Collins’ big game can’t save the USF Bulls

by Gary Shelton on March 9, 2018 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, general

Collins finished an impressive freshman Year with 30./CARMEN MANDATO

Collins finished an impressive freshman Year with 30./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 2 a.m.

Freshman David Collins's stellar performance couldn't stop the USF Bulls from being eliminated from the American Conference tournament Thursday afternoon.

Collins scored 30, and shot 11 of 13 from the field, but the Bulls fell 79-77. Guard Stephen Jiggetts missed a three-pointer with five seconds to play.

Memphis, which lost to USF 75-51 a week ago, led by as many as 15 before hanging on for a close victory.

"It was a great game," said USF coach Brian Gregory. "Give Memphis a lot of credit, I thought they played with great energy today, shot

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Gregory's first season ended with 10 wins./CARMEN MANDATO

Gregory's first season ended with 10 wins./CARMEN MANDATO

the ball really well, and at the same time give our guys credit for continuing to fight with the effort and the energy. I thought it was just a very well-played game. They got some big baskets from some guys that have made big plays for them all year long in Davenport and Brewton."

Collins scored in double figures in nine of the Bulls' last 10 games.

Jiggets thought his last shot was true./CARMEN MANDATO

Jiggetts thought his last shot was true./CARMEN MANDATO

"Obviously, (he had a ) great game, great aggressiveness, good decision making," Gregory said. "As I said, he could have easily been a Freshman of the Year in our league, showed it tonight. He made me look pretty smart when I said that last week. And at the same time I think having those seniors around him has helped his development. But he's got a chance to be a great player in this league. His best attributes is that he's coachable and he works hard. When you add that to the baseline of talent that he has it's a pretty good combination.

"There will be parts of his game that as he looks back to today and wishes he could do over a couple things, which is what you're supposed to do if you want to be a great player. But he made good play after good play. Obviously one of the biggest one was on the transition where he found Jiggs in the corner, perfectly executed, and it helps when you got guys around you that can make you look good when you make those plays."

The Bulls finished 10-22, including a 3-15 mark in the conference. Gregory was pleased, however, with he way his team finished.

"I think our guys deserve a lot of credit for the way they finished out the year, the toughness that they played with," Gregory said. "We did a good job on the glass, which was something we needed to do. We did a good job in terms of attacking their pressure defense. It's tough, it's a bitter pill to swallow when you're playing pretty good basketball and you want to continue to play and it ends. As I talked about in the last game, we have a lot to build on from some of the stuff we did this year. It's going to be a hard road, but I think we've got the right guys to go there. I think the guys like Jiggetts and the other seniors that are leaving did a great job of setting a really solid foundation."

Jiggetts finished with 16 points. He thought he had a chance with his last shot.

"I actually thought it was going down," Jiggetts said. "It was a line drive, so I thought I was going to hit that, really."

Gregory said the Bulls improved as they went.

"It hurts," Gregory said. "Anytime you lose 22 games, you're not going to be happy. But you got to be able to take a step back and kind of see where we were as a program 11 months ago when I got the job or a little close to 12 months now, and I think we made progress.

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