Basketball players to watch this season

Senior guard Sammie Puisis finished fifth in the nation last season in three-pointers. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

As USF men’s basketball looks to begin its rebuild and the women’s squad hopes to continue its conference dominance, there are plenty of new and returning faces to watch this season. 

Here’s some players to look out for:

  Chris Youngblood, senior guard

Youngblood transferred to USF after three successful seasons at Kennesaw State. He is arguably primed for his biggest season yet.

He averaged 14.7 points per game last season, leading the Owls while ranking 13th in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Youngblood was also named to the All-ASUN First Team. 

After the departure of guard Tyler Harris – who led the Bulls in almost every offensive category last season – look for Youngblood to step up and fill that role.

Selton Miguel, senior guard

Miguel ranked third on the Bulls in scoring last season, averaging 10.3 points per game despite only making 11 starts in 30 appearances. 

The former Kansas State transfer, along with junior forwards Sam Hines Jr. and Corey Walker, is one of only three returning players from last year’s roster.

Coach Amir Abdur-Rahim said that he’s challenged Miguel to be a more active leader and positively influence the rest of the roster.

“He can positively impact. He’s met me halfway and he’s done a great job,” Abdur-Rahim said. 

Sammie Puisis, senior guard

The senior guard finished last season as one of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the nation. She ranked fifth in the country with 109 made three-pointers. Puisis was named as the AAC Newcomer of the Year in her first season with the Bulls after transferring from Florida State.

Puisis has already received numerous preseason accolades, including being named to the Becky Hammon Award and Ann Meyers-Drysdale watch lists. This honor is awarded to the nation’s top mid-major player and the nation’s top shooting guard. 

She was also named as a member of the AAC Preseason First-Team.

Bulls coach Jose Fernandez said he thinks Puisis is the best shooting guard in the country. However, he also talked about wanting to diversify her attack this season.

Fernandez challenged Puisis during the offseason to get better at handling the ball and finishing around the basket.

“Those were the biggest things to take her game to the next level,” Fernandez said. 

Carla Brito, sophomore wing

Brito was one of the top freshmen in the conference last season. She was named to the AAC All-Freshman team and received Freshman of the Week honors four times.

Brito averaged 8.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, ranking fourth on the team. Brito and Puisis are looking to lead the team offensively as they hope to guide the Bulls to their fourth straight NCAA tournament bid.