Gilmore guiding Bulls

Everyone has heard “the first is the worst and the second is the best.” The second-best start in USF history is happening for the women’s basketball team this season, and senior point guard Anedra Gilmore knows her team can compete at the top.

In other words, she thinks they can be first, especially when underestimated.

“Being in this program, I guess the chase is better than the catch just because a lot of teams don’t look at us still as a contender. So when we go out to play you know it’s not really much pressure on us, it’s more pressure on them,” said Gilmore.

A national champion at the junior college level, Gilmore came to USF quite determined in her pursuit to win again.

“I’ve only been here for two years, and to me, I’ve had an impact on the program,” she said. “We were the first team to ever go to post season play, so I think we’re just really feeding off of last year, and we want to do better than what we did last year.”

The Bulls (12-4, 2-0 C-USA) are going into their third game of the Conference USA schedule against TCU on Friday.

Gilmore is a main reason the team is off to such a solid start, averaging 10.4 points and 3.1 assists per game.

“(Gilmore) is tremendous,” said coach Jose Fernandez. “She has a great work ethic, and when she’s on the floor, there is a calmness to our team, you know, her teammates respect her.”

How does she get that respect? Well, not only does Gilmore feed her teammates the ball, she is the team’s most aggressive defender. Nearly halfway through the season, Gilmore has 50 steals.

She is undoubtedly a gutsy guard, and it’s how she earns that respect while building team chemistry.

“You’ve got to be with (teammates) off the court for them to understand you on the court,” she said. “We all get along. They know that I’m the voice of the team, and I’m going to get in their tail regardless if they like it or not. They look to me as far as getting them up, or a little motivation speech before the game.”

“(Anedra) pushes the ball, she brings the people to the game,” said teammate Jessica Dickson. “She takes risks, she’ll throw alleys, she will go out and look for the steals, she’ll play the passing lane, so she does bring an up-tempo game to us.

“She’s a great person. I had the privilege of playing AAU ball with her so I know her style of playing and it’s kind of like a connection.”