TAMPA, Florida -- If one superstar is good, wouldn't two be better? Jose Fernandez hoped so when he signed Andrell and Andrea Smith out of junior college a few years ago. The twin sisters are leading Fernandez's Bulls as seniors this season.
Both Smith sisters are 5-foot-8 sharpshooters from Lakeland. The only way to tell them apart is by a freckle on Andrea's cheek. The identical twins are giving opponents twice the nightmares.
"I think we have the upper hand on our opponents because we are so close," says Andrell. "Us being twins and us having that connection, it helps us with our backdoor passes, no-look passes, just knowing that she's going to have my back no matter what because we've been through everything together."
The duo is averaging over 33 points per game combined. Andrell leads the Bulls in points, rebounds, steals, and assists. Her sister says that her defense is the skill she appreciates the most.
"That feisty part is what I love about her," said Andrea. "That's where we kind of differentiate right there on the basketball court."
Andrea missed last year. She blew out her knee and needed surgery. Luckily, she had a shoulder to cry on. Andrell had the exact same injury in junior college and they helped each other through the recoveries.
"Last year when she went out, I must have watched her highlight tape, it must have been a million times," says Andrell. "I love her game. I told her she was always my role model, but she doesn't believe it."
The duo has put up impressive numbers for USF. They attribute it to knowing each other so well. They can communicate out on the court in a way that most regular teammates never could.
"Our bond is something you cannot replace," says Andrea. "I think you can't put into words how close we are and I just love it."
This season, the Bulls are trying to get to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. The twin sisters would love a chance to help make history in their final few months in green and gold.
"You have to make everything memorable," says Andrell. "This season, it has a lot riding on it, and I don't ever want it to stop."
USF opens Big East competition against Notre Dame on Tuesday at the Sun Dome. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.