On Tuesday afternoon, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com put out a list of the top players in the Big East.
It goes 21 deep, and it is quite confounding. Why? Because there isn’t an overwhelming amount of talent in the Big East next season.
But there is one name that Zagoria missed on his list: Anthony Collins from South Florida.
The diminutive point guard and sophomore-to-be averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 assists while playing some of his best basketball in March. Collins was South Florida’s best player late in the season, leading the Bulls to the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament and to the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament despite playing in the play-in game.
Collins needs to improve his range, but it is his ability to make plays in late-clock situations that is so important to USF’s success. His role for the Bulls is similar to that of Jordan Taylor, formerly of Wisconsin. South Florida’s game-plan is to dribble out the shot clock on every possession and then put the ball in Collins’ hands. Part of the reason he averaged 3.4 turnovers per game last season is that he was asked to do so much despite being a just a true freshman.
And he still managed to lead the Bulls to their best season of the Stan Heath era.
College players make their biggest leap as they go from freshmen to sophomores. Don’t expect any less from Collins.