Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez to his players: How do you want to be remembered as you prepare for WNIT championship game?

“It’s April and we’re still playing,” USF women’s coach Jose Fernandez says. “To have 26 wins is a great season, and our players are excited. I’m really happy for them.”

Associated Press

“It’s April and we’re still playing,” USF women’s coach Jose Fernandez says. “To have 26 wins is a great season, and our players are excited. I’m really happy for them.”

The USF women's basketball team will need a new motivational speech from its coach at halftime today, even though the old one has worked well.

For the past four games in the Women's NIT, coach Jose Fernandez has asked his four senior starters — guards Shantia Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda and post players Jessica Lawson and Brittany Denson — whether they want the next 20 minutes to be the last of their college careers.

Today, as the Bulls play in the WNIT championship game at Kansas, they know their seasons will end, so Fernandez has another question for his players: How do you want to be remembered?

"It's April and we're still playing," said Fernandez, whose team hasn't been home in more than a week, playing games at St. Bonaventure, Boston College and now Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse, which could have 10,000 fans on hand. "To have 26 wins is a great season, and our players are excited. I'm really happy for them."

The Bulls (26-10) continue to play their best basketball on the road — Boston College is the sixth top-50 team USF has beaten this season, and all six have come away from Tampa.

Fernandez said the common thread in the team's four WNIT victories has been a strong surge from a motivated team after halftime.

"We've had second-half surges in every game," said Fernandez, whose team trailed by six early in the second half Wednesday in Boston.

While seniors have led the way in USF's postseason run, the top scorer Wednesday was junior guard Janae Stokes, who had not practiced with the team in the past week.

Stokes' mother, Lynn, was hospitalized in Atlanta with an unexpected but undisclosed condition. She spent time in intensive care but is "doing much better," Fernandez said. Stokes flew to join her teammates just before the past two games and came through with five 3-pointers against BC on the way to scoring 22 points.

.Today

WNIT championship: USF at Kansas

When/where: 2; Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.

TV/radio: CBS College Sports; 1010-AM

Records: USF 26-10, Kansas 22-13

Notable: It's the final game for four USF senior starters — G Shantia Grace already has been with the Bulls for 82 career wins, five more than any player in the program's history. … Kansas, which has home wins against two Sweet 16 teams in Baylor and Iowa State, has the Big 12's No. 2 scorer in 5-11 G Danielle McCray, a 43 percent 3-point shooter, and a solid rebounder in 6-5 C Krysten Boogaard. … The Jayhawks were worst in the Big 12 in turnover margin, a statistic that has been one of USF's strengths this season. … USF is hosting a watch party at Beef O'Brady's at the Marshall Center on the Tampa campus.

USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez to his players: How do you want to be remembered as you prepare for WNIT championship game? 04/03/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 3, 2009 9:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No gimmes in scrappy Wiregrass Ranch's volleyball district

    Volleyball Preps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Wiregrass Ranch High coach Michelle Davis is realistic about her volleyball team this season. They will scrap for every point. They will never give up. They will encourage each other no matter what.

     Wiregrass Ranch High School girls volleyball player Jaizah Anderson (2) gets ready to spike the ball during Thursday's (9/21/17) match with Zephyrhills High School in Zephyrhills, Fla.
  2. Steelers' Villanueva apologizes, says he didn't intend to stand alone during anthem (w/video)

    Bucs

    PITTSBURGH — Alejandro Villanueva just wanted to get a glimpse of the American flag, the symbol he wore on his military uniform during three tours in Afghanistan before beginning an unlikely journey from Army Ranger to the NFL.

    Alejandro Villanueva stands alone during the national anthem at Soldier Field in Chicago. [Associated Press]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Bucs' Gerald McCoy frustrated with disrespectful fans

    Bucs

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss Gerald McCoy's latest comments on disrespectful fans who attack his teammates, Donald Trump, protests by DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, and his respect for the …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) warms up before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. NFL owners' unity with players might be short-lived

    Bucs

    The image was striking — several owners of NFL teams locking arms with their players on the sidelines Sunday, and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones on Monday night, in a dramatic statement of defiance to a president who ridiculed their sport and condemned players for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a …

    Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, currently without a team, has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for not standing during the national anthem. [Associated Press]
  5. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity

    Bucs

    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.