The Bulls have changed their lineups several times this year to account for the absence of junior point guard Anthony Collins. Last Thursday at Temple, the team may have found a replacement.
Freshman guard Josh Heath, son of coach Stan Heath, played his first collegiate game at Temple and recorded five assists in 19 minutes. The addition of Josh Heath to the team may allow for the rest of the players to stay in their natural roles. Stan Heath said the team is working on adjusting to these changes this week.
“These next couple days of practice are so important because we’ve tweaked our lineups,” he said. “We’re adding a new piece and just trying to build some things
The team will need to get used to the lineup quickly as they travel to Dallas on Wednesday to face SMU.
Led by coach Larry Brown and receiving votes for the AP Top 25 list, the Mustangs boast an 11-4 record. Brown, who has coached at both the NCAA and NBA levels, won an NBA Finals ring coaching the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and the NCAA championship coaching the Kansas Jayhawks.
Stan Heath is well-aware of Brown’s achievements and abilities as a coach.
“He’s certainly one of the great coaches we have in our game,” he said.
The road game may even give the Bulls an advantage. USF set a school record when it defeated Temple to extend its true road game record to 4-0, excluding the two losses at a neutral site in the Las Vegas Classic. Heath acknowledged his team’s road success and said he hopes they can continue their good fortunes.
“We’ve been playing pretty good on the road and hopefully we have the toughness and resolve to go down to SMU and find a way to get that win too,” he said.
Aside from the new lineup, the Bulls have been focusing on improving their defense, giving up an average of 76.6 points per game over their last three games compared to the 67.2 points they were averaging before that stretch.
“We’re continuing the process of getting our defense better,” he said. “The defense is not where I want it to be.”
The Bulls will take on SMU at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Dallas. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and WatchESPN.