#128 South Florida: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #128
Conference Rank: #14 Big East Conference
2009-10: 20-13, 9-9
2009-10 postseason: NIT
Coach: Stan Heath (41-54 at South Florida, 153-121 overall)
Coach Stan Heath took a big step up with South Florida during his third year at the helm. After struggling through a couple ugly seasons, the 2009-2010 Bulls went 20-13 and reached the NIT. The program is still on the rise in what is always a difficult conference to play in, but this season will likely be a small step backwards due to the absence of the entire starting backcourt trio.
Key Losses: G Chris Howard, G Dominique Jones, G Mike Mercer
For the most part the newcomers are going to have to take on a really big role on the perimeter or USF will have to play really big. Either way, the pressure is on Shedrick Haynes, Hugh Robertson, LaVonte Dority and Jordan Heath to immediately make an impact. Haynes, a 6-0 point guard, and Robertson, a 6-5 wing, are the likely candidates to play right away since they both spent two years at the junior college level. Dority is a talented point guard as well and will be given the opportunity to compete for a starting job or at least play some quality minutes off the bench. The lone newcomer in the frontcourt is Ron Anderson, a transfer from Kansas State. Anderson did not earn any starts for the Wildcats during the 2008-2009 campaign, but he was an important player off the bench and will add some quality, and experienced, depth to the frontcourt.
Anthony Crater is the only returning guard who played any significant minutes during the 2009-2010 campaign, and Crater was only eligible to play for half the season after transferring in from Ohio State. However, in that time he earned a couple starts and averaged 3.1 points and 1.7 assists. His role will drastically increase this year and even though he has only been at USF a short time he will have to develop into a leader. Crater has the qualities to turn into a great player. He will not likely score too much, but he is a speedster who can create opportunities for his teammates.
Most of the scoring will come the dynamic frontcourt duo of Jarrid Famous and Augustus Gilchrist. Famous averaged 10.4 points and a team high 7.5 rebounds a year ago and is poised for a big senior season. Gilchrist was well on his way to having an all-conference sophomore season. He was averaging 18.8 points per game before spraining his ankle. He missed the next 15 games and returned in mid-February, but was nowhere near as consistent in the scoring column as he was before the injury. Now fully healthy, Gilchrist could become the star of this team, but Famous will have something to say about that. In Gilchrist’s absence, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick was forced into action as a freshman and did an admirable job. Fitzpatrick is not a great scorer at this point in his career, but he is a fine rebounder and the most dangerous shot blocker on the team.
Who to Watch:
Both Haynes and Robertson will likely have to start from day one. That is asking a lot from a couple of junior college transfers who are not proven players at this level. Despite being a point guard, Haynes is also a great scorer and will be comfortable off the ball with Crater running the point. Robertson is the more important piece to the puzzle. The Bulls desperately need help and size on the wing and Robertson will provide just that. The 6-5 wing can do a little bit of everything and he will be asked to do everything right away.
It would be ideal if Fitzpatrick could spend some time at the small forward position, but that would cause some problems on the defensive end of the floor against most opponents. That gives the Bulls some very good depth in the frontcourt, but it also puts a ton of pressure on the newcomers on the perimeter. This is a talented team, but it will take some time before everything comes together and by then they will be in the middle of a tough Big East conference slate.
Projected Post-season Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Anthony Crater, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Shedrick Haynes, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Hugh Robertson, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Augustus Gilchrist, Junior, Forward, 13.4 ppg
Jarrid Famous, Senior, Center, 10.4 ppg
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