Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's get it started: Virginia

Another installment in our series of previews of the state's Division I programs as they approach their first official practices:


Last season: 21-10, 9-5 ACC (3rd), lost in quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament (N.C. State), lost in 1st round of NCAA Tournament (Wisconsin-Green Bay)

First practice: Monday

Season opener: Nov. 12 at Hofstra

Coach Debbie Ryan on:

China Crosby
The Cavaliers' preseason work: We had three freshmen (Simone Egwu, Lexie Gerson and Telia McCall) that played very good minutes, and another in China Crosby who got hurt but also played great minutes and had good experience. I’m expecting a lot from this second-year class. I’m expecting them to be able to step up and give us more scoring, better defense and rebounding. But I also think that we really need to focus on the entire group. They are all going to have to contribute for us to be a great team. You have someone like Chelsea Shine, who played in and contributed in every game last year, who’s got to step up and have a bigger role. Paulisha Kellum is coming into this season healthier than she was last year. There are a lot of players who are going to have to help us in a lot of different ways. Having China back will be a great asset to our program. She worked extremely hard to get herself healthy. I’m excited about the prospect of being able to extend her playing career here at Virginia. She adds a lot to our program.
"I think other players have already started to step up. They are reveling in the fact that they are going to have a chance to do things they want to do and step up and have the opportunity to get things done on the floor. They were young last year, we’ll miss Monica Wright for sure, but there are other players that can fill in different spots. We’re not going to replace Monica Wright, we’re going to have to use several players to pick up the slack for what Monica did. Monica’s numbers were gargantuan. There are players that will step up, it happens every year. In many instances last year we actually played very well when Monica wasn’t on the floor. When you play as a unit, and contribute as a unit, it’s a great feeling."

Newcomers who may adjust quickly: “Jazmin Pitts comes in as a very strong, Charles Barkley type post player. She’s a strong offensive rebounder, which is something our program needs. I think Jazmin is going to be a contender for time in the post. Kelsey Wolfe is a knock-down 3-point shooter. She has good skills around the offensive end of the game and you’ll see that she gives us a dimension that we have needed over the last couple of years and that’s someone who can knock down the three. She’ll stretch the defense for us. Ataira Franklin is an interesting player because she’s such a well-rounded player. She’s a very good defender and has great breadth to her body. She’s thin but she’s got these long arms that make her a good defender. I love the way she finds the open player and passes the ball well. She’s going to be a player that we can take advantage of.”

Next up: Old Dominion

Previous previews

No comments:

Post a Comment