#27 South Florida Women's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

South Florida Bulls
Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #1 American
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South Florida took advantage of UConn’s move to the Big East and won their first ever American Athletic Conference title. Overall, the Bulls went 19-4 and earned an eight seed in the NCAA Tournament. Following a victory over Washington State, USF fell 79-67 to top seed North Carolina State. With their top six scorers returning and some more experience coming from the transfer portal, this could be the year Coach Jose Fernandez finally leads his team to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
2020-21 Record: 19-4, 12-2
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jose Fernandez
Coach Record: 391-275 at South Florida, 391-275 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Kristyna Brabencova, Wing, 4.2 ppg
Beatriz Jordao, Center, 2.7 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Elena Tsineke, Sophomore, Guard, 13.6 ppg
Sydni Harvey, Junior, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Elisa Pinzan, Junior, Guard, 10.3 ppg
Bethy Mununga, Senior, Forward, 9.6 ppg
Maria Alvarez, Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Shae Leverett, Senior, Center, 4.4 ppg
Mihaela Lazic, Freshman, Guard, 1.8 ppg
Cristina Bermejo, Sophomore, Wing, 1.3 ppg
Sara Guerreiro, Freshman, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key New Players
Odeth Betancourt, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Memphis
Bella Weary, Freshman, Guard
Patience Williams, Freshman, Forward/Center, JC Transfer
Aerial Wilson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Memphis
Elena Tsineke, Sydni Harvey and Elisa Pinzan provide USF with plenty of scoring threats on the perimeter. Following her AAC Freshman of the Year season in 2019-2020, Tsineke had another very good campaign in 2020-2021. She led the Bulls with 13.6 points per game and proved to be a dynamic scorer who can finish around the basket. Harvey was the team’s most prolific three-point shooter and averaged 11.7 points per game. Pinzan runs the show and dished out 6.5 assists per game. Like nearly everybody else on this team, she is a threat to hit the long ball and that often creates the space she needs to attack the basket and finish herself or find a teammate. Speaking of shooters, Maria Alvarez is a great shooting threat off the bench and hit over 49 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Point guard Aerial Wilson started two seasons at Memphis and will be a great secondary option to Pinzan. Bethy Mununga anchors the frontcourt and the 6-0 senior easily led the team with 12.9 rebounds. She is a quality interior scorer too and can even occasionally stretch the defense with her shooting ability. Shae Levertt started beside Mununga last season and is solid on the defensive end. Coach Fernandez needed to get some depth in the frontcourt and he picked up three forwards with experience. Odeth Betancourt and Patience Williams come from the junior college ranks and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu comes from Memphis where she averaged 14.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks as a sophomore last year. With that experience and talent added to the frontcourt, South Florida has more than everything they need to win another AAC title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.4 (150th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.4 (16, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (281, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.4 (17, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (55, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.4 (195, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (120, 1)
Rebound Margin: 8.3 (16, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (52, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (42, 2)