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Heath: Collins is best Big East PG

Posted Oct 17, 2012 by Joey Johnston

Updated Oct 17, 2012 at 10:05 AM

University of South Florida men’s basketball coach Stan Heath was pleased that sophomore point guard Anthony Collins was selected to the All-Big East Conference preseason second team by the league’s coaches.

Heath said he also thinks Collins deserves more notice.

“I think the truth will come out by the end of the season,’’ Heath said Wednesday by telephone from Big East media day in New York. “I think he’s the best point guard in our league. I guarantee you nobody wants to play against him.’’

Collins, the catalyst behind USF’s 22-14 season and its first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years, was a Big East All-Rookie Team pick as a freshman. Slowly, Collins is gaining more national notice, a byproduct on USF’s on-court success. Heath loves the attention for his player.

Collins’ reaction?

“It doesn’t even matter to him,’’ Heath said. “He’ll just shrug his shoulders, then go get some candy and Kool-Aid. He’s so unfazed by these things. I think he’s very focused on the job at hand and very unaffected by all the bells and whistles. He just wants to win.’‘

USF received unprecedented respect by getting picked for eighth in the 15-team league by the conference coaches – its highest preseason selection since joining the Big East in 2005-06.

“It’s a good thing,’’ said Heath, whose team was picked 14th in last year’s preseason poll. “You like to get some notice. At the same time, we were (tied for) fourth last season and we believe we’re capable of challenging (for the title). So we have a lot to shoot for.’’

Louisville was the unanimous choice at No. 1, receiving 14 of the 15 first-place votes (coaches aren’t permitted to vote for their own team).

Heath, Collins, senior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and junior forward Victor Rudd Jr., represented USF during the media day at the New York Athletic Club.

Big East Coaches Preseason Poll

1. Louisville (14), 196

2. Syracuse, 175

3. Notre Dame (1), 166

4. Cincinnati, 152

5. Georgetown, 136

6. Pittsburgh, 132

7. Marquette, 121

8. USF, 96

9. Connecticut, 83

10. St. John’s, 73

11. Rutgers, 63

12. Villanova, 61

13. DePaul, 48

14. Seton Hall, 42

15. Providence, 31

(first-place votes in parenthesis)

Preseason Player of the Year

Peyton Siva, Louisville

Preseason Rookie of the Year

Steven Adams, Pittsburgh

Preseason All-Big East First Team

Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati, G, Jr.

Otto Porter, Georgetown, F, So.

Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C, Jr.

Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, F, Sr.

Vincent Council, Providence, G, Sr.

Preseason All-Big East Second Team

Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, Jr.

Cleveland Melvin, DePaul, F, Jr.

D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s, G, So.

Anthony Collins, USF, G, So.

Brandon Triche, Syracuse, G, Sr.

Preseason All-Big East Honorable Mention

Chane Behanan, Louisville, F, So.

Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, G, Jr.

Tray Woodall, Pittsburgh, G, Sr.

C.J. Fair, Syracuse, F, Jr.

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