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Wednesday May 16, 20126-6 Oklahoma State Transfer to be Tallest Player in UF Women's History

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In facing 6-foot-8 Baylor center Brittney Griner, Florida women's coach Amanda Butler got an up-close look at how size -- extreme, in this case -- impacts just about everything on the basketball court.

Not that Butler needed reminding of that, of course.

But starting next fall, Butler will experience giant post play in her very own gym, thanks to the arrival of Oklahoma State transfer Vicky McIntyre, who at 6-6 will be the tallest player in the 40-year history of the UF program.

"I've never really had someone like her, so I really don't know what to do," said Butler, who can't wait to take on her new (and very large) dilemma.

Like they say, size matters. It matters even more when accompanied with skills.

McIntyre, who per NCAA transfer rules will have to sit out the 2012-13 season, averaged 11.2 points and 5.5 rebounds while starting 17 of 31 games as a freshman in '10-11. Those numbers, however, dipped considerably (4 points, 4.1 rebounds, just nine starts) as a sophomore, but there were circumstances.

A second-team all-state selection out of Omaha, Neb., McIntyre was extremely close to OSU coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Miranda Serna. Both were killed in a plane crash last Nov. 17 in Perry County, Ark. -- just four days into the start of the '11-12 season.

The emotional scars sent McIntyre into the offseason looking for a change of scenery.

"She's had some adversity in her life the last few months," Butler said. "But she's starting a new life at Florida."

And McIntyre has demonstrated nothing but enthusiasm for that change since arriving last week for the start of the summer "A" semester.

"We get a kid with her size and length, but now combine with that the experience she gained in Big 12 program, plus the work ethic, attitude and excitement about being a Gator," Butler said. "That's a winning combination."

During her successful freshman season, McIntyre finished sixth in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage (49.5) and fourth in blocked shots (2.1 per game).

She had 14 points and eight rebounds in a win against Colorado, had a stretch of four straight games in double-figures scoring, tallied a career-high 24 points (to go with eight boards) against Iowa State, and went for 21 points and nine rebounds in a loss to Texas Tech in the conference tournament title game.

For Butler, just as intriguing as those numbers are the ones that won't necessarily show up on McIntyre's line in the box score.

"We're talking about a player that can alter everything," Butler said. "Like how you want to play defense and the level of attack your guards may want to have knowing an individual like that is behind you. I'm just thrilled with the possibilities."

McIntyre chose UF after also visiting Arkansas in April.

 

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