Monday, September 5, 2011

Tribe talk: William and Mary notes

Brooke Stewart didn't like William and Mary's record. But she did like Williamsburg, head coach Debbie Taylor and the idea of helping the team rebound. So much so that she plans to join the Tribe in the fall of 2012.  The Salem (Mass.) News has full details.

A 6-0 guard/forward from Masconomet Regional School in Boxfield, Mass, Stewart averaged 20.2 points and 6.2 rebounds as a junior last season. She chose the Tribe over CAA rival Northeastern, although she admits that William and Mary's 3-26 record last season gave her pause.

"I mean, it really bothered me," Stewart told the newspaper. "It made me nervous and a little shaky. Then I talked to coach Taylor. First, she's a New Yorker, which I like. She told me they had three knee injuries and a concussion on the team last season. They have a great guard coming in next season (Anna Kestler) who will be a sophomore when I get there. Hopefully I can help them out."

Click here for a rundown on 2012 verbal commitments from all the D-I schools in Virginia.


In 2008-09, the Tribe ranked last in Division I, 328th out of 328 teams, in free throw shooting. The following year, the Tribe were 330th of 332 D-I teams. So naturally, in 2010-11 we can find the Tribe at...55th overall? A 73-percent free-throwing shooting team, after two straight seasons in the mid-50s? What gives?

The natural tendency is to cite the Tiffany Benson Effect. Benson was a defensive marvel and one of the best players in school history - until she toed a free throw line. The former Princess Anne High star made just 26.1 percent from the stripe (43 of 165) as a junior in 2008-09, then followed that up with a 28-percent effort (35 of 125) as a senior in 2009-10.

Subtracting Benson was just part of the story, though; improvement by virtually everyone else was also key to driving the numbers up. Taysha Pye, the team leader in free throw attempts, connected on 73.9 percent of her shots, up from 66.8 the previous season. Emily Correal, second on the team in attempts, went from 62.3 percent in 09-10 to 71.6 percent in 10-11. Jaclyn McKenna's spike was nearly 14 percentage points to 78.0. Katherine DeHenzel improved from 75 percent to 80.4. Clearly, the whole team took this deficiency seriously. Now, it's a team strength.

By the way, if you're wondering how your favorite team ranked at the line:

55  - William and Mary  - 73.0
76  - Richmond  - 72.1
113 - Longwood - 70.7
132 - James Madison - 70.0
133 - Virginia - 70.0
167 - George Mason - 68.9
167 - Hampton - 68.8
195 - Old Dominion - 67.8
200 - VCU  - 67.6
217 - Radford - 66.8
321 - Norfolk State - 61.0
324 - Liberty  - 60.5
325 - Virginia Tech - 60.1


Former Davidson star Janell Crayton is the Tribe's new director of basketball operations. According to the school's release, Crayton's duties will include film exchange (they still do that in this technology age?), coordinating team travel, on-campus recruiting, team promotional activities and other administrative functions.

Crayton was a first-team All-Southern Conference performer as a senior at Davidson in 2006 and has been an assistant coach at three different schools, most recently last season at Colgate. 

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