Girls hoops: Lake Gibson twins pick USF
Twin guards Andrea and Andrell Smith of Lake Gibson, both ranked among the state's top 10 prospects for the 2008 recruiting class, have verbally committed to play for Jose Fernandez at USF.
"It's a great school in the Big East with a great coach, close to home," said Andrea, a 5-foot-9 shooting guard ranked by Floridahoops.com as the state's No. 4 prospect in this year's senior class. Andrell, a point guard who is also 5-9, is ranked No. 10 in the same rankings. Together they led Lake Gibson to a 23-5 record as juniors.
The pair, who helped Lake Gibson to a 23-5 record as juniors, also considered dual offers from St. John's, Memphis and Western Kentucky. Florida, West Virginia and Tulane were among the schools recruiting one sister or the other. "They're closer than sisters," said their father, Vic, who spent 23 years as a high school football coach. "Coach Fernandez said all the right words. He said 'I need your daughters to win a Big East championship.' It's a great program, up and coming, and they're excited to be playing in a power conference like the Big East."
They're USF's first commitments for the 2008 class. Fernandez lost some backcourt depth for this season, however, as signee Sequoyah Griffin of Columbus, Ga., failed to qualify academically and will attend Chipola College in Marianna. Jessica Jackson, a junior guard who averaged 2.1 points last season, is transferring from USF but has not decided where she'll play next season.
The Smith twins are AAU teammates of Orlando's Jennifer George, a Class of 2009 recruit who committed to USF this summer. Another player in the ultra-successful Orlando Comets program, St. Petersburg Catholic's Sasha Chaplin, a 6-foot-3 rising senior, is considering the Bulls as well, Andrell Smith said.