With the combination of a group of returnees led by Danuel House and a highly regarded recruiting class, at the very least Texas A&M is expected to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time during Billy Kennedy’s tenure as head coach. Sunday afternoon the program added another player capable of helping them, as former USF point guard Anthony Collins committed to Texas A&M.
News of his commitment was first reported by CBSSports.com, and as a graduate student Collins will be eligible immediately for the Aggies.
In his first season after missing most of the 2013-14 campaign with a knee injury, Collins started all 32 games for the Bulls and averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists (2.2 A/T ratio) in nearly 34 minutes of action per contest. More of a distributor than scorer, Collins shot 44.2 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Collins is also a good perimeter defender, and his addition gives the Aggies an experienced player who can get the ball to House (and other offensive options that may emerge) in spots where they can be successful.
Alex Caruso led the Aggies in assists last season, averaging 5.5 per game, and Texas A&M also returns rising sophomores Alex Robinson and Avery Johnson Jr. when it comes to players who can play the point. Bringing in Collins should lead to Caruso, the team’s second-leading scorer at 9.1 ppg, getting more scoring opportunities on the wing opposite House.
With the talent they have, which includes four four-star recruits, Texas A&M should be an NCAA tournament team next season. Whether or not that happens will depend upon how well the pieces mesh together.
South Florida is losing two players to transfer on Monday, including an interesting graduate transfer candidate. Redshirt junior point guard Anthony Collins and freshman forward Dre Clayton are leaving the Bulls. The duo leaving was first reported by ESPN.com‘s Jeff Goodman.
The 6-foot-1 Collins was a starting point guard for the Bulls and played a hand in their 2012 NCAA Tournament appearance. Collins played only eight games due to swelling in his left knee in 2013-14 and was granted a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA. This past season, Collins averaged 7.1 points and a team-leading 5.2 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range.
Since he has already graduated from South Florida, Collins can become immediately eligible at the next school he chooses and likely becomes an attractive option for a team searching for an experienced floor general.
Clayton is a 6-foot-6 freshman who averaged less than a point per game. The native of Orlando struggled to acclimate to The American and only shot 24 percent from the field and 16 percent from 3-point range.
Losing Collins will certainly hurt South Florida next season, but moving on without Clayton shouldn’t be too difficult. In his first season as head coach of the Bulls, Orlando Antigua guided the program to a 9-23 record and 3-15 conference record.
South Florida junior point guard Anthony Collins was granted a medical hardship wavier from the NCAA on Tuesday evening, the program announced via Twitter.
Collins, the Bulls starting point guard, was limited to only eight games during the 2013-2014 season due to swelling in his left knee. The 6-foot-1 floor general averaged 6.9 points, 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game in his shortened season.
“I’m 100 percent and I feel great and I can’t wait to get back on the court,” Collins said in an interview with USF play-by-play announcer Jim Louk last month.
Collins, who was a member of the NCAA tournament team in 2012, graduated this spring and elected to stay at USF rather than gain immediate eligibility at another school. The Bulls were 6-2 in non-conference play with Collins in the lineup. USF stumbled to a last-place finish in the American Athletic Conference with a 12-20 (3-15 AAC) record. In the offseason, Orlando Antigua replaced Stan Heath as head coach.
The return of Collins is a boost for the first-year head coach who saw a handful of players depart the program this offseason, including guards JaVontae Hawkins and Josh Heath, Stan’s son.
As a sophomore, Collins averaged 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. Last season, he was an AAC preseason second team pick.