After playing in only three games for the Gators during her freshman season due to a foot injury suffered in November, Chandler Cooper decided she needed a fresh start elsewhere.
The 5-foot-11 guard, a native of Clarksville, Tenn., has chosen to transfer to Lipscomb University. She cited being closer to home as one of several factors that led to her decision.
“I’m excited for a new opportunity in a smaller environment,” Cooper said. “I’ve learned a lot of great things at Florida from my teammates and coaches that I will look to take with me in the future.”
Cooper was ranked as the 51st best high school prospect in the 2012 ESPN HoopGurlz 100. She entered UF in the same recruiting class as Sydney Moss, January Miller and Christin Mercer.
Touted as a three-point specialist, Cooper developed foot pain early in the season and received a medical redshirt. In three games, she averaged 4.7 points while logging 26.7 minutes per contest.
“Given several factors, it has become clear to me that playing basketball at the University of Florida is no longer in my best interests,” Cooper said.
“Having received a redshirt and not burned any eligibility, it is probably best for everyone that I get a clean start somewhere else.”
Florida finished tied for eighth in the Southeastern Conference in 2012-13. After a disappointing regular season, the Gators advanced to the Final Four of the WNIT before losing to Drexel in the semifinals on April 3.
Barring any further transfers, Florida will lose just two players — Cooper and Jennifer George — from last season’s team. The Gators will add transfers Cassie Peoples and Antoinette Bannister, as well as incoming freshman Ronni Williams.
“[Cooper] wanted a smaller environment close to home,” coach Amanda Butler said. “We wish her the best.”
Contact Phillip Heilman at email@example.com.