December 14, 2016

Next up: A visit to Lady Vols and Colonials

Our Cardinal student/athletes are halfway through their finals and will soon be raring to get back to basketball. They’re going to need all their energy and skill and confidence on the upcoming road trip to Tennessee and Washington DC.

They play the Tennessee Lady Vols on Sunday at noon:

and the George Washington Colonials on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00:

  Tennessee Lady Vols

The Lady Vols' chemistry looked bad for much of last season and they had a bumpy ride, losing a record-breaking 14 games in the regular season. Then things improved and they ended the season with a run to the Elite Eight after impressive tournament wins over Arizona State and Ohio State.

Unfortunately for them, the improvements have not carried forward into this season. They've lost four of their last five games, falling to every quality foe they encountered (Penn State, Virginia Tech, Baylor and Texas). They began the season ranked No. 12/13, but slipped down week by week and out of the Top 25 last week. Charlie Creme thinks that the Lady Vols' making it to the NCAA tournament this season may hinge on their beating the Cardinal on Sunday.

The Cardinal beat the Lady Vols last season at Maples 69-55, but Tennessee is always a dangerous opponent, especially at home on Pat Summitt Court in front of 9,000 orange-clad fans.

The Lady Vols have a short bench, with just nine active players (two others are rehabbing knee injuries). Their three top scorers and rebounders are:

  • 6'7" redshirt junior center Mercedes Russell is a power in the paint. She averages 16.3points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

  • Redshirt junior guard Diamond DeShields, in her second active season at Tennessee after transferring from North Carolina as a sophomore, averages 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. She has a few more turnovers than assists, about four of each per game.

  • Junior guard/forward Jaime Nared is a tall, athletic guard. She averages 14.4 points and 8.3 rebounds (one third of them O-boards) per game.
Here are the Lady Vols' roster and season statistics.

  George Washington Colonials

George Washington Univerity, which is located in Washington DC, plays in the Atlantic-10 conference. The Colonials have long been an impressive member of the Atlantic-10. They're the reigning two-time champion of the conference.

They have a new coach this season — Jennifer Rizzotti, star point guard of UConn's first national championship team in 1995. She plans to continue the Colonials' winning tradition and has made a fine start. The Colonials currently rank second in the A-10 with a 7-4 record. Graham Hayes (espnW) ranks them eighth in the mid-majors. (If you want to know more about the Colonials' new coach, read Jennifer Rizzotti finds right fit at George Washington.)

The Colonials led the nation in rebounding last season. Their star center Jonquel Jones, who tallied 27 points and 17 rebounds against the Cardinal at Maples, has graduated. But the Colonials are still dominant on the boards this season — third in blocked shots (71), sixth in total rebounds (484) and No. 30 in rebounds per game (44.0). (Stanford, with two fewer games, has 47 blocks, 388 rebounds, and 43.1 rpg.)

The Colonials' leading players are:

  • Senior forward Caira Washington gets the most rebounds (7.5 rpg) and the most blocks (2.2 bpg) and the most points (12.6 ppg). She takes all her shots within the arc and makes 70.5% of them – the best field goal percentage in the nation.

  • Senior guard Hannah Schaible tallies 11.6 points, 3.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game.

  • Graduate transfer forward Lexi Martins tied for first in all of Division I in double-doubles (24) last season and was third in rebounding (13.6 rpg) while a senior at Lehigh. She comes off the bench for the Colonials and is averaging 6.7 rebounds and 8.6 points per game.

Here are the Colonials' roster and season statistics.

No comments: