Panthers guard Arturo Dean enters the transfer portal

guard Arturo Dean contesting his opponent’s shot. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Will Duval | Sports Director

On Monday, March 18, 2024, The Portal Report announced on X that sophomore guard Arturo Dean intends on departing from FIU and is entering the NCAA transfer portal. The announcement was verified by Dean after he reposted it on both X and Instagram.

Dean, the 5-11, 163 pound guard has served as one of the Panthers’ key contributors their past two seasons. Over his 63 game career with the team, he averaged 12.6 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, 3.9 assists per game and 2.9 steals per game.

Since joining the team in the 2022-2023 season, he acted as the linchpin for FIU’s defensive scheme. Beyond finishing the year with the team’s second largest scoring average, he averaged 2.5 SPG and displayed his prowess in the passing lanes.

Through his fast hands on defense and agility with the ball in his hands, Dean broke multiple program records during his freshman season. He came away with 76 steals on the year and set the record for the most steals in a season by a freshman.

Due to both his statistics and the impact he provided on the court, he was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year upon the season’s conclusion. On the year, he averaged 11.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.8 APG and scored the ninth most points by a freshman in program history.

After the departure of guard Denver Jones in the 2023 offseason, Dean was entrusted with the reins to the team’s offense. As the team’s primary offensive option, he improved in nearly every major statistical category in the following year. 

With an expanded offensive role in the 2023-2024 season, he averaged 13.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, four assists, and held the highest scoring average on the team. Outside of his expanded repertoire on offense, he averaged 3.4 SPG and led the NCAA in steals per game.

During the season, Dean set a new school record for the most steals in a single game on Nov. 29, 2023. In a home matchup against the FGCU Eagles, he finished with 10 steals in the game and surpassed guard Carlos Morban’s record of seven from 2002.

Further than just setting a single game record, he also broke the program record for the most steals in a single season. Dean finished with a total of 104 steals on the season and overtook guard Brian Beard Jr.’s record of 100 steals, which was set in 2019.

His offensive growth can largely be attributed to his improvement in 3-point shooting since his freshman season. In the 22-23 season, he shot 20% from long distance on 1.9 attempts per game, whereas he shot 30.3% on 2.9 attempts per game in 23-24.

At the end of his sophomore campaign, Dean was recognized as one of the conference’s elite guards and earned multiple seasonal honors. Due to his consistent play all season, he was named to CUSA’s All-Conference Third Team and All-Defensive Team. 

Despite Dean’s individual success, FIU finished the year with an 11-22 overall record and in last place of the CUSA standings. The team’s season came to its’ conclusion after they took a 78-59 loss to the Sam Houston Bearkats in the CUSA Championships’ quarterfinals.

Following the strongest statistical season of his career, Dean will be taking his talents outside of FIU for the 2024-2025 season.

Follow Will Duval on X: @WillDuval40

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