South Florida Winning With International Players

South Florida has been one of the women's basketball teams that has embraced recruiting internationally. The Bulls signed 6'1" Ariadna Pujol of Spain, one of the top recruits from our International Recruiting Service, for the 2013-14 class. They signed Maria Jesperson, a 6'0″ wing from Denmark, rated by NetScouts Basketball as the top international wing, for the 2014-15 class, as well as 5″11 guard Laura Ferreira of Portugal. Ferriera was one of the top-rated guards in our recruiting service and impressed us all the times we scouted her at the various European Championships she played in. She's been the best youth player from Portugal for the past two years.

South Florida is 18-11 (13-5 AAC) this season as they head into the American Athletic Conference tournament. Inga Orekhova, a 6'2″ senior guard from Ukraine, is a starter and recently scored a career-high 33 points in a win over Memphis. She made six three-pointers in that game and is shooting 35.8 percent from long distance this season. Orekhova is averaging 10.3 points and 4.1 rebounds a game this year.

In her first year in the states, Pujol is playing about 16 minutes a game and figures to join the starting lineup next season. In her limited minutes she's averaging 5.7 points and 2.1 rebounds a game and needs to improve her shooting. She's only connecting on 25.9 percent of her three-pointers and 54.4 percent on her free throw attempts. We feel her shooting will improve as she gets more comfortable with the pace of the American game.

A fellow player from Spain, 5'8" redshirt frosh Laura Marcos Canedo, is averaging 12 minutes per game as a backup point guard (1.2 ppg, 1.5 apg) and averaging close to a 2:1 assist/turnover ratio. A fourth international player, Ivana Vuletic, a 6'3" junior college transfer from Sweden is seeing limited minutes as a backup post.

Jesperson will move into the program next season and likely fill the role that Orekhova is in this season. Look for South Florida to continue to improve as their international players acclimate to the American game.

The top rated guard of the 2013-14 class from NetScouts Basketball's International Recruiting Service is the leading scorer at Kansas State as a frosh. Leticia Romero, another 5'8″ Spanish player, is averaging 14.2 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 39.4 percent on three-pointers as K-State's starting point guard. Romero needs to cut down on her turnovers (over four per game) but overall her first year in the states has been very successful.

More and more international women's players are looking to come to the USA for college. Many are very under-recruited. Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here.

Carl Berman is a Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball. NetScouts Basketball can be followed on twitter here.