Welcome to a special edition of Bulls Recon! Before tonight's big game against Villanova, ESPN analyst Tim Welsh was nice enough to answer a few questions about the USF program before the game against the Wildcats tonight. Tim has called a few USF games this season, and gives us his thoughts on Anthony Collins, what it will take for USF to make the NCAA Tournament, and of course Big East expansion.
1. How surprised are you that USF is sitting tied for 5th after this weekend's slate of games?
USF’s success is not surprising at all. Most people in college basketball felt that Stan Heath had his program on the right path as he is a proven winner. His recruiting has been consistent and usually it takes five seasons to build a program the right way, which Stan is doing.
2. Anthony Collins has been one of the big surprises in the conference with his ability to step in and excel in the Big East. What's impressed you the most about Collins from watching him this year?
Anthony Collins has without a doubt been a big factor in USF's success because of his decision making and ability to run a team, which has been a weakness for them in past seasons.
He doesn't attempt to do too much but is just solid and heady on both ends of the floor. The most impressive part of Collins’ game may be his maturity as he plays the game with tremendous poise for a freshman.
3. At 15-10, the Bulls seem to be working themselves on the bubble. How many wins will it take for the Bulls to sneak in and grab one of the last at large spots?
They are moving and trending to the positive side of the bubble . The BIG EAST is not as strong as a year ago so getting to 12 BIG EAST wins would put them in a great spot. Eleven wins in the league would be close, but they might need a win in the BIG EAST Tournament to feel comfortable. A win over Syracuse in their upcoming game clearly slides everything in their favor.
4. What are your thoughts on the new Big East from a basketball perspective? Memphis should be able to slide in and compete immediately, but I fear that UCF, SMU, and Houston will struggle to adjust when they join in 2013.
The new BIG EAST will be fine. It was a great move to bring Memphis along with the others. UCF, SMU and Houston all have terrific coaches that will continue to move their programs forward and make great strides as they recruit with the BIG EAST name.
5. What are your thoughts on the future of the program? With the new facilities and one of the best recruiting classes USF has had in a long time, can the Bulls sustain this type of success over the next few years?
USF is making all the right moves. From supporting and staying with Stan Heath to all they have done facilities wise, this program will continue to grow into a national power. The administration should be applauded for investing in the program while being patient and doing things the correct way.
Thanks again to Tim for taking time out of his busy schedule for answering our questions.