on the physical play during practice .
Collins believes that a lot of changes have happen to this team and there are going to be teams in the conference surprised.
“This is a totally different team from my freshman year and even last year. We’re so athletic at every position,” Collins said about his team’s improvement. “John is a freak of nature at center. Vic is a freak of nature that can play some 4 or 3 and it just goes down the line from JaVontage (Hawkins) to Mario (Brock) to Josh (Heath). It’s an athletic team and we’re going to play high paced from what we normally play.”
Collins also said that there are no issues with team chemistry, the Bulls enjoy playing as a team.
“Everyone is starting to come together, even at an early stage,” Collins said. “Everyone likes to listen and everyone loves playing together. That what’s so enjoyable about this team.
The 2013-14 men’s basketball season begins Monday night November 4, 2013 with an exhibition game against Barry University at the Sundome starting at 7 p.m.
The season officially starts inside the Sundome, Saturday night, Nov. 9 against the Tennessee Tech University Golden Eagles, the tip off is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
The fans that follow the University of South Florida are so ready to get the 2013-14 men’s basketball season started!
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.