AAC Preview: Get to Know the Players and Coaches Who Will Lead the League This Season

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USF Sets Sights on Tourney’s Second Weekend and Beyond

USF has been one of the league’s top performers over the past few years with multiple visits to the NCAA Tournament.  This year, Head Coach Jose Fernandez feels like they have all the ingredients to go further in the tourney than ever before including great depth, national team experience for several of the international players and “one of the best non-conference schedules in the country.”

He also has two of the leagues big stars in Kitija Laksa, an AAC Preseason All-Conference First Team selection and Maria Jespersen, who made the league’s preseason second team.  However, the Bulls are returning four starters and are getting Laura Ferreira back.  “Our starting five is solid,” Fernandez says.

This Year’s Breakout Contributors
Players beyond Laksa and Jespersen are ready to make big contributions.  “Shae Leverett is going to give us an added dimension in the post. Alba Prieto is definitely going to help us in the backcourt. Vanessa Blagmon is going to get time on the wing. Dorottya Nagy can play inside/outside and then in December Alyssa Rader who was the top freshman in the Big Sky Conference two years ago will be eligible.”

Players to Watch

Kitija Laksa — Guard, Junior, 2017-18 Preseason All-Conference First Team, Finished 3rd in the league in scoring, 4th in FT%, 5th in 3-pt% and 2nd in number of made 3-pt field goals
Maria Jespersen — Forward, Senior, 2017-18 Preseason All-Conference Second Team, Finished 11th in the league in scoring, 4th in rebounding, 15th in FT% and 3rd in minutes played

Laia Flores — Guard, Senior, Finished 1st in the league in minutes played and 3rd in assists

The Bulls two regular season games against UConn will be among the most anticipated matches of the year.  They first play in the Sun Dome on January 6 and then collide for the regular season finale in Storrs on February 26.

First Regular Season Game: November 10 versus LSU