Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hoops notes (Hampton, NSU, JMU, etc.)

Hampton and its star forward Quanneisha Perry will be the hunted this season.

The defending MEAC Tournament champion Lady Pirates are the preseason pick to win the conference title in poll of the league's coaches and sports information directors. Makes sense: Hampton returns virtually all the key components from a group that won 13 of its last 14 games against conference opponents and won its three MEAC tournament games by an average of 21.6 points.

Meanwhile, Perry, a 5-10 senior and the reigning MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, was tabbed the Preseason Player of the year. Lady Pirates guard Bernadette Fortune was a preseason All-MEAC second-team choice.

And then there's Norfolk State. The Spartans were picked to finish last in the MEAC, an expected relegation for a program that has lost 22 straight conference games and is just 2-46 against league opponents the past three seasons. Of course, since half the current roster (6 of 12) has never worn the Green and Gold before, no one really knows anything about THIS Norfolk State team. And it's not like they'll be dealing with a lot of external pressure. Clearly, no one in the league is expecting anything from them.

James Madison: Already a candidate for the Wade Trophy, Dawn Evans is now one of the preseason contenders for another national player of the year honor, the Wooden Award. The Dukes' high-scoring senior (24.6 ppg) is one of 30 players on the award's watch list. Others include Delaware sophomore Elena Delle Donne, Georgetown sophomore and former King's Fork High star Sugar Rodgers and 2009 winner Maya Moore of UConn.

Richmond: Spiders freshman soccer/basketball star Becca Wann was named the Atlantic 10's Co-Player of the Week after scoring all three of Richmond's goals, including a game-winner in overtime, over two matches last weekend. On the season Wann has 7 of Richmond's 9 goals (including three game-winners) and has taken 45 shots, one more than the next three Spiders combined. It's enough to make us wonder whether Wann really will walk-on for basketball - she may be too tired from carrying Richmond soccer.

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