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USF star Selton Miguel declares for NBA draft, enters transfer portal

Exactly one month after being recognized on USF’s senior night despite a year of eligibility remaining, rangy Bulls guard Selton Miguel made it clear he plans to move on.

The reigning American Athletic Conference Sixth Man of the Year, Miguel announced via social media Friday that he’s declaring for this summer’s NBA draft with one surprise twist: He’s also preserving his college eligibility and entering the NCAA transfer portal.

College players with eligibility remaining have until April 27 to submit their names for the draft. An early entrant who requests an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee can hire an NCAA-certified agent and retain his eligibility.

Bulls coach Amir Abdur-Rahim indicated after the Bulls’ loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the second round of the NIT that Miguel and 6-foot-10 junior Kasean Pryor — who also had a breakthrough season for USF — would have some options to explore going forward.

“I’ve had a number of scouts call me throughout the year asking about them,” he said, “and we’ll see what the feedback is and we’ll go from there.”

But Miguel’s decision to enter the portal likely will take much of the fan base aback, considering the bond established in the past year between the player and Abdur-Rahim. Both broke down when speaking of each other following the Bulls’ 85-72 win against Tulane in the March 5 home regular-season finale.

“I’ve said this from Day 1, and I’ll say it with him sitting him right here. He knows how much I love him, but man, (Miguel) is the MVP of our team,” Abdur-Rahim said.

“There’s not even a question about it, because he trusted me when he didn’t really have to. “He could’ve bumped up ... but he said, ‘You asked me to it, I’ll do whatever you need me to do, Coach. I got you.’”

Among Abdur-Rahim’s requests for the veteran: coming off the bench after starting 11 games for USF under a different coaching regime the previous season. The 6-foot-4 Kansas State transfer flourished in the role, posting career-bests in scoring (14.7 points per game), 3-point efficiency (71 of 182, 39%) and steals (38) while averaging 3.2 rebounds.

In addition to his sixth-man honor, league coaches also selected Miguel the AAC’s most improved player.

His departure is the most significant of the offseason to this point for USF, which still is expected to return a strong nucleus from a 25-8 team that won the AAC regular-season title. Even if Pryor departs, the Bulls are expected to retain five of this past season’s top nine scorers, including league co-player of the year Chris Youngblood.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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