Sunday, March 4, 2012

VCU's Hurt, Richmond's Shafer, JMU's Brooks top All-LadySwish team

The 2011-12 All-LadySwish Team

Courtney Hurt, LadySwish Player of Year

Michael Shafer
Player of the Year: Courtney Hurt, VCU
22 ppg, 12 rpg, 639 points this season, .461 FG percentage
The prolific Rams senior followed up arguably the best individual season in program history as a junior with a nearly identical campaign in her final year. Will leave VCU as the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder.

Coach of the Year: Michael Shafer, Richmond/Kenny Brooks, JMU
Given the Spiders' heavy graduation losses and extreme youth, we had this team penciled in for about 12-14 wins this season. Atlantic 10 coaches seemed to agree, as Richmond was picked to finish eighth in the preseason poll. The Spiders promptly reeled off 22 victories and nabbed the No. 4 seed - and a first-round bye - in the A-10 Tournament. Good thing Shafer doesn't listen to the "experts."

Meanwhile, all Brooks did was overcome the graduation losses of CAA all-time leading scorer Dawn Evans, All-CAA post Lauren Jimenez and key contributors Courtney Hamner and Jalissa Taylor and manage the Dukes to essentially the same level of success they enjoyed the previous two seasons that ended with trips to the NCAA Tournament. We hate ties when it comes to postseason honors. But in our view, Shafer and Brooks were equally outstanding. We really couldn't split this baby.

First team:

Jericka Jenkins, Sr., G Hampton
13.8 ppg, 7.4 apg, 55 steals, .833 FT percentage
  - Division I assists leader and Hampton's little engine that can has the Lady Pirates poised for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Abby Oliver, Sr., G Richmond
17.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, .940 FT percentage (No. 1 NCAA)
  - That the ultra-competitive Oliver would step up her on-court game was a given. But the first-team All-Atlantic 10 performer may have even surprised herself with her effectiveness as the team's leader.
Ariana Moorer, Sr., G Virginia
13.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.7 spg
  - The rare dymanic scorer on the defensive-oriented Cavaliers who extended her value by displaying point-guard skills after the season-ending injury to China Crosby.
Taleia Moton, Sr., G, George Mason
20.7 ppg; 4 rpg; .449 FG percentage; scored 600 points this season
 - Imagine the Patriots offense without Moton's uncanny ability to produce points in bunches. Scary thought, isn't it?
Tia Lewis, Sr., F, ODU
16.5 ppg, 9 ppg, .489 FG percentage
Like Richmond's Oliver, Lewis had no choice but to step into a leadership vacuum but has flourished in the role.

Second team

Tarik Hislop, Jr., G, JMU
14.7 ppg. 3.7 apg, 1.6 spg
  - Don't look at her numbers, particularly those shooting percentages. Look instead at who has the ball in her hands with the game on the line. Then look at the results.
Andrea Barbour, Sr., G, VCU
16.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 71 steals, .423 FG percentage
  - As pure a scorer as you'll find in this state - or any state, for that matter.
Nikki Newman, Jr., F, JMU:
5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.5 spg, 1.3 bpg
 - Self-made defensive ace who can guard any position and has been Kryptonite to several of the league's superstars.
Avery Warley, Sr., C, Liberty
12.7 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 46 blocks, .582 FG percentage
  - U.S. Pan Am Games team member whose ability to corral rebounds is rivaled only by VCU's Hurt.
Choicetta McMillian, Sr., G, Hampton
14.2 ppg, 37.4 mpg; 4.5 rpg; 59 steals, .841 FT percentage
  - Three-point shooting ace who has broken open several game for the Lady Pirates this season.

Third team

Monet Tellier, Soph., G, Virginia Tech
13.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, .427 FG percentage
  - Given the competition, Tellier's 31-point explosion against Maryland may have been the finest individual effort by any state player this season.
Devon Brown, Jr., F, Liberty
17.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, .54 steals, .438 FG percentage
  - That Brown was able to turn in another terrific season is particularly remarkable given the tragic death of her mother last November.
Whitney Long, Sr., G, Norfolk State
 - Spartans sharpshooter has been particularly potent down the stretch and has led NSU to its best season in years.
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, Jr., G, Radford:
17.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 68 steals, .454 FG percentage
  - Is poised to become only the fourth Highlander to crack the school's all-time Top 10 in points, assists and steals - and she's only a junior.
Emily Correal, Jr., F, W&M
13.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 27 blocks
  - Tenacious rebounder and low-post scoreer. An extremely close call for this spot between Correal and her teammate Janine Aldridge.

