#18 South Florida Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

South Florida Bulls

Overall Rank: #18
Conference Rank: #2 American
South Florida Women's Basketball

South Florida Team Page


Patience is paying off for the South Florida athletic department administration with its women’s basketball program under the direction of head coach Jose Fernandez. The Bulls over the last three seasons have won an average of 24 games per season and have been to the NCAA Tournament twice in that time frame. They also have benefitted from the move to the American Athletic Conference and have established themselves as the number two team in the league right behind Connecticut and are a threat again to win 20 plus games and go back to the NCAA Tournament.

2014-15 Record: 27-8, 15-3
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jose Fernandez
Coach Record: 261-216 at South Florida, 261-216 overall

For the Bulls to make another run back to the NCAA Tournament, it is going to start at the defensive end of the court. Last season South Florida did a nice job of limiting opponents to just over 35 percent shooting from the floor. This, combined with an ability to consistently win the rebounding battle, is going to allow the Bulls to be competitive in just about every game they play. South Florida also brings back plenty of experience, led by Courtney Williams in the backcourt. Williams averaged 20.3 points per contest and is the type of player that can put a team on her back offensively and win a tight game. Forward Alisia Jenkins is back as well and she will be looking to build upon her double-double averages from last season. Jenkins also did a nice job of not wasting shots as she made over 53 percent of her shots from the floor last season. This duo is going to keep opposing coaches on their toes all season long because if you focus too much on Williams that will leave Jenkins open down low to cause plenty of havoc.

The inability to deal with bigger, stronger and more athletic teams like Louisville was the undoing of the Bulls in the NCAA Tournament. It led to too many turnovers and second chance opportunities for the Cardinals. The continued development of players like junior center Katelyn Weber and forward Laura Ferreira will help address these issues this season. If Ferreira can get her scoring average into double figures, that will really force opposing defenses back on their heels as South Florida would have three very viable scoring options.

Final Projection:
The schedule has a great balance to it as a whole for the Bulls. A trip to St. John’s on November 29th will be a tricky one as the Red Storm are a contender for the Big East title this season. Penn State visits on December 6th, along with Oklahoma State on December 20th before a neutral site game against a very talented Mississippi State team on December 30th in Jacksonville. Then, in the middle of February, South Florida will get another shot at Louisville in a rematch of the NCAA Tournament from last season. UConn visits early on in conference play on January 10th and it will be crucial for the Bulls to play well even if they lose to the Huskies. If this team stays healthy, they have more than enough experience to get back to the NCAA Tournament and possibly make the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Courtney Williams, Senior, Guard, 20.3 points per game
Laura Marcos Canedo, Junior, Guard, 1.4 points per game
Alisia Jenkins, Senior, Forward, 12.8 points per game
Laura Ferreira, Sophomore, Forward, 7.8 points per game
Katelyn Weber, Junior, Center, 3.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.3 (46th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.7 (69,3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.1 (73,3)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.8 (19,2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  5.8 (127,5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.3 (90,4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (55,1)
Rebound Margin: 7.9 (19,2)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (184,7)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.7 (94,3)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#19 Courtney Williams


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