Selton Miguel on his role at USF, transitioning to Maryland and goals for 2024-25

Maryland basketball saw its two freshmen signees arrive on campus this past week as the rest of the transfers head to campus this upcoming week. Former USF guard Selton Miguel is among the transfer additions for head coach Kevin Willard as the fifth-year guard looks to continue what his cousin, Bruno Fernando, began in College Park years ago. Miguel After spending two seasons at Kansas State, Miguel is coming off a breakout season during his second season at USF where he flourished in a sixth man role while averaging 14.7 points per game, ultimately winning both AAC Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player.

Miguel joined Tampa Florida Pickup Basketball to talk about why his role at USF worked as a senior, transitioning to Maryland and his goals as a Terp.

On what motivated Miguel to transfer from USF

“From the season we had this year, winning games by winning the conference [and we] couldn’t even go to the NCAA Tournament, I just didn’t want to repeat that again. And I mean, I just wanted to go to a power conference and try to make my last year playing in the NCAA. Making my transition to Maryland, it wasn’t hard because I had a cousin that played there already – Bruno Fernando, he plays for the [Atlanta] Hawks. So basically going there, I already knew the coach too. Like the coach that just got a job there, assistant head coach [Kevin Norris], he knew me since I came to the states. He was at UCF, he was recruiting me there but I never ended up going there. So I’ll always maintain that relationship. So right after we played UCF in the NIT, after we beat them, he got a job right there. So as soon as he got a job there, he knew don’t waste [any] time. We need to get him here. And having my cousin that played there, Bruno Fernando, it was just easier. I’m trying to go there to continue his legacy. He’s a legend over there. Everybody knows him. Just coming in [as] the second Angolan [to] play for Maryland, just trying to keep that legacy.”

On how Miguel landed at USF

“I was born and raised in Angola. My dad from Portugal and my mom from Angola. I moved to Portugal when I was like 12.  And then from there I was still playing ball and everything, lived there for three years.  And then my brother, my other brother came to the states before me. He went to Montverde and went to [the] school I graduated from, West Oak Academy. So my brother was already here, the coaches here saw me playing overseas and then they offered me. Scholarships were coming in but it wasn’t nothing secure. It was just come here, AAU, we’ll see how you do and then we’re gonna decide if you’re gonna get a scholarship or not. I came that summer, I was [in] ninth grade. I was playing in the summer and everything.  They liked it. And I mean, they told me, you might as well just stay and go change your visit and come back and we’ll give you a scholarship.”

On how Miguel is looking to contribute to Maryland in 2024-25

“I’m looking for a coach that really lets their guards play. Just like coach Amir. He’s a guard, guard-first and then bigs are basically like system. But we have two big men coming in…we’ve got a freshman McDonald’s [All-American], Derik Queen from Montverde, and then we got a second-team all-[Big Ten] coming back, JuJu Reese. So they’re both going to be in the frontcourt. But expecting somebody that can really contribute on both ends of the court. I’m coming in with a role that I can create for myself…make plays for each other, for others too. Somebody that can come in and really like make the fans like understand what’s going on. I love playing with the fans…somebody that can come in and be like fan’s favorite, you know? I like to play with the fans and, you know, just show them [I can] really like be the guy.”

On Miguel’s goals for the 2024-25 season

“Definitely be one of the best players in the Big Ten. Trying to make the NCAA Tournament for sure with that team. Winning is most important. You can have all the awards but if you’re not winning, it really doesn’t matter. I’m really trying to win as much as I can. And of course, individually trying to make all the awards I can make. You know what I mean? From the best teammate to the best player in the league, you know what I mean? It’s something that I’m not looking forward to, but I guess something that I really want for myself. Trying to be one of the best players in the league. Of course make first-team, second-team, third-team, whatever it is. Somebody can come in and people can talk about [having] an impact.”

[cont.]

“The main thing when I was talking to coach Kevin Willard, the head coach over [at Maryland], they really struggled last year with a three-point. That’s probably why they didn’t win a lot of games.”

[cont.]

“I’m not the only guy they’re recruiting that can really shoot. We got another point guard coming from Belmont, [Ja’Kobi] Gillespie, he can really shoot the ball too. He’s a coach that likes shooting threes. A system that likes shooting threes.”

On stepping into a sixth man role at USF

“Some people misunderstood. I had an agreement [between] coach and me. Like you will lead on this team so I want to see how you can handle coming off the bench and have a lot of the teammates follow you and see how you respond. I told him coach, as long as you let me do what I do, I have no problem coming off the bench. I’ll be finishing the games, playing 30+ minutes…you know who to trust in the moments, you know who to play in the moments and I had that trust with him. Because if I didn’t have that trust with him, I probably would’ve tripped like ‘what’s going on?’ We had that trust even before the season to even make me understand why I was coming off the bench. I had an agreement with him. He told me I’m coming off the bench, nothing to worry about. I’m not coming off the bench because it’s something — it’s better for the team. Because you can handle more stuff than your teammates can handle because you’re older and you’ve been through it. I said coach, I have no problem with it as long as I play. And turns out it was good for me. Ain’t nobody in the league averaging 15 coming off the bench. I’m averaging the same as the starters. Be most improved, second team coming off the bench. So it was more for me. People are going to respect you even more.”

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