TAMPA ― The conference accolades continued Tuesday for USF, as redshirt junior point guard Laquincy Rideau was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
The recognition may not end there. Bulls 6-foot-8 rookie Alexis Yetna (11 double-doubles) is considered a favorite for the AAC Freshman of the Year award, which will be announced Wednesday.
Rideau, a Gardner-Webb transfer who sat out the 2017-18 season per NCAA transfer rules, becomes the first player in program history to win a league defensive player-of-the-year honor. On Monday, he and sophomore David Collins were announced as third-team picks on the coaches All-AAC squad.
Arguably the primary catalyst in USF’s stunning turnaround (from 10-22 to 19-12), Rideau’s 80 steals (2.9 per game) are a Bulls single-season record, and his 10 at Temple on Jan. 12 tied USF’s single-game mark. He also leads the AAC in assists (5.5 per game) and ranks second on the team with 12.9 points.
He has missed the last two games with a lingering injury to his right foot (which he fractured two summers ago), but Coach Brian Gregory said he had an encouraging workout Monday but still isn’t “full-go” in practice.