Two key players on the South Florida men's basketball team could miss the Bulls next game with injuries. Their immediate futures also appear uncertain with the Big East Conference season looming, less than one week away.
Last Saturday, sophomore guard, Anthony Collins and junior forward, Victor Rudd, left the Bulls game against George Mason after suffering two different injuries in similar fashion.
On Monday, Bulls head coach, Stan Heath, updated each player's condition. Collins suffered a strained neck. Rudd, a concussion.
While Collins appears doubtful for Wednesday night's game at Central Florida, Rudd could be ready, if cleared by the team's medical staff.
With 10:30 to play in the second half Saturday night, Collins lost control of his dribble, then leaned forward to regain possession, his head colliding with the knee of Patriots guard, Sherrod Wright. Collins lay motionless on the Sun Dome floor before paramedics immobilized him on a spine board and stretcher.
"Your first concern is always the welfare of the young man.", Heath said. "You're not quite sure if he's moving or what's bothering him. My mindset was more as a parent than a coach at that time."
The loss of Collins would mark his second stint of lost time already this season. He leads the team in assists per game (7.6) and logs valuable minutes running the Bulls offense.
Rudd suffered a concussion on a similar play later in the game, making his way to the bench where he was treated. Though considered mild, Rudd's concussion continues to cause headaches. He did not practice Monday and will be evaluated each day.
A physical forward, Rudd is second on the team in scoring (11.1 points per game). While Heath thinks Rudd will be ready to play Wednesday night, the final decision will not be his.
"I'm going to certainly use him the way the doctors give me ideas on how to use him and A.C. as well.", Heath said. "If they give him full go, we'll do that. If they say, ‘hey coach, we need to wait another day.', we'll do that."
After Wednesday, the banged up Bulls will have four days to prepare for their Big East Conference opener, set for Sunday against Syracuse, at the Sun Dome.