Although basketball season doesn’t tip off until November, the Florida women’s basketball team has been hard at work with practices starting last week. This is a new team for the Gators as the roster includes seven freshman (four true freshman) and only one senior, Jennifer George. George is one of two returning starters, along with junior guard Jaterra Bonds. While George may be the oldest player on the team, Bonds is the only guard who has any college experience, a leadership role head coach Amanda Butler says she’s more than capable of handling.
Aside from having a youthful look, the Gators lost a great deal of offensive production with the graduation of shooting guard Jordan Jones. To help fill this void, Butler will look to 5’11” freshman Chandler Cooper (Clarksville, Tenn.) who says she’s ready for that challenge.
Another freshman looking to make an impact this year is forward Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.). Moss was ranked in the Top 50 on ESPN’s “Hoop Gurlz” and says she picked Florida because of the welcoming feeling she got every time she stepped on campus.
Moss has already made an impression on some of her older teammates, and Bonds says she’ll be a fun player to watch this upcoming season.
The Gators are coming off of a 20 win season and an NCAA Tournament appearance, but George says she wants the team to make even greater strides in her final year.
The first game of the season for the Orange and Blue is slated for November 9 against Fairfield in the O’Connell Center.