Tampa, Florida-- The USF Bulls are not exactly lighting up the Big East this year the way they lit it up last year. The Bulls won a dozen league games a year ago, but are off to a sluggish, 1-8 start to this year's Big East schedule.
The close-but-not-close-enough overtime loss to UCONN on Sunday was just another disappointment for the team that expected more success a year after making it all the way to the NCAA tournament.
"What's disappointing to me is I've got veteran guys like Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, Vic Rudd; I've got Jowanza Poland and Anthony Collins- guys who were in those same battles last year and won those games at a high rate," said head coach Stan Heath. "So they've been there, done that. I don't think they've really passed the baton to some of the younger guys of what it really takes to get the job done for 40 minutes."
All four of those players are averaging more minutes per game this season than last, but none of the guys in that veteran quartet are scoring even two points more per game than a season ago. Poland (2.0), Fitzpatrick (1.6), Rudd (1.6) and Collins (0.4) have all increased their scoring but not by much.
"Our whole thing is putting it all together," said Heath. "Let's have everybody going at the same time. Let's not have one or two guys going this day and one or two guys going the next game."
The Bulls are being outscored 63 to 54 in Big East games on average. Heath expects the tide to turn in the last nine games of the regular season.
"Fitzpatrick said it best in the locker room," said Heath, "we have to have amnesia."
The Bulls face Marquette for the second time in two weeks when the Golden Eagles visit the Sun Dome Wednesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.