Women’s Gator Hoops Open Season With Exhibition Game

The Florida Gators women’s basketball team plays their only exhibition game on Wednesday against Valdosta State in the O’Connell Center. Florida finished last season 8-24 overall and expect a much improved season this year behind the addition of four freshman and one transfer.

Gators Welcome New Stars

Florida’s 2019-2020 women’s basketball is expecting a great season this year with this new team. Last year, Florida had 10 incoming freshmen. However, the team welcomes only four freshman and one transfer. This year’s roster is still young but also experienced. The four-star freshmen recruits added to this years roster include Brylee Bartram, Lavender Briggs, Faith Dut and Nina Rickards. And Emer Nichols is the newest transfer for the Gators.

Brylee Bartram

Bartram was the first recruit in the 2019 class to commit to the Florida Gators. She is a 5’8″ guard that is known for being one of the nation’s elite shooters. Prospects Nations ranked Bartram as the classes number 79 overall player. She has averaged 13.3 points per game in her five season career while shooting 44% from the three-point range. Bartram has become one of the best three-point shooters in the 2019 class dropping over 100 three-pointers in each of her last three seasons. She now holds the Florida state record for most made three’s in a season.  

Lavender Briggs

Briggs was the highest-rated recruit to sign with Coach Cameron Newbauer at Florida, being rated as the number 48 overall recruiting prospect. She ranked number 14 at the guard position and earned a 96 overall Scouts Grade from ESPN. Briggs will be a great asset for the Gators this season with her size and skill. She is able to score in multiple ways because of her length and athleticism, making her a great rebounder and defender as well.

Faith Dut

Dut is a 6’4″ forward who is known on the team for her encouraging spirit, energy and enthusiasm that she brings to each player and to the team overall. Her size and skill allow her to be a offensive threat in both the inside and outside court. She is also known for her defensive side of the court. In detail, Dut earned the Defensive Player of the Tournament at the 2018 Surrey Fire Fighters Goodwill Basketball Classic before committing to Florida.

Nina Rickards

Rickards is a 5’9″ guard that guard known for her superb shooting from all ranges on the court. She was ranked by ESPN as a top four-star recruit and earned an ESPNW HoopGurlz top-100 rating. She is also ranked number 22 at the guard position and earned an overall Scouts Grade of 94.

The Florida Gator’s newest transfer added to the team is redshirt sophomore Emer Nichols. She joined the Gators after spending her first season of eligibility with Texas A&M. Nichols sat out the 2018-2019 season after transferring to Florida and is now prepared to step back into the basket center with her great size and strength. 

Exhibition Game Back to Gainesville

Gator fans have the opportunity for a first look at Coach Newbauer’s Gator roster in the free exhibition. This is the first time Florida has hosted a exhibition since the 2008-2009 campaign. Aside from the five newcomers welcomed to the team, Florida has seven returning players who all started at least one game last season. The Gators are returning this season with nearly 60 percent of their offensive output despite losing their top-two scorers.

One of the key Florida veterans returning is redshirt-junior point guard Kiki Smith. She averaged 7.1 points, 3.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game in her first season with the Gators.

Wednesday’s exhibition game begins at 6 p-m. Following the exhibition game, Florida will kick off their 2019-2020 regular season Tuesday, November 5 at Grambling State. This is the third time in the last four seasons Florida’s season begins on the road.

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