Preseason picks roll in for the Dons

James Salazar 

Staff Writer

The college basketball season is now just three weeks away, and the West Coast Conference (WCC) has rolled out its annual preseason coaches’ poll. The poll itself consists of votes from the WCC’s 10 head coaches and predicts which teams are favorites for winning the regular season title. 

The USF men’s basketball team came in fifth place, receiving 52 points in total. (A WCC team can accumulate a maximum of nine first-place votes and 81 points.) This year’s fifth-place ranking also marks an improvement from last season’s sixth-place prediction, where the Dons only amassed 40 points. 

10/22/20: USF MBB Headshots and Marketing at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco, CA. Image by Chris M. Leung for USF Dons Athletics

Last season marked the beginning of Todd Golden’s tenure as head coach and saw the Dons finish with a 22-12 overall win-loss record. The Dons went 9-7 in conference play, finishing the season in fifth place. They also made it through two rounds of the WCC’s end-of-season tournament, losing to the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the semifinals by a four point margin. 

Bouyea named to preseason team 

In addition to releasing their preseason coaches’ poll, the WCC also released their picks for the 2020-21 All-WCC preseason men’s basketball team. Preseason team voting is restricted to returning student-athletes, and incoming freshmen and transfers are not eligible for consideration. Senior guard Jamaree Bouyea was the lone Don selected to the five-man team. 

Bouyea recorded a breakout year with his 2019-20 season performance. He started in all 34 games, tying for the eighth most games played in USF single season history. Bouyea also recorded career-highs in minutes played with 1,122 minutes, the sixth most in a single season, and minutes per game with 33 minutes. 

In terms of offense, Bouyea shot 49.2 percent from the field, while finishing second among the Dons’ season-long scoring leaders. He finished 20 games in double digits, including a season-high 23 points in the Dons’ taming of the Brigham Young University Cougars on Jan. 23. 

Team photo of the 2020-21 USF men’s basketball team. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

By the end of the season, Bouyea had scored 412 points, being one of only two Dons to score more than 300 points last year. Averaging 12.2 points per game, Bouyea was also in the top 15 of WCC offensive leaders. 

An unselfish player, Bouyea led the team in assists with an average of 3.5, ranking ninth in the WCC. He also exhibited defensive prowess, finishing third in the WCC in steals per game with 1.6 steals per game. 

Bouyea rounded out his season by being picked for the All-WCC honorable mention team. 

The Dons are still wrapping up their non-conference schedule, but their season will tip off on Nov. 25 with conference play beginning on Dec. 31. 

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