Women's hoops gets three juco guards
USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez has landed commitments from three guards from in-state junior colleges, including two of the top 3-point threats in junior college basketball and two players who won a national championship at Gulf Coast Community College.
The Bulls have pledges from Gulf Coast teammates Janae Stokes, of Vidalia, Ga., and Alexis Givands of Memphis, Tenn. The 5-foot-7 Stokes, who signed with Georgia Tech out of high school, led all junior college guards with 109 3-pointers this season, averaging 15.4 points per game, while the 5-9 Givands was a defensive stopper and team leader for Gulf Coast.
"Lex is a proven leader," said her high school coach, Mannie Lowery, who said she chose the Bulls over an offer from Kentucky. "She doesn't want to be the focal point, but she'll step it up when it's time to make things happen."
Joining them will be Allyson Speed, a 5-9 guard from Daytona Beach who totaled 79 3-pointers and averaged a team-best 17.1 points this season at Central Florida Community College. Speed was ranked as the state's No. 10 prospect in 2006 by Floridahoops.com.
USF's top two returning guards, Shantia Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda, will both be seniors next season, and the next two guards from last year's team are both gone, as senior Daiane Packer graduated and freshman Gianna Messina is transferring to the University of Tampa.
USF is expected to announce formal signings for the three guards this week. The Bulls also signed three guards during the early signing period, but two of them -- twins Andrea and Andrell Smith of Lakeland Lake Gibson -- have yet to post qualifying test scores to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. Their father, Vic, said Sunday both of his daughters are within a single point of qualifying and will take both the ACT and SAT in June.