A crowded backcourt for the USF women’s basketball team will get a little more competition next season.
With senior Melissa Tape and junior Tristen Webb returning in the fall, coach Jose Fernandez signed Gulf Coast Community College point guard Anedra Gilmore to a letter of intent Thursday.
Gilmore was the floor general for a GCCC team that went 35-0 and won the NJCAA National Championship. For the Commodores, Gilmore averaged 6.8 points per game and three assists in 27 games, while shooting 47.8 percent from three-point range and 79.3 percent from the free-throw line.
“Anedra brings two years of experience at the point guard spot, coming from one of the best junior college programs in the country,” Fernandez said. “I believe she brings added quickness and leadership at the point guard position. I think she will be a great floor leader for us, and along with Melissa Tape and Tristen Webb, give us more versatility at that spot.”
Gilmore’s signing gives the Bulls six newcomers for next season. Andrea Armstrong, from Kansas State, and Ezria Parsons, from Auburn, transferred in a year ago, but had to sit out the season in accordance with NCAA guidelines. They’ll join Fernandez’s three recruits who signed in the fall – forward Nalini Miller, guard Rachael Sheats and forward Jessica Dickson.
“When I came on my visit, everyone was so nice,” Gilmore said. “I thought I would fit in with the style of ball that they play. I also wanted to stay in Florida. They play in a good conference, so I thought that would be the place for me.”
The six newcomers will be needed, as USF loses three seniors. Most notable is leading scorer Aiya Shepard, who averaged 11.5 ppg in 2002-03. Shepard was the only Bull to average double figures in scoring, which she did all four years at USF.
Her highest scoring average came as a sophomore, when she averaged 17.9 per contest, fifth-best in the league, to earn her a spot on the all C-USA second team.
The Bulls (7-20, 2-12 in C-USA) also have to replace center Ashley Teets and forward Sonia Cotton, USF’s top scorer in 2001-02.
The team also lost center Jameelah Trimble and guard Valerie de Velasco when both quit during the season.