Spanish star Pujol commits to USF women's hoops
USF women's basketball coach has picked up an eighth and final commitment toward his 2013-14 recruiting class, and it's a big one: Ariadna Pujol, a versatile 6-foot guard from Spain who should be an immediate contributor for the Bulls.
"She's basically the female version of Manu Ginobili. An incredible lefty, a big guard, tall and lanky," said Daniel Prince, who runs Passion Hoops International, a scouting service specializing in European players. "Her strengths are anywhere and everywhere -- she can be a point guard, be a strength on the defensive end and play the wing. She's a very active, all-purpose player."
Pujol, 18, who visited USF last week, chose the Bulls over about 60 schools, with Georgia Tech and Texas her other final choices, Prince said. She's the second Spanish guard to sign with USF in as many years -- Laura Marcos Canedo signed last year and redshirted due to injury but will compete for the starting point guard job this season. Pujol, born in Barcelona, has a wealth of international experience, representing her country in the 2011 under-16 European Championship and the under-18 event last year as well, where she averaged 11.9 points and 3.7 rebounds. She also played in the 2012 FIBA under-17 World Championship for Women.
Pujol's signing will complete a huge recruiting haul for Fernandez -- eight players, offsetting a large senior class. The Bulls lost twin guards Andrea and Andrell Smith, but the other seniors were largely in supporting roles off the bench. The Bulls had their first-ever NCAA Tournament win, then nearly upset California in overtime in the second round.
USF's other incoming signees are guard Tamara Taylor, a national runner-up for junior college player of the year; junior college forward Ivana Vuletic, Florida State transfer forward Kristi Mokube (who will sit out the 2013-14 season), and four other freshmen: guard Trimaine McCullough, forward Jayla King and centers Katelyn Weber and Paige Cashin.