Ten days ago, the USF men’s basketball team had four point guards on its roster. Today, only one is left. Of the group consisting of starter Anthony Crater and backups Shedrick Haynes, Mike Burwell and LaVonte Dority, only Dority remains.
Haynes started the exodus when he transferred to Division II Tarleton State University on May 9. USF was Haynes’ third school, following stops at Manatee Community College and Lackawanna Community College. He averaged just 1.1 points per game, playing insignificant minutes as a junior.
Burwell was next to exit, completing a transfer to Towson University in Baltimore on May 13. Burwell played in all but two of USF’s 33 games last season, averaging 8.1 minutes but less than two points per contest. Burwell will sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules before having two seasons of eligibility with the Tigers.
The point guard group was further thinned Monday with the announcement that Crater had been dismissed from the program for violating team rules. According to CBSSports.com, that violation was a third failed drug test.
“I am disappointed for Anthony,” coach Stan Heath said in a statement. “He is a good young man who made a number of positive contributions to our program, but he made some mistakes and was unable to meet our team’s standard. I am hopeful he will learn from this experience and achieve great things in the future.”
Crater led the team in assists and was the star of USF’s memorable 70-69 upset of Villanova in the first round of the Big East tournament in Madison Square Garden – the first-ever victory by a No. 15 seed in the tournament. In that game, Crater had a steal and four points in the final 22 seconds to earn the win, including the game-winning layup with 5.1 seconds left.
Crater’s college basketball career has been filled with off-court issues. While at Ohio State prior to his transfer, he reportedly failed a drug test. Soon after arriving in Tampa, Crater was arrested with former teammate Mike Mercer for possession of marijuana, though charges were later dropped.
After sitting out a season because of the transfer, Crater’s USF debut was further delayed by six games because of a suspension that resulted from a second failed drug test.
In April 2009, Crater was one of the primary suspects, along with two other teammates, in the theft of $7,760 worth of property from another teammate. Charges were never filed, but Crater did confess to mistakenly taking the items.
Without Crater, Burwell and Haynes, USF will turn to incoming point guards Blake Nash and Anthony Collins to join Dority in the backcourt. Nash is a transfer from Williston State College, while Collins comes from Westbury Christian School in Houston.
Wide receiver Chris Dunkley attended classes Monday at USF, completing his transfer from the University of Florida.
Dunkley was rated as a five-star prospect when he left powerhouse Pahokee High School and signed with UF. He also considered scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia, Miami, West Virginia and Michigan. He was the No. 8 wide receiver in the 2010 recruiting class, according to Scout.com.
After sitting out the upcoming season, Dunkley will have three years of eligibility with the Bulls.