#22 Florida Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Florida Gators

Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
Florida Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Florida Team Page


It had been a while since Florida was a national player on the basketball stage. But the 2011-2012 campaign saw the Gators win 20 games, compete day in and day out in the tough SEC and win an NCAA Tournament game. Coach Amanda Butler led her squad to a first round victory over Ohio State before being overpowered by eventual national champs Baylor. While last year may be a stepping stone to bigger and better things in the future, this is still a team that needs to reload with the loss of three starters.

2011-12 Record: 20-13, 8-8
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Amanda Butler
Coach Record: 98-67 at Florida, 138-89 overall

The two starters returning are exactly the two you want to build around; the scrappy point guard and the interior scoring threat. Jaterra Bonds will need to step into a leadership role now that she is a junior and easily the most experienced guard on the team. Bonds suffered from a major shooting slump much of the 2011-2012 campaign, but she can still make things happen. Bonds managed to average 8.1 points and 2.6 assists despite her 22.1 percent shooting from long range. As a freshman, Bonds connected on 32.5 percent of her three-pointers and took a lot more of them. If she can find her shooting touch again, Bonds can easily be a consistent double digit scorer with the potential to go off for 20 or more on any given night. That would also create more space in the paint for Jennifer George. Last year’s leading scorer at 12.8 points per game, George is an amazingly efficient and effective scorer in the paint. The 6-2 senior also led the Gators with 8.8 rebounds per game and added 1.6 blocks. Lily Svete is back to add some quality depth to the frontcourt. She may not earn a ton of minutes again this year, but Svete is a great shooter for a 6-2 forward. If Kayla Lewis can stay healthy, it would go a long way in replacing the lost production on the perimeter. Lewis played in just three games last year before missing the year with an injury. As a freshman Lewis started the first six games of the campaign, but missed much of the year with injuries. During the 2010-2011 season, she did reach double figures in scoring four times in the first ten games of the year. That is the type of production Florida hopes to get from Lewis this time around.

Replacing three-pointer shooter Jordan Jones, do-it-all guard Lanita Bartley, superb sub Deana Allen and shot blocking specialist Azania Stewart will not be a simple task. Much of that production will have to be replaced by freshmen. And this team has a ton of freshmen. While this is likely the most talented group of newcomers Coach Butler has brought to Florida, they are still freshmen. Wing Sydney Moss and shooting guard Chandler Cooper are likely to make the biggest impact right away. Those two are both ranked in the top 60 in the College Sports Madness Recruit Rankings for 2012. January Miller and redshirt point guard Carlie Needles will get plenty of looks on the perimeter as well. The frontcourt adds Christin Mercer and Victorija Dimaite. All of those players will get the opportunity to play and the Gators will need immediate production out of quite a few of them if they hope to build off of their NCAA Tournament appearance of 2012.

Final Projection:
Vicky McIntyre is the tallest player to ever suit up for Florida and the Oklahoma State transfer brings much needed size and experience to the frontcourt. McIntyre started 26 games during her two year stint with the Cowgirls. She is a very good shot blocker and rebounder, but she can score too. McIntyre only averaged 4.0 points per game last year at OSU, although that team did not really need her to score too much. The case could be the same at Florida. The Gators need her rebounding and shot blocking abilities the most. George will do the scoring in the paint and McIntyre is at least a threat to score. Those two should manage a majority of the minutes in the frontcourt, but depth will have to be provided by Svete, Mercer and Dimaite. The backcourt has some quality weapons on both ends of the floor. However, again, the depth will have to come from inexperienced players and if the freshmen do not live up to the hype, the Gators will have trouble in the SEC.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jaterra Bonds, Junior, Guard, 8.1 points per game
Kayla Lewis, Sophomore, Guard, 6.7 points per game
Sydney Moss, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Jennifer George, Senior, Forward, 12.8 points per game
Vicky McIntyre, Junior, Center, DNP last season

Madness 2012 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#37 Sydney Moss
#57 Chandler Cooper
#156 January Miller