Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rudd leads USF and provides ESPN with highlight reel

Right now Victor Rudd might be the most famous player on a USF men’s basketball team, which is starting to get a lot of attention.

The 6-7 swingman scored all of his 24 points in the second half Wednesday night to lead the Bulls to 64-49 victory over St. John’s. The win gives USF (11-8 overall) a 4-2 Big East Conference, which is their best start since joining the league in 2005.

Rudd knocked down 5 of 7 attempts from beyond the arc, but his so-called “shot heard round the world” (at least ESPN’s world) was a thunderous dunk. It earned him a spot in ESPN’s top 10 highlights for Wednesday night.

The recognition has been a long time coming for Rudd, who transferred to USF from Arizona State. His 24 points was the fifth best total for a half in USF history.

Ironically Rudd missed all five his field goal attempts in the first half, but during warm-ups prior to the second half his shot started to fall and it give him confidence.

"When I got back out there in the second half I made every shot in warm-ups, so I felt good," Rudd said. "To get my first shot off and going from that it gave me a lot of confidence.”

Rudd started off the season strong, then struggled and found himself coming off the bench. It might have provided a spark and no one feels better than Bulls head coach Stan Heath.

"I've seen a change, especially with the attitude, just working and being a more complete player since the New Year," USF head coach Stan Heath said. "Those things that he's doing today, we see that in practice and we're just like, 'Man, I want to see that in a game.' It took him a while and hopefully this is a coming-out party that he'll be consistent like this.”

The Bulls lead the Big East in scoring defense, allowing 57.6 points per game. They are second in rebounding defense and third in 3-point field goal defense (30 percent).

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