Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Around the state

They haven't played a game yet, but here's our preseason picks

1. Virginia: The only team to receive votes in the AP poll (they’re 14th), these Cavaliers could be the best since 2000 (that's the last time they advanced to the Sweet 16). That’s thanks to four – count ’em – four top 100 recruits. (PS: Debbie Ryan will get her 700th victory in Virginia’s opener at UMBC.)

2. James Madison: The CAA tournament is at their place, the post players are healthy again, Duke and Maryland are on the slate and they’ve got Dawn Evans.

3. Old Dominion: Let’s see how the underdog role suits a team that discovered last season what it was like not advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 17 years. If newcomers Tia Lewis and Kquanise Byrd play like they practice, ODU's one-year hiatus is over.

4. Richmond: With five starters back, the Spiders could make a dent in an Atlantic 10 race that’s wide open.

5. Virginia Commonwealth: Rams are without Quanitra Hollingsworth for the first time in five years. D’Andra Moss can’t do it all. VCU needs a go-to in order to contend in the CAA.

6. Liberty: No Frazees, but plenty of height. Five frosh are 6 feet or taller.

7. Virginia Tech: This should be Bonnie Henrickson's year at Kansas. As for her former team, after back-to-back 2-12 seasons in the ACC Tech's Beth Dunkenberger will settle for healthy, hungry players intent on putting the lie to the prediction that the Hokies will be the league's worst team.

8. William and Mary: Love Taysha Pye, who averaged 19 ppg in the Tribe’s final 11 games a year ago. Now if Tiffany Benson could just hit a free throw...

9. George Mason: Second-year coach Jeri Porter has her first recruiting class in place for a Patriot team that has been a cellar dweller in the CAA. The recruits look good, but rebuilding takes time.

10. Radford: Second-year coach Tajama Abraham Ngongba has the pedigree, the want-to and talented Kymesha Alston to build around. Is it enough to contend in the Big South? The rest of the league apparently doesn't think so.

11. Longwood: Lancers, 324th in last year’s RPI, are still making the adjustment to Division I.

12. Hampton: They’re picked sixth in the MEAC, but could be laying the groundwork by hiring Hampton High’s David Six as interim coach.

13. Norfolk State: Spartans were the worst team in Division I last year, winning one game. They’ve got no place to go but up behind new coach Debra Clark.

Coming up: Who's going to be fun to watch. The state's best players

1 comment:

  1. Mark these dates - Jan. 17 and Feb. 21, the two dates when ODU plays JMU.

    Probably March 14, too.