By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Head coach Jose Fernandez has found four new recruits who should fit right into the Bulls’ brand of basketball.
The future of USF women’s basketball got even brighter this week when Shavontae Naylor, Courtney Williams, Alisia Jenkins and Laura Marcos Canedo all signed letters of intent with the program.
“All these kids fit what we do and fit the way we play,” Fernandez said.
Naylor, a 5-foot-10 wing player, committed to USF as a junior and becomes a Bull after being ranked the No. 5 prospect in Florida and Georgia by the Girls Basketball Insider Recruiting Service. The Ocala native has been playing for Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Georgia, where she earned the distinction of being the 54th best wing in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz.
“I think what Shavonte is going to bring to the table is her athleticism,” Fernandez said. “She can create off the bounce. She has the ability to get to the rim. I just like her length.”
“I think she fits into the things we like to do,” Fernandez added. “Definitely her best basketball is ahead of her once she develops her perimeter skills.”
Williams, a 5-foot-8 guard, became the Georgia Region 2A Player of the Year in 2011 out of Charlton County High School in Folkston, Ga. She averaged 27.5 points and 12 rebounds and seven assists per game this past season.
“She can score the basketball,” Fernandez said. “She’s great in the open floor. She makes good decisions and she can shoot the three.”
The thought of Williams reminded Fernandez of Shantia Grace, who led the Bulls in scoring at 14.9 points per game her senior season in 2008-09.
“She can score with the ball in her hands and she can make her teammates better,” said Fernandez of Williams, who verbally committed to USF in July.
Jenkins is a 6-foot-1 small forward who can help the Bulls inside and on the perimeter. She was rated a three-star recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz and was a Class 5A All-State honorable mention her junior year at Statesboro High School in Georgia. Jenkins was named the All-State Region 2AAAA Player of the Year twice. The guard has recorded over 1,000 points and 100 rebounds and is averaging 14 points and 12 boards a game.
“She’s another kid that can catch it off the glass, put the ball down the floor and create off the dribble,” Fernandez said.
USF’s final recruit of the early signing period comes all the way from Spain.
Marcos Canedo, a 5-foot-8 point guard, has gained a ton of experience in state and national teams, including playing with the first team for the Super Cup European Championship.
USF has been recruiting Marcos Canedo for a couple of years and Fernandez was impressed with what he saw from her in July when she was playing with a select team from Spain.
“She’s a solid, true point guard,” Fernandez said. “She has very good court vision. I just like her smarts and her ability.”