By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The Big East has rewarded Jasmine Wynne for her ability to kick it up a huge notch this season.
The senior was named the conference's most improved women's basketball player on Thursday and her numbers speak volumes about the honor. The guard went from averaging 3.4 points per game, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game in 2011-11 to 15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 2.5 assists per game in 2011-12.
Wynne also was named to the All-Big East second team.
"She has had an unbelievable year and I could not be more proud of the player that she has become," head coach Jose Fernandez said. "She has put our team on her back several times this year, and I am glad the conference is recognizing that."
Wynne opted for more jump shots in her first three seasons at USF but has gone to the hoop with authority in 2011-12. She's increased her career shooting percentage from 31 percent to 41 percent this season while leading the Bulls in scoring. That has translated to the free throw line as well with Wynne coming into this season making a combined 82 foul shots in 139 attempts. She's made 100 out of 142 this season for a team that's relied on her heavily while dealing with injuries.
The Jacksonville native has got after it on the defensive end as well and is tied for the conference lead with 2.6 steals per contest after averaging 0.8 before this season.
"She's been our leader on and off the floor, and I couldn't be more proud of her work ethic, her commitment to her team and her game," Fernandez said.
Wynne currently has a streak of 23 straight games scoring in double figures and will look to extend it at noon on Friday. The ninth-seeded Bulls will face No. 16 seed Pittsburgh in the first round of the Big East tournament at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.