UF women's basketball gets pledge from top recruit

Published: Monday, May 2, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.

If building a basketball program is anything like building a house, Florida women's basketball coach Amanda Butler could have a foundation laid by the end of the week.

The first step came Monday afternoon with the verbal commitment of Boone County (Ky.) High School's Sydney Moss.

Moss, the daughter of NFL Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss, may be the best recruit in Butler's time at Florida.

The 5-foot-11 junior forward is considered by many the top 2012 player in the state of Kentucky. She juggled offers from Kentucky, Louisville, UCLA and West Virginia before deciding Monday to become a Gator.

"I've always kind of been a Florida fan. Not just in basketball, but in football, too," Moss said from her home in Florence, Ky. "When I took my visit in early April, I just felt like I was at home. It was like I belonged there."

Moss, who averaged 22.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game last season, said Florida's coaching staff has plans to move her from guard to small forward. She has been preparing for the change.

"They said they want me to play (small forward) and if the other team has someone small guarding me, then I'll post them up. If not, I can go outside," she said. "I've been working on my game for a while to be able to do both."

The versatility is something her current coach, Nell Fookes, uses regularly.

"She can shoot the three or she can take the ball to the hole," Fookes said. "If she works hard enough, she can pretty much do whatever she wants."

Moss could be joined in two years by a new frontcourt mate if the week pans out as Butler hopes.

DeNesha Stallworth led Cal-Berkley in scoring last season, but opted to transfer from the program after a recent coaching change.

The 6-3 Stallworth, a former McDonald's High School All-American, averaged 13.3 points per game for the Golden Bears and was reportedly contacted by 50 different schools when she announced her intentions to transfer last month.

Stallworth's father, Chris, accompanied her to Gainesville last month for her visit, the same weekend that Moss was in town. The elder Stallworth said his daughter will decide between Florida, LSU and Kentucky by Wednesday. Once she transfers, she must sit out one year, per NCAA rules.

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