Both basketball teams tabbed to finish in top half of AAC, 3 Bulls earn preseason honors

Sophomore guard Elena Tsineke was named to the AAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team after being named AAC Freshman of the Year last season. She led the team with 12.4 points per game. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

Months after the basketball postseason was ripped away from them due to COVID-19, both basketball teams are on the verge of starting their seasons again.

Just as last season, both camps were tabbed to finish in the top half of the AAC by the league’s coaches poll.

But for the first time in program history, USF women’s basketball was picked first in a preseason poll. The Bulls were picked as the AAC favorite, snapping UConn’s seven-season streak.

The Huskies left the conference earlier this summer and rejoined the Big East.

USF earned the top spot with 98 points and received eight first-place votes. UCF and Cincinnati were the only other schools to earn first-place votes.

USF men’s basketball received 61 points and was selected fifth in the preseason poll, the second year in a row.

Additionally, three players — two from the women’s team and one from the men’s team — were selected to the preseason All-Conference Second Teams.

Tsineke, Pinzan named to AAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team

Last season, the Bulls had one player representing them in the preseason team — guard Enna Pehadzic.

Now they have a guard duo named to the AAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team — sophomore Elena Tsineke and junior Elisa Pinzan.

Tsineke was last season’s top scorer and averaged 12.4 points per outing in 27 games. She led the conference in free-throw percentage, going 60-of-68 and scored a career-high 25 points in a 99-51 win over Temple on Feb. 9.

She was named AAC Freshman of the Year, third Team All-Conference and to the AAC All-Freshmen Team.

Pinzan averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game in 27 outings and finished as the conference leader in assists per game.

She joined Tsineke on the All-Conference Third Team last season.

Yetna tabbed to AAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team

In spite of missing all of last season with an injury, junior forward Alexis Yetna was picked to the AAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team.

Before missing the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign, Yetna was selected as the 2019 AAC Freshman of the Year after finishing top of the league in rebounds per game with 9.6. He also set a single-season conference record with 346 total rebounds.

Yetna scored 12.3 points per game in 2018-19 and finished with 15 double-doubles.

Coach Brian Gregory provided an update on Yetna on Oct. 13 and said he is no-contact and will be evaluated again in the next couple of weeks.