Bulls try to extend road streak, make up for Collins
Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014
Updated: Thursday, January 9, 2014 01:01
Even though USF (9-6, 0-2) has won only one of its last five games, the Bulls will look to set a school record as they travel to Temple tonight. USF has never started the season 4-0 in true road games. tonight gives USF that opportunity.
Generally, sports teams thrive at home behind the support of fans, but the Bulls have been more successful away from the Sun Dome this season. While USF coach Stan Heath is pleased with the team’s road success, he said he isn’t sure why it’s happening.
“I wish I could put my finger on it,” Heath said. “I hope the success continues because we need this win against Temple, it’s a big game for us.”
Though Heath may not be able to figure it out, junior guard Corey Allen Jr. said he has a pretty good idea.
“We come together more on the road because we know we’re all we got,” Allen said. “It’s just us, nobody else. We don’t have fans on the road.”
A win against Temple would not only help the Bulls get out of their losing ways, but it would also give them their first conference win of the year. So far this season, USF hasn’t lost three straight games. All of its losses have come in pairs.
The Bulls may work better on the road, but after the status of junior guard Anthony Collins’
injury was announced, it could be harder to nab that first win in the American Athletic Conference.
Collins will not be traveling with the team to Temple, after he was re-evaluated Monday evening for his knee injury that has kept him off the court for close to two weeks.
There is no set timetable for Collins’ return at this point. Because of his limited play, Collins is currently eligible to redshirt the season for medical reasons.
Heath said the main focus of the week is for the Bulls to work on improving their turnovers and transition defense in an attempt to help make up for the loss of Collins.
“I’d like to see us cut down our turnovers. I think there’s a key stat — points off turnovers,” he said. “Earlier in the season we were winning that and forcing the other team into mistakes.”
In the past five games, USF has allowed 18.4 points to be scored off turnovers. In those games, USF has only scored more points off turnovers than their opponents once.
The Bulls take on the Owls at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and WatchESPN.