TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Having a great three-point shooter on your team can be a game-changer. For the USF Bulls, they’ve found that in Sammie Puisis.
The Florida State transfer not only leads the American Athletic Conference in made threes this season, but also all NCAA Division I players in the country.
“My dad taught me how to shoot when I was really young so I always had the footwork down,” Puisis said. “I kind of played all the positions growing up, then getting out of high school I really became a pure shooter for sure.”
Puisis was one of the top recruits in the country coming-out of high school in Ohio—a McDonald’s All-American, who committed to FSU. After three seasons playing for the Noles, where she led them in three pointers for three-straight seasons, she was ready for a change.
“The three years kind of didn’t go exactly as planned, as I wanted to,” Puisis said. “I really wanted to develop as an individual, as a player. So I kind of did my research. I watched USF. As soon as I talked to Coach Jose [Fernandez] on the phone, I knew this is where I wanted to be.”
Now the 6’1” guard has found a new home, and key role, on Fernandez’s squad.
“You know the three of us—Dulcy (Fankam Mendjiadeu) and El (Elena Tsineke),” Puisis said. “We’ve got a good post, El’s more of a driver, so me being the shooter, we all played really well together in the summer and it was tough to guard.”
It’s been tough to guard this season as well. The Bulls sit atop the AAC at (11-0) and are also undefeated (12-0) at home.
That trio Puisis mentioned, also happens to hold the top three scoring spots in the conference right now– Fankam Mendjiadeu (435), Tsineke (426) and Puisis (417).
Just this past week, Puisis had a career high seven threes against East Carolina, in one of eight games this season that she was the team’s leading scorer.
With things going so well for not only her new team, but also herself individually, Puisis is glad her college career has taken this turn to Tampa.
“We competed with top 25 teams early-on,” Puisis said. “And now, being undefeated in conference. We just put in so much hard work throughout the summer and preseason. I feel myself having developed so I definitely made the right decision.”