WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Porche Grant
WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Leondra Doomes-Stephens
The BIG Picture
The Bulls are coming off their seventh straight postseason appearance and look forward to an unprecedented eighth postseason bid for the program, and a goal of their second NCAA invite. USF went 15-16 last season, but has had 42 wins over the past two seasons. Under the direction of Jose Fernandez who enters his 11th season with the Bulls, the team should once again be a tough opponent. Six newcomers and four transfers will join the squad this year. Blending in highly touted junior college players with a solid base of underclassmen is always a challenge, but something the program has done regularly.
The Bulls return just two starters off last year’s WNIT team. Those returnees include All-BIG EAST Freshman Team member KaNeisha Saunders and Leondra Doomes-Stephens. Saunders, a guard, averaged 9.6 points and 3.4 assists per game. Doomes-Stephens, also a forward/guard, averaged 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per outing.
With the departure of three starters and six letterwinners, USF will look to reload quickly and maintain its perennial status as a team to be reckoned with. Center Jessica Lawson was unquestionably the heart and soul of the team averaging 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds last season. She also was the only player to start all 31 games. Guard Janae Stokes’ scoring punch also will be missed (12.1 points). Forwards Sequoyah Griffin (9.7 points) and Melissa Dalembert (6.5 points) were solid contributors as well.
USF has signed one of its best recruiting classes in years. National Junior College Player of the Year Andrea Smith and her twin sister Andrell will join the Bulls this season. In addition, USF will have the services of Daleisha Carn (who transferred from Alabama) and Sasha Baker (who transferred from Indiana). Baker will be eligible to play following the first semester.