The Florida Gators women’s basketball team hosted Fan Day Monday night at Exactech Arena. Fan Day is an opportunity for the fans to meet the team, and in this case watch an open practice.
The women’s basketball team this year may be the most intriguing team on campus, if for no other reason, because there is a new coaching staff and only six returning players from last year’s playing roster.
What stood out during practice was the enthusiasm of new Gators head coach Cameron Newbauer. Newbauer, a stickler for details, often stopped the practice to provide “teachable moments” and correct errors.
During the practice session Florida appeared to have a first team of:
- G SO Delicia Washington
- G JR Funda Nakkasoglu
- G SR Dyandria Anderson
- F SR Paulina Hersler
- F SR Haley Lorenzen
Newbauer told us prior to practice that he doesn’t have an expectation as far as wins and losses go. That he expect Florida to manage the “controllables”. He said that if the student-athletes play hard, have a positive attitude, learn and get better, the wins and losses will sort itself out.
We also asked specifically about the roster makeup to which Newbauer said “on paper, yes [we look deep], but we will have to figure it out.” Newbauer pointed out that Florida only has four forwards, two of which are seniors and two that are freshmen. He also said that while the Gators have a lot of depth at the guard position, there isn’t a ton experience in the backcourt.
Newbauer has brought an energetic personality to a team that finished 15-16 last season. He said that it’s been challenging implementing a new system and changing the culture but that he “appreciates and respects how the players are dealing with it.”
Florida opens the season Saturday at 4:00 PM against Georgia State at Exactech Arena.
Follow The Gator Chomp Blog for all the latest on the Florida women’s basketball team.
*special thanks to Raymond Manalo for helping contribute during the interview prior to the start of practice.