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Freshman Collins to make first start at VCU

Posted Nov 28, 2011 by Adam Adkins

Updated Nov 28, 2011 at 07:16 PM

University of South Florida freshman point guard Anthony Collins will make his first career start Wednesday night at VCU, Bulls men’s basketball coach Stan Heath said Monday.

Collins has appeared in the Bulls past two games and has fared very well. He had four points, six assists, two steals and one turnover in 21 minutes during his collegiate debut against Georgia Southern, then followed with 12 points, seven assists, four steals and just two turnovers in 27 minutes of action in a USF win Saturday over Florida Atlantic.

Heath envisions Collins being a 30-plus minute per game player once completely healthy, which he says is near, but he’s ready to insert him into the starting lineup now in place of sophoore LaVonte Dority, who started at point guard in the Bulls’ first seven games.

“He just has the ability to get in places you don’t think he can get to, and then he makes a play out of something that looks like there’s nothing there,” Heath said. “Even as a coach you sit there and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t see that.’ He is impressive.”

Heath also said that sophomore Blake Nash will slide into the starting spot at the two-guard position for Wednesday’s game.

“We’re 5-0 when we don’t turn the ball over ... and when you put Blake at the two and you have two ball-handlers out there, it really helps you protect and take care of the ball and make plays,” Heath said. “So I really like the two (point) guard lineup. It some ways it affects us defensively, but I think the plusses outweigh the minuses. So until I see maybe what I need to see from some of the other guys, I’m going to go with that lineup.”

Senior forward Augustus Gilchrist, who has missed the past two games with a left shoulder injury, is questionable for Wednesday’s game against VCU, but Heath said Gilchrist should play Saturday at Kansas.

Also, injured guard Jawanza Poland, who has been out with a back injury, will undergo tests Tuesday in an effort to get cleared medically. If that happens, Poland will serve the NCAA-mandated two games suspension for his participation in a non-sanctioned summer league this week and return to action next week.

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