It's official: Andrea Smith to redshirt season
USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez confirmed Friday night what has been a consideration since late November: senior guard Andrea Smith, recovering from ACL surgery on her knee at the end of last season, will redshirt the 2011-12 season and play for the Bulls next year.
Fernandez said Smith didn't make the decision until over the holiday break -- while she could return for the end of the season, redshirting allows her to make a full recovery and finish her college career with twin sister Andrell Smith, who went through the same injury in junior college and will be a Bulls senior in 2012-13 as well.
Smith led the Bulls with 16.5 points per game in 2010-11 and ranked third in the Big East, earning second-team all-conference honors. USF had been optimistic about her making a healthy return this season, but the redshirt allows her more time to recover and play a full season. Without Smith, and with junior college standout Inga Orekhova serving a 15-game suspension, USF has a 9-6 record, including disappointing losses to schools like Idaho State and Dayton.
Orekhova will make her Bulls debut on Saturday night as USF plays its Big East home opener against No. 15 Georgetown in the USF Rec Center.
With Smith as part of next year's team, the Bulls will have as many as eight seniors in 2012-13 in the Smith twins, Orekhova, guards Kaneisha Saunders and Sasha Bernard and forwards Tiffany Conner and Aleshia Flowers and center Caitlin Rowe.