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USF women's basketball has first practice



Hard to believe, but basketball season is already underway, as USF's women's basketball team held its first practice of the season Monday afternoon, the first step toward the Bulls opening against Jacksonville on Nov. 12.

Here's video from coach Jose Fernandez, who shares that the Bulls lost sophomore forward Tahira Johnson, who had ACL surgery on her knee and will miss the upcoming season. Johnson, who averaged 1.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game as a freshman, would have competed for playing time at forward, but USF still has solid overall depth entering the season.

One more roster change -- London-born junior college transfer Josette Campbell, expected to contribute at small forward, is no longer with the team after not qualifying academically.

Monday's practice offered a first look at a talented group of newcomers, and some familiar faces as well. Senior forward Porche Grant, who redshirted last season and gave birth to a son, Chance, in June, looked to be in great shape physically, and transfer Daleisha Carn, who sat out last year after transferring from Alabama, looked impressive as well.

Fernandez's recruiting class will make a significant impact, with twin guards Andrea and Andrell Smith in the backcourt and two big post players,  6-4 Akila McDonald and 6-2 Salla Ekstrom, bringing size to the paint. There should be a battle at point guard, where Indiana transfer Sasha Bernard, who will be eligible to join the team in mid-December, is battling sophomore KaNeisha Saunders, junior Jasmine Wynne and Andrell Smith.

[Last modified: Monday, October 4, 2010 4:14pm]


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