The women’s basketball team is down to nine: Senior guard Tristen Webb is out for the rest of the season with a torn anterior crucial ligament in her right knee, leaving the Bulls with nine players on their roster.
“I just feel bad,” coach Jose Fernandez said. “I feel for Tristen. To lose her in her redshirt senior year, that’s why I’m concerned.”
Webb sat out last season because of a torn ACL in her left knee that she suffered midway through her junior year.
“We haven’t really talked about it,” Fernandez said. “She’s already had one medical redshirt. It’s pretty tough to come back from two ACL tears, one in each leg.”
USF was hoping Webb could replace prolific senior Anedra Gilmore, who was the Bulls’ leader on the court at the point guard position last season.
The news of the injury was tough on some members of the team who saw Webb battle back from her last setback.
“I think she did a great job in the off-season. She came back in practice. She was ready to play; she was very energetic,” junior Jessica Dickson said. “Seeing her tear her other ACL – that was a big loss, that was a big blow for us.”
Even though she sat out last season, Webb still made an impact on the team.
“On the bench, she’s always – I can hear her out on the court saying, ‘Play defense,’ and things like that,” Dickson said. “She’s vocal, so she brings that.”
Now, most of her teammates are now focused on lifting the senior’s attitude.
“She’s really kind of down right now,” Dickson said. “Each day she gets better, we try to cheer her up and talk to her, things like that.”
The team’s depth is down as well, and the loss of Webb will challenge this year’s team physically.
“We just got to mix it up a little bit,” Fernandez said. “Try and use more breathers; try and call more timeouts. We just got to be in much better condition than anyone else.”
Fernandez added that every player on the team has to make up for the loss of the senior guard.
“We’ve got to be a little more strategic, a little more precise. By losing that one player, there are other areas we have to be stronger in,” he said. “I’m never going to use injuries as an excuse – bottom line is, we got to go with who we got. I’m very optimistic. I still think we’re going to have a great season.”