By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The Bulls received some very good news after watching two of their stars suffer scary injuries in Saturday's win over George Mason.
Head coach Stan Heath said Monday that point guard Anthony Collins only has a neck sprain after taking a knee to the head going for a loose ball during the second half of USF's third straight victory at the Sun Dome. Heath also said forward Victor Rudd no longer has symptoms of a concussion after absorbing numerous hits to the head in a very physical 61-57 win.
Collins was carted off the court in a stretcher and taken to the hospital after his injury halted play with 10:30 remaining in the game. Heath said he's day to day but isn't expected to play in USF's road game at UCF 8 p.m. Wednesday in Orlando.
"Obviously any time you come out with paramedics that's serious, so we feel very fortunate," Heath said. "As to when he comes back, we don't know exactly. Wednesday is not out of the question, but I think it's a little questionable or doubtful right now."
Rudd exited Saturday's game with less than a minute to play and was disoriented on the way to bench in what Heath later called USF's "most physical" contest of the season. Rudd attended but did not participate in USF's walkthrough on Sunday but should to be ready to go for the Bulls' battle with the Knights.
"He looked and felt a lot better. We'll see today if he's able to go at practice, I'm not quite sure," Heath said. "I expect him to play in our game against UCF."
Injuries are nothing new to Heath's squad that expects to go without Shaun Noriega (foot) and JaVontae Hawkins (back) in their second game against UCF this season. The Bulls (8-3) started their run off with a 74-56 loss to the Knights Nov. 10 at the Sun Dome.
"It's turning into a rivalry, but it only starts becoming a rivalry if we do our part and that's winning the game," Heath said. "Our guys are focused, we're hungry and it's an important game for us."