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Women’s basketball faced with roster turnover due to transfer portal

Junior guard Elisa Pinzan led the Bulls in assists in each of her four seasons with the program. She has reportedly entered the transfer portal. ORACLE PHOTO/ALBERTO CAMARGO

After having a season in which it returned nearly its entire roster from the previous year, the question marks are mounting for a USF women’s basketball program that has seen multiple players reportedly enter the transfer portal.

Headlining the group is senior guard Elisa Pinzan, who was listed as one of the best available transfer players by The Athletic.

Pinzan has been a mainstay for the Bulls since she arrived in 2018. She led the program in assists in each season with the team, topping the AAC in assists in her sophomore and junior campaigns with 6.5 per game in the latter.

In addition to her passing accolades, she was voted the conference’s Most Improved Player in 2021 and made that season’s All-Conference Second Team.

Coach Jose Fernandez has depended on Pinzan a lot over the last few seasons as she led the team in minutes played, often keeping her on the court for the full 40 minutes. He’ll miss her experience and leadership if she ultimately decides to leave the program.

Joining Pinzan in the portal are forwards Cristina Bermejo, Odeth Betancourt and guard Sara Guerreiro. 

Guerreiro and Bermejo were often part of the Bulls’ second unit. Bermejo never averaged more than 1.3 points per game, but she played an important role in relief of USF’s starting forwards.

In Guerreiro’s second season, she was seemingly finding her footing with the team. She saw a career-high in minutes played with 159 over the course of the year and would often spell guards Elena Tsineke and Sydni Harvey while they rested on the bench.

Betancourt was a junior college transfer from Panola College and never managed to get herself in the frontcourt mix. She played in just six games this season and played no more than five minutes in any appearance.

Currently, USF has just nine players listed on its 2022-23 roster with other notable absences being Harvey and guard Mihaela Lazic.