Point guards are often called the quarterbacks of basketball teams. They run the offense, dictate tempo and feed passes to the open man.
South Florida Bulls coach Stan Heath believes point guard Anthony Collins is so vital to his team’s success that he’s treating him like a star quarterback. Heath recently said he considers Collins the best point guard in the Big East Conference. That’s why the coach isn’t taking any chances with his sophomore who is nursing a minor injury.
“Collins is cleared to go, but I’ve been very cautious with him,” said Heath. “I treat him almost like a quarterback. I put the red shirt on him and tell everybody… I tell all the guys don’t come close to him. Don’t touch him.”
Heath has limited Collins play in practice, but expects him to play in the Bulls exhibition against Eckerd College, Nov. 5.
As with any team with a good quarterback, USF’s season could hinge on the play of the backup. Heath believes junior guard Martino Brock fills that role. Brock sat out a year after transferring from South Alabama.
“He will be a very very important player for us,” said Heath. “He’s an outstanding rebounding guard. He’s an outstanding defensive guard. He can take ball handling pressure away from Anthony Collins and create more of an up tempo penetrating style…. He really attacks the rim, he can make plays.”
Heath is counting on Brock and Collins to pick up the pace this season and usher in more offense for the Bulls. For that he’ll need his star quarterback.
“I don’t think there’s any reason why he shouldn’t be 100 percent go,” said Heath. “He’s so intelligent out there on the court that he knows what he’s doing and he can come back and not really miss a beat.”
Merlisa covers Georgetown and Big East basketball. Follow her on Twitter: @merlisa