USF’s Alexis Yetna named AAC Freshman of the Year

The 6-foot-8 forward enters the conference tournament with 11 double-doubles
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times USF forward Alexis Yetna (10), looking to score over Tulane forward Blake Paul (23) in a January game at the Yuengling Center, has been named American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year by league coaches.
OCTAVIO JONES | Times USF forward Alexis Yetna (10), looking to score over Tulane forward Blake Paul (23) in a January game at the Yuengling Center, has been named American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year by league coaches.
Published March 13

The astounding debut season of USF forward Alexis Yetna has culminated with the 6-foot-8 rookie being named American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.

Yetna, who enters this weekend’s AAC Tournament with a league-most 11 double-doubles, is the second Bulls player in as many days to receive a league individual honor. Point guard Laquincy Rideau was named defensive player of the year on Tuesday.

Yetna signed with USF in the spring of 2017, but was sidelined last season by an NCAA eligibility ruling still being challenged by the school. This year, he has emerged as a low-post force, averaging 12.1 points and 9.6 rebounds.

So far, he has 14 double-digit rebounding games, and his 277 boards are the most ever collected by a freshman in USF history.

Related: Leap of faith preceded USF men’s vault to respectability

“For me, he’s like a future all-conference-level player,” said Connecticut coach Dan Hurley, whose club faces USF in Thursday’s 1 p.m. AAC tourney opener.

“Double-double player, plus an ability at the (power forward), can probably guard one through five. He looks like he’s gonna be a good 3-point shooter. He looks like he’s gonna be one of the better (forwards) in our league in the next couple of years.”

A France native, Yetna becomes the second Bulls player ― but the first in 40 years ― to earn such an honor. Jorge Azcoitia was named Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year in 1979.

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