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Monday, June 24, 2024

Count Sha Brooks among those who hope Lonnika Thompson will make it back into the lineup Thursday.

Brooks was forced to start at point guard and admitted to being nervous before Sunday's loss at Mississippi State. The junior committed eight turnovers against the Bulldogs.

"Your point guard determines how your team is going to play," Brooks said. "If your point guard is nervous, it's going to affect the rest of your team on the court. If I can try not to be nervous and limit some of my turnovers, then we'll be fine."

Senior guard Depree Bowden saw the effect on Brooks' game as well.

"[Brooks] wasn't in a position to really score like she normally is," Bowden said. "But we gotta learn to play through adversity, and if that means Lonnika's out, then we gotta find a way to win."

Thompson did not play Sunday due to a shoulder sprain she suffered Thursday against Auburn.

She said she stuck out her hand chasing down a loose ball while an Auburn player ran full speed into her shoulder.

"I just felt it pop," Thompson said. "I was just trying to hold it, trying to get out of the game because it was hurting."

She said before practice Tuesday that she planned to practice "a little bit" and planned to play in Thursday's game against Georgia.

UF coach Amanda Butler was less optimistic about Thompson's outlook.

Butler wasn't sure Tuesday if Thompson would play against Georgia but said if the sophomore did play, she would probably not start.

"It just depends how practice goes the next two days," Butler said. "We'll see if it's in her best interests and in our best interests."

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It was hard for Thompson to watch her teammates struggle Sunday, playing like a completely different team.

"That just wasn't Florida playing," Thompson said. "That was another team. In the second half, that was more of us coming back and making a run."

It hurt even more watching her team struggle through running the offense.

"We were having trouble entering the ball into the wings and into the post," she said. "Mississippi State - they had good defense, but it wasn't that good to where we couldn't really get it into the post. We just weren't mentally there in the game."

THE NUMBERS SAY … the UF women's basketball team (15-9, 4-5 Southeastern Conference) is better than the men's basketball team (19-5, 6-3 SEC). At least, according to their RPIs, according to, which takes into account winning percentage and strength of schedule. The women have an RPI of 39, while the men have an RPI of 43.

Butler admitted to being surprised but not shocked at the way the numbers work out.

"(It's surprising) because we've lost on more occasions than them, and so it doesn't feel like maybe our RPIs should be the same," Butler said. "However, the strength of our leagues is obviously very similar. So I think whether you've won your last one or lost your last one, when you're in league play, generally your RPI is going to reflect the strength of who you're playing against and so from that standpoint, it's not as surprising."

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