3-point shot: South Florida on the verge

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
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1. Stan Heath has had quite a run in his career. He was at Kent State for one season and went to the Elite Eight. He landed a big money job in Arkansas and when he got run out of Fayetteville, he landed on his feet at South Florida. It appeared he could be on shaky ground, but now the Bulls are on the verge of a getting a possible NCAA berth. He was named Big East coach of the year Tuesday after winning 12 conference games. The Bulls better beat Villanova Wednesday to ensure the selection committee doesn’t leave out USF.

2. Marquette coach Buzz Williams was genuinely giddy about Jae Crowder being named Big East player of the year. Williams fully grasped the value and all-around play of Crowder as he was the most consistent player for the Golden Eagles. Kevin Jones had a phenomenal season for West Virginia. But it’s hard to give Jones the award since the Mountaineers finished much lower in the standings.

3. It’s odd how some times these seasons come full circle. Detroit was the preseason favorite in the Horizon League but fumbled its way through the season. But Tuesday night, Ray McCallum and his son, Ray McCallum Jr., led the Titans to a convincing road win at Valparaiso to earn the NCAA’s automatic berth. Valpo will at least go to the NIT after winning the regular season. It has been quite a season for Valpo coach Bryce Drew and his family, as his parents Homer and Janet battled cancer. Drew has done a tremendous job coaching that team and deserves plenty of praise for doing so under emotional duress.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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