It's not a traditional powerhouse like Duke or Michigan or UCLA, but for the first time in a long time, South Florida is expected to make the NCAA Tournament. One of the players who will carry the burden of making sure the Bulls meet that expectation is B.B. Waldon. Waldon also faces the task of living up to personal potential. Building on two solid seasons with the Bulls, he hopes to take his own game to another level.
The 20-year-old forward followed a terrific freshman year (during which he averaged 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game) with an even more impressive sophomore campaign. He was second on the team in scoring at 17.3 ppg, while leading the squad with 7.9 rpg.
Waldon was rewarded for his strong play by being named to the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team.
"We're very proud of everything that B.B. has accomplished," says South Florida coach Seth Greenberg. "This honor just proves that our program isn't alone in appreciating what B.B. has done in his short two years at USF. As we enter this year we expect him to have another career season."
In order for Waldon to do that, he must increase his intensity while maintaining control on the court. He has shown a propensity to be overaggressive, which has resulted in careless fouls. During his two years at South Florida, Waldon has fouled out of a game 21 times.
Waldon also faltered late last season, averaging just 13.6 points over his final 16 games after scoring 21.3 points per game during the first 15 contests.
However, Greenberg is still satisfied with Waldon's overall game.
"B.B. can play a four [power forward] or a three [small forward] position, he's an effective rebounder, he's got great hands and he can step out and hit the jump shot."
If the Bulls are to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992, Waldon will have to do that and then some.
-- Jimmy Traina