Funda Nakkasoglu transfers to Florida
Following two highly productive seasons at Utah State, Funda Nakkasoglu has made the decision to transfer to Florida and will commence play in 2017/18.
Nakkasoglu recently made the decision to leave the Aggies, but this announcement confirms that the Victorian will return to college basketball rather than returning to Australia to play.
Nakkasoglu joined Utah State in 2014 and immediately took on a leading role with the side. The point guard collected five conference awards in her freshman season, including Mountain West Freshman of the Year and The Pick and Roll Australian Freshman Player of the Year for a campaign that saw Nakkasoglu average 17.4 points and 4.7 assists per game as the Aggies struggled to an 8-23 record.
Off the back of an exceptional freshman year, Nakkasoglu stepped up once again in 2015/16, averaging 20.8 points and hitting 87.9% of her free throws in a much improved season for Utah State that saw the side finish with a 14-17 record. Nakkasoglu also formed an excellent tandem with fellow Australian, freshman Rachel Brewster, with the pair finishing as Utah State’s leading scorers last season. Nakkasoglu was named to the All-Mountain West First Team in 2016, the youngest Utah State player to ever be named to an all-conference first team. She was also named to The Pick and Roll's All-Australian First Team.
The majority of Florida’s guards this season were juniors and seniors, meaning that the Gators will almost certainly have an opening in the back court that Nakkasoglu will be able to slot straight into following her forced year away from competition due to NCAA transfer regulations. With only two players averaging double figures in scoring in 2015/16, the Gators could definitely use a player with Nakkasoglu’s scoring ability. Florida also hit only 67.1% of their free throws this year, another area in which Nakkasoglu will be able to vastly improve the team, with the Australian finishing in the top 10 in the nation for free throw percentage this season.
Nakkasoglu’s arrival at Florida means there will be Australians on both the men’s and women’s basketball teams in Gainesville, with 2016 freshman Gorjok Gak recently committing to the Gators. Nakkasoglu will also increase the number of Australian women playing in the SEC to two, joining LSU forward Alliyah Fareo.