One of the biggest reasons that the 2013/2014 San Francisco Dons look like an improved team is the addition of Matt Glover. The 6’5 Glover was a key player at Penn State his sophomore season before deciding to transfer to USF. Like many student-athletes at Penn State, Glover wanted to leave State College because of the darkness that the Sandusky scandal brought upon Penn State. Glover’s mother also had health issues back in California which made living in Pennsylvania less desirable than originally thought.
“He wanted to come back closer to home,” his mother, Nancy Willson, told CBS Sports, “so he could be closer to his family and we could see him more.
Glover was supposed to join De’End Parker as the answer to the Dons problems last year. However, the NCAA denied Glover’s waiver request and he was forced to sit out last year.
“Glover brings the toughness that we didn’t have last year. We were really hoping he could play last year because we thought we would be pretty good with Glover on the team. He is a guy who can impact the game without scoring and when he scores we can become really really good,” said head coach Rex Walters after the Cleveland State game.
This season it looks like the Dons have seven legit double digit scoring options which makes an unselfish player like Glover so important for the team. In the first half of the Cleveland State game on Wednesday, Glover was playing like the best player on the court. Not only was Glover playing shutdown defense but he passing the ball around like a point guard.
“Defense is all about effort, anybody can go out there and play defense because effort is half the battle. Night to night this conference has so many good players so I have to know the scouting report and lock them down defensively,” explained Glover about his defensive play this season.
Last season, the Dons probably would have lost to Cleveland State after they fell behind by 10 points in the second half. However, Glover never kept fighting and he began to get into the heads of the Cleveland State guards. Even though Glover was in foul trouble he never stopped playing hard on defense. Glover finished the Cleveland State game with three steals including one that went for a breakaway dunk.
“Glover has been huge for us defensively. He’s kind of like Darrell Revis where you can put him on an island against any guy and he can take care of him defensively. He also gives us extra possessions by putting his nose on the ball and by rebounding,” said Rex Walters.
Expect the USF Dons to be in the competition to win the WCC title this year. If Matt Glover can keep up his torrid pace he can help the Dons go farther than any team from the Hilltop in recent memory. The Dons are equipped with two star seniors in Cody Doolin and Cole Dickerson and a plethora of solid players who can put the Dons into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.
“I think we have a chance to be a solid team overall this year. I feel that this team gels well together, our chemistry is there because we have all the players coming back unlike previous years. We have a chance to be really good and compete in this conference,” exclaimed Glover.