TAMPA, Fla. — It is just another exciting Friday night by the city that sleeps next to a bay, white sandy beaches and the Gulf of Mexico.
Everybody is waiting for the weekend to start on the campus of the University of South Florida and really is there not a better way than to step inside the Sun Dome at 7 P.M. You can find your sea, hot popcorn with a cold beverage and watch the Bulls’ men’s basketball team take on Stetson University- nope didn’t think so!
So far, the beginning of this season is starting a little rough for Stetson University and for first year coach of the Hatters Corey Williams. The Hatters are 0-4 and yet have not played a game at home.
The Bulls hold a 17-7 advantage over Stetson in the all-time series, which dates back to 1971 and playing in the Sun Dome, well not so good for the Hatters, they have lost 10 out of 12 games against the Bulls.
As the season continues, the University of South Florida basketball coach Stan Heath faces a tough challenge that is a nice and unexpected surprise for him.
The continuing improvement play at point guard by Corey Allen Jr. is a pleasant development for the Heath and the Bulls.
Allen is second on the team with a scoring average of 15.7 points per game, his assist average is a respectable 6.3 and he is active under the boards he has averaged six rebounds a game. He has also been mention as a American Athlete Conference Honor Roll for his performances against Bethune-Cookman University and Bowling Green State University.
Allen arrived in Tampa and on campus of USF as a Junior-College transfer, he played at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where he led his team to the JUCO championship of the state of California in his first season.
“I’m having fun with these guys,” Allen said about his new team mates. “I picked South Florida because I felt so comfortable with the coaches and the players on my visit. I knew my role and felt we could be a special team this year.”
“You never know with junior college guys,” Heath said. “That experience they get is obviously a nice advantage but sometimes them still getting adjusted to big-time college basketball, you never know. Sometime it takes guys a whole year, sometime it takes a semester. He hit the ground running and hopefully he can sustain that.”
Williams is aware of the problem that Heath is facing with talented point guards but he also knows that the Bulls have a lot more weapons on the floor this year and they are getting to the basket.
Williams knows that Allen is a talent and a solid player but he also knows about Anthony Collins and coming back to the line up and he is ready to play. He also is aware of forward Victor Rudd, freshman Chris Perry and in the middle for the Bulls stands John Egbunu, a 6-10 center that recently made a statement against Bowling Green State University.
Williams also knows that the Bulls will play physical, challenge shots and are comfortable to play any kind of style of basketball.
Heath and his staff have to get the Bulls ready to play hard against the Hatters, they can not make the mistake of looking past Stetson.
Heath knows that Stetson is the kind of team that can sneak up on a team and before you know it, the game is over and everybody will be wondering – what happen?
The Bulls know that against this is a team that they need to take care of the ball, stay within the game plan to end and the game will have a successful ending against the Hatters.
The Bulls offense is finding the baskets and scoring points, averaging 79.3 points after three games and the defense is doing a decent job holding opponents to just 62.7 points per game.
Williams so far has watched his offense struggle and his defense not doing a good job against any opponent, the Hatters are giving up 72.2 points per game.
The Bulls will have to contain Stetson University leading scorer, Aaron Graham and box out Hatters Brian Pegg, he leads the Hatters with 6.5 rebounds per game.
The most important part of Heath’s game plan against Stetson University is simply to keep the Bulls focused on the game and not take the Hatters lightly.
The Bulls just need to stick with the game plan, do what they know how to do and the results will be a victory over a worthy opponent and that will be an exciting way to start the weekend.
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.