We'd been mentioning for a while that the Bulls would likely see some roster turnover this offseason, and the first dominoes just fell. Per Jeff Goodman from ESPN, junior point guard Anthony Collins and freshman forward Dre Clayton will be transferring from USF. Collins, as a graduate transfer, will be immediately eligible at another school, while Clayton will likely have to sit for a season.
Collins' transfer might be a bit of a shock to the system for Bulls fans, especially after he pledged his loyalty to the program following the mass exodus of transfers after Stan Heath was fired. But this was probably the best move for all parties: the Bulls will have uber-talented Maryland transfer Roddy Peters eligible at point guard for the 2015-16 season, and Collins likely saw the writing on the wall that he'd be out of the starting lineup. AC is obviously a talented player, and hopefully he can land somewhere where he can start and perhaps get back to the NCAA Tournament in his final collegiate season.
It feels like ages ago now, but Bulls fans will always remember Collins as the catalyst behind the best men's basketball team in USF history. He took over the starting point guard job in 2011 after Anthony Crater was dismissed and had a marvelous season, leading the offensively-challenged Bulls to the first NCAA tourney wins in school history. It was a remarkable run, as the entire team adopted Collins' slow offensive tempo, remarkable passing skills and tough-as-nails defense. We'd often joke that it wasn't a USF game unless Collins hit the floor at least five times-- he was always diving for loose balls, or snaking through the defense for a teardrop in the lane with only a few seconds left on the shot clock. The impact that he had on that USF team can't be overstated, and he was undoubtedly one of the toughest players I've ever seen in a Bulls uniform.
Between nagging injuries and a skill set that was at odds with the Bulls' more up-tempo offense, Collins was never able to regain his freshman year form. He still put up good numbers in the 2014-15 season, finishing with 7.1 points and 5.2 assists per game. AC's still got a lot to contribute to the right team, even if he doesn't quite fit in at USF anymore.
At 6'6", 245 pounds with a decent shooting touch from deep, Clayton is a fascinating prospect, but he couldn't find his way into the rotation much this season, averaging just 7.7 minutes per game and less than a point per contest. His frame and skill set will likely be tantalizing to a smaller school, and with more minutes he could develop into a really unique player.
We wish nothing but the best for both AC and Dre in all of their future endeavors.