Brad Posted March 17, 2014 Group: Admin Topic Count: 12,940 Content Count: 92,157 Reputation: 8,543 Days Won: 399 Joined: 05/19/2000 Share Posted March 17, 2014 Heath fired, future of menâ€™s basketball in air By Vinnie Portell, CORRESPONDENT Published: Monday, March 17, 2014 Updated: Monday, March 17, 2014 01:03 USF announced menâ€™s basketball coach Stan Heath had been fired after a seven-year tenure with the team, 72 hours after USFâ€™s new athletic director, Mark Harlan, was hired. The Bulls have only managed 12 regular season wins in each of the past two seasons with no postseason tournament invitations. This season ended with a 72-68 loss to Rutgers in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament. Harlan will lead the search for a replacement for Heath, who has a 97-130 record while at USF and will receive a payment of $1.5 million over the next four years. USF began the year on a positive note, winning eight of its first 10 games despite junior guard Anthony Collinsâ€™ struggles with a knee injury. However, the teamâ€™s fortunes quickly took a turn for the worse as it hit conference play, where the Bulls finished with a 3-15 record â€“ losing their last nine games. Senior forward Victor Rudd offered insight as to why the team only won three conference games this season. â€œAlmost every new guy at the beginning of the season was playing well and they thought it was going to be easy coming down the stretch,â€ Rudd said. â€œThey donâ€™t understand that those are the easy teams. Those are the teams weâ€™re supposed to blow out every game and they thought it was going to be like that coming into conference.â€ While the teamâ€™s lack of success can be pinned on three inexperienced freshmen shouldering too much of the load coupled with the season-long absence of one of the teamâ€™s best players, it canâ€™t be ignored that the Bulls finished last in the conference. After the defeat to Temple on March 8, which dropped USF to last in the AAC, Heath admitted he knew winning is what the fans want. â€œI understand winning, people want to win,â€ Heath said. â€œBut itâ€™s a process and you have a lot of young guys who are playing. Theyâ€™ve never been here before. This time last year, they were playing AAU basketball and thatâ€™s the recipe for tough games.â€ Heathâ€™s dismissal is something fans have been calling for on Twitter for weeks, but Rudd and senior guard Martino Brock said they believe the critics donâ€™t realize how difficult their coachâ€™s job has been. â€œI donâ€™t think people understand how hard it is to coach young guys and new guys,â€ Brock said. â€œI think people take that for granted. They didnâ€™t know how hard this conference was. Junior college and high school doesnâ€™t simulate this, so people donâ€™t know how hard it is for Coach Heath to show them and draw a picture of what theyâ€™re going to see on Game Day.â€ The freshmen on the team had challenges transitioning into the college game, but the pressing question is if they will decide to stay with the Bulls now that their coach is gone. These players were recruited to play for Heath, and since he is no longer with the team, transferring could arise as an appealing option to some players. No players have commented on transferring yet, but it is a possibility, especially for guard Josh Heath, the coachâ€™s son. Josh was asked last week what he would do if his father wasnâ€™t coaching for USF next year and he gave a noncommittal response. Rest of Story Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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