#42 Florida Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Florida Gators

Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank: #8 SEC
#42 Florida Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Florida Team Page


Florida snuck into the NCAA Tournament last season after finishing with an 8-8 record in the SEC. The Gators did get a tournament win too, knocking off sixth seeded Dayton before falling to Penn State in the second round. The SEC is tough though and there is not much margin for error if Florida hopes to get back to the NCAA Tournament. And without Jaterra Bonds and Lily Sveta, the Gators could take a step back this year.

2013-14 Record: 20-13, 8-8
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Amanda Butler
Coach Record: 140-95 at Florida, 180-117 overall

This team can still score even without Bonds, who led the squad with 15.6 points per game. The backcourt will be led by Cassie Peoples, who averaged 10.3 points and 3.7 assists during her sophomore season. Peoples was inconsistent from long range, but has had some quality shooting outings. Even when the shot is not falling though, she is dangerous inside the arc. January Miller can attack the basket also and she has been more consistent with her outside shooting too. Carlie Needles is the team’s best outside shooter. She connected on 35.0 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc. She did start over half of Florida’s games last season and could again be in the starting lineup, however unless she starts mixing up her game by attacking the basket more often, Needles is better off providing an offensive spark off of the bench. Freshman Isis Young and junior college transfer Carla Batchelor are both capable of contributing as well.

Kayla Lewis will have a lot of pressure on her to turn into the leading scorer on this team. The 6-0 wing averaged 12.2 points per game last season and is a very good scorer around the basket. But Lewis will also be the team’s best rebounder once again. She was the lone bright spot for the Gators on the glass, averaging 8.7 per game. The team as a whole ranked dead last in the SEC in rebounding margin and that was with the 6-2 Svete. Despite her height, Svete was not a traditional interior player. She spent most of her time shooting from outside, but her size was very important on the other end of the floor. Coach Amanda Butler will hope to get more rebounding from Ronnie Williams. The 6-0 sophomore is a traditional post player who has already proven to be a capable rebounder. However, the depth in the frontcourt is a major concern and freshmen Haley Lorenzen and Brooke Copeland will have to contribute right away.

Final Projection:
Florida certainly has the potential to get back to the tournament. Lewis is a great senior leader, but she is the only senior on the roster. Others must step up and provide the leadership and scoring void lost with the departure of Bonds. A good year in 2014-2015 would lead to better things in 2015-2016, but this group will have some struggles in the SEC and anything less than another .500 conference record will leave this team on the outside looking in.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Cassie Peoples, Junior, Guard, 10.3 points per game
January Miller, Junior, Guard, 9.2 points per game
Carlie Needles, Junior, Guard, 6.3 points per game
Kayla Lewis, Senior, Guard, 12.2 points per game
Ronni Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 8.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.9 (47th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.5 (251, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (29, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (225, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (129, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.5 (118, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.0 (121, 5)
Rebound Margin: -4.0 (276, 14)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (144, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.9 (237, 11)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#36 Kayla Lewis

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#40 Haley Lorenzen
#60 Isis Young
#80 Brooke Copeland


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