Head coach Kelly Rae Finley and team are focused on upcoming season

The Florida Gators women’s basketball team broke their silence Thursday afternoon. The team, led by new head coach Kelly Rae Finley, hosted a media session on Thursday morning to discuss the expectations for the 2021-22 season. Guards Lavender Briggs, Kiara Smith and Zippy Broughton joined their coach to take on any questions.

The team had been rather silent since The Alligator released a report stating allegations of abuse from former coach Cameron Newbauer toward former and current players on the roster. Finley and the players traded the microphone to address the team’s stance but it seems that everyone is eager to move on.

After the first question about Newbauer was asked by the media, Finley immediately responded with, “Our administration has addressed the previous allegations, and our focus is on the upcoming season.”

The player’s answers were no different, either dismissing the question or giving a short answer.

But overall, the team seems to be in a comfortable state under its new play caller. Finley was asked if she felt like she let the team down due to previous allegations from former Gator Cydnee Kinslow. Graduate Kiara Smith was quick to intercept the question and answer, “No.”

Kinslow stated in a report that Finley was complicit in the abuse that was performed by Newbauer during his tenure.

Lavender Briggs was also asked about the Finley accusations and Briggs didn’t hesitate to challenge the question head on and accuse Kinslow of false allegations.

“She’s speaking on things that aren’t even her experience and if those players wanted to speak on those experiences, they would have, they still will, but I’m pretty sure they don’t, which is why they haven’t been spoken about,” Briggs said.

“As far as Cydnee goes, she doesn’t speak for me,” Briggs said. “She doesn’t speak for the team. So, I mean, what she said doesn’t really matter.”

Florida opens the season with an exhibition against Flagler College on November 5 before tipping off the regular season on November 9 vs Georgia State in Gainesville.

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