Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
In a complete change of pace from last season, expect the South Florida Bulls to play an up-tempo brand of basketball this year.
The South Florida Bulls, a year after earning their first-ever NCAA tournament wins with a defensive, grinding style, will look to completely flip the script this season, according to head coach Stan Heath. Via The Tampa Bay Times:
"We had a nice formula for success last year. Now we have to tweak it. We don't have a choice. We have to play more of a speed game. That's how our team is built. It's going to be different, but we still have to guard. I think our scores will be up higher."
Last season, the Bulls averaged just 59 points a game, the lowest in the Big East conference. However, the plodding style of play earned South Florida 22 wins and its first NCAA tourney berth in 20 years. Heath is adjusting the team's attack this season due to a lack of true big men and a plethora of perimeter scorers, all complementing returning point guard and star Anthony Collins.
As a freshman, Collins was the difference between an NIT berth and an NCAA berth for Heath's squad. He drained clutch free throws to beat Cincinnati in a key conference matchup, drove the length of the floor to beat Rutgers and scored 17 points to beat Villanova in a Big East tournament game that likely got USF off the tournament bubble.
South Florida has a great chance to start the year strong, leaving the state only once in 12 non-conference matchups.