Get familiar with men’s and women’s basketball’s new faces

Senior forward Keyshawn Bryant is just one of the new faces for the men’s basketball team that could potentially make an impact this season. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

The 2022-23 basketball season is set to tip off in a few weeks, and both the men’s and women’s rosters acquired new talent during the offseason.

Men’s basketball’s set of recruits and transfers could help the Bulls remedy their well-documented struggles on the offensive end last season. 

For women’s basketball, their recruits could help bolster their depth as they look to maintain their position as one of the top competitors in the AAC this season. 

Here’s a look at a few players on each squad that could make an impact in the new season. 

Men’s basketball

Senior guard Tyler Harris 

Senior guard Tyler Harris transferred from Memphis and brings his blend of three-point shooting, playmaking and veteran presence to South Florida. 

Harris has played five seasons of collegiate ball and last season averaged 8.8 points per game on career-high field goal shooting 40.4% and three-point shooting, 39.4%. He most notably helped the Tigers make the NCAA tournament for the first time in eight years in 2022.

Putting up those numbers in just 18 minutes per game, Harris could be productive if given the opportunity to produce a larger role. Coach Brian Gregory was enthusiastic when signing him, that the systems and plays USF runs could help show more facets of his game.

“In games that [Harris] played 21 minutes or more, he averaged almost 17 points per game. [Harris] is just one of those guys that has a knack for making big and exciting plays,” Gregory said. “I think in terms of our system and style he’s going to be a great fit.”

Freshman guard Ryan Conwell

When announcing the signing of Ryan Conwell, Gregory raved about the freshman guard’s skillset.

“Ryan is a multidimensional guard. He is one of those guards that can distribute, create plays for other people and does a great job of scoring the basketball with a tremendous range from the three-point line and out,” Gregory said.

“At 6-feet-4-inches tall and 200 pounds, [Conwell] brings the physical presence on the defensive end that has been so important in our program on the perimeter with our defensive intensity.”

In his senior season at Pike High School, Conwell averaged 22.7 points per game and finished his prep career with 1,083 points. He also shot 34% from distance during his high school career.

It is up in the air how much time he will get as a true freshman, but if his shooting translates to the college game, he could play a big part in giving the Bulls’ offense much-needed spacing.  

Senior forward Keyshawn Bryant

Like Harris, senior forward Keyshawn Bryant comes into the mold with loads of experience playing in the SEC for four years at South Carolina.

What immediately pops out with Bryant is his frame, standing at 6-feet-6-inches tall and 190 pounds, and his athletic prowess. He uses his physical gifts to score on all three levels. Gregory highlighted how adaptable Bryant’s game is.

“Keyshawn has great versatility on the offensive end and he’s tremendous in the open court. He uses his athletic ability to score off the bounce, attacking the basket from the mid-range and is a three-point shooting threat,” Gregory said. 

“He’s tremendous on the offensive glass and gives us the ability to make offensive action from a lot of different areas”

Gregory is also optimistic about Bryant’s defensive upside. He totaled 24 block shots and 23 steals last season.

“Defensively with his great speed, athletic ability and length, Keyshawn affects the game in a lot of different areas. He’s tremendous at weak side help, blocking shots and very good at using his length to get deflections and steals,” Gregory said. “His defense will help create more offense for us as we turn those turnovers into transition baskets.”

Bryant possesses a two-way skillset that could help him hit the ground running as one of USF’s most impactful players.

Women’s basketball

Freshman wing Carla Brito

Freshman wing Carla Brito is one of the multiple Bulls to compete in the FIBA European Women’s Championship over the summer. She is also one of two players on the Bulls roster to compete for Spain’s U18 National Team over the summer

During that time, Brito averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game on over 50% during the tournament and the freshman wing’s play propelled Spain to the championship game against Lithuania.

Throughout the event, Brito showed that she plays well in big games and has the potential to be an efficient scorer in the NCAA. This skill could be helpful to a USF basketball team which is expected to go far in the conference tournament.

Freshman guard Priscilla Williams 

After being redshirted due to an injury last year, freshman guard Priscilla Williams is somewhat of an enigma for the Bulls roster. However, there is room to be hopeful of her upside because of how effective she was the last time she played.

In the 2020-21 season, Williams averaged 8.7 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game as a true freshman at Syracuse. She also did this with superior three-point shooting.

Williams shot 37% from three-point range on decent volume shooting over four attempts per game. This included a performance where she tied a Syracuse program record for threes made in a game with eight.

Depending on how involved Williams is in the early get-go, she could carve a role in USF’s lineups as a floor spacer and give the team more depth at the guard spot.

Freshman forward Daniela Gonzalez

Freshman forward Daniela Gonzalez’s game is multifaceted. At the forward spot, she has shown the ability to score and rebound. In her senior season, she averaged 16 points and 6 rebounds per game last year.

Along with those skills, Gonzalez is quite engaged defensively. The freshman forward has shown she is bought in on that end of the floor, particularly when blocking shots. While competing for Colombia in the FIBA South American Women’s Championships this summer, she averaged around one block a game.

Gonzalez’s next step is to expand her shooting beyond the arc. Over five games in the South American Women’s Championships, Gonzalez shot 23% on 26 attempts. She does show a willingness to take them, it is just a matter of them falling more consistently.