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DU82
11-14-2010, 10:03 AM
A busy day on the Methodist Flats (as Bob Harris might say) as the women's team opened their season Saturday night against BYU.

After seeing the offensive explosion last week in the exhibition game against Carson-Newman (different level of competition, to be sure), it was a little bit of deja vu to see us struggle to get points. We had trouble moving the ball upcourt against their very aggressive full court press. In particular, trouble inbounding the ball after a made shot. After what seemed to be first game jitters, we started driving to the basket, picking up fouls, and missing free throws. (21-36 for the game.)

Karima Christmas led the way with 20 points, driving aggressively, and putting up shots close in, some seemed just throwing the ball up, but they went in. That helped open things up.

Kathleen Scheer impressed me early, picking up I think our first four rebounds, and being tough on D inside. In her junior year, she's picked up that to play, she's going to have to be an inside player more than just a 3 point bomber. 5-8 overall, with two 3s, which IIRC happened in the second half, and were the "what are you...good shot" type of plays, a little too early in the shot clock down the stretch when I thought we needed to milk the clock, and limit possessions. (Hey, they went in, what do I know!)

Chloe Wells got the start in place of the injured Shaya Selby, definitely had the first game frosh jitters, but settled down in the second half to handle the ball better, allowing Jasmine Thomas to play off the ball, which helped her game.

When we struggled getting shots in the first half, it looked like Jas tried to force things too much, similar to last season's Baylor ending. With Wells having trouble, Jas needed to get the ball from the inbounds pass, and bring the ball off. I think, as we saw in the second half, this team's going to be more successful if Jas doesn't have to do everything and is a bigger offensive threat (0-7 first half, 4-5 second.)

Krystal Thomas on defense is an asset. On offense, she continues to do the same bad things, and as a result only played 17 minutes. She needs to expect the ball, and the old Alaa Abdelnaby chant, "Catch, Face, Shoot!" applies to her. When you get the ball, don't put it on the floor, turn and shoot.

It appears that Allison Vernerey is still recovering from her pre-season concussion, but came in and played good defense, and even made a right-handed hook shot. She has the fundamentals down (as a freshman, she was as fundamentally sound as any center I've seen in a long while) and once she gets back in the flow, will be one of the top players on the team, and I think in the conference.

The four other freshmen (Peters, Liston, Jackson and Gray) all played, and all looked like freshmen. Gray is also recovering from an injury, but showed signs of why she was the top recruit for us. Peters, from the exhibition games, looks like she knows how to play basketball unlike some tall players such as BYU's 6-7 freshman (all those driveway games with her brother, maybe) and hopefully this was just nerves. Trisha and Richa didn't play much (7, 8 minutes) and are probably at the end of the bench this season. Janee Johnson is still hurt, and I didn't see her on the bench, so not sure what's going on with her.

All in all, a decent start to the season against a much better opponent than most other teams (North Florida?) and it doesn't get any easier with the western USC coming to town on Monday. This team is ranked in the top ten, and has the potential to beat last year's results (and yes, that team did pretty well.)