All-Rookie Team

Ashley Betz White, ODU: 7.9 ppg, 3.6 apg; started all 30 games
Reagan Miller, Liberty: 9.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 115 assists, started all 29 games
Toia Giggetts, JMU: 4.3 ppg, .421 FG percentage
Christina Carter, VCU: 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 24 starts
Ayana Avery, Radford: 6.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, .867 FG percentage

Most improved:
Kirby Burkholder, JMU: 10.5 ppg, scored 304 points this season (vs. 31 last season)
Runner up: Taleia Moton, GMU: 20.7 ppg (12.2 ppg last season)

Results to celebrate:
Virginia 69, Tennessee 64: Cavs record first win over a top three team since 2000
George Mason 56, Drexel 51: Patriots defeat Dragons for the first time since 2003
James Madison 60, Middle Tennessee 46: Only one of five losses for the Raiders, unbeaten in the Sun Belt
Old Dominion 81, Hofstra 79 -- Lady Monarchs knock off Pride in New York
Norfolk State 84, Delaware State 66 -- Spartans break five-year losing streak in MEAC road games
Longwood 59, Air Force 48: Lancers win in Colorado Springs break year-long losing mark on road
William and Mary 83, Old Dominion 80: Break futility of 52-game losing streak dating back to 1976
Hampton 46, Florida A&M 43: Pirates win defensive battle to take top spot in the MEAC
Virginia Tech 75, No. 7 Maryland 69: Hokies pull off ACC stunner
VCU 76, Hofstra 60: Huge second half lifts Rams over high-octane Hofstra
Liberty 73, High Point 65: Lady Flames take over top spot in Big South
Radford 66, High Point 61: Highlanders hand Panthers first conference loss

Best use of Twitter:

Kenny Brooks: Sample of his candor: Getting a haircut is always an educational experience for me...
Richmond SID Rachel Park: Does anybody tweet more detail during a game?

Richmond squeaks past VCU

Best game: Richmond 78, VCU 77

VCU led by eight with less than five minutes to play, but Abby Oliver jumper ignited a 9-0 run. Andrea Barbour's free throws put VCU back in front, but Oliver scored four straight for the 17th and final lead change. Courtney Hurt brought the Rams within a point and a Richmond turnover gave VCU one more chance that turned into three more chances, but the shots didn't fall, as the Spiders survived in this classic.

Biggest upset: Virginia Tech 75, No. 7 Maryland 69
Hokies hadn't beaten a top eight team since 1998, and they won this game in College Park. Monet Tellier amassed 31, connecting on five 3-pointers and 10-of-11 free throws. Aerial Wilson scored 15, Porschia Hadley, 14 and Alyssa Fenyn, while LaTorri Hines-Allen nabbed nine rebounds.

Biggest nonconference upset: Virginia 69, No. 3 Tennessee 64
The Cavs scored 24 points off 27 turnovers with Chelsea Shine pacing five players in double figures with 18 points. This was Virginia's first win over a top 3 foe since 2000.

Website kudos: 
William and Mary's brilliant 20-question series lets us learn all about the Tribe (Kaitlyn Mathieu hates cold pizza; Jaclyn McKenna wants to skydive; Taylor Hilton is a DJ in her spare time, etc)
Liberty blog: Players and coaches take turn giving us insights; Love LaKendra Washington's Pranks! post
Virginia's Amy Mulligan does a great job of providing post game quotes and info and we love "Inside the Huddle."

W&M's Pye, Correal, Willems, Mathieu, McKenna
Road trip we wish we were on: W&M in NYC in December


Avery Warley becomes Liberty's all-time leading rebounder
Carey Green wins No. 300
Abby Oliver, 1,000-point club
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer, 1,000-point club
Whitney Long, 1,000-point club
Tarik Hislop, 1,000-point club
Choicetta McMillian, 1,000-point club
Tia Lewis, 1,000-point club, 1,000 rebounds
Tia Lewis passes Adrienne Goodson for 11th on ODU's all-time scoring list
Taleia Moton, 600 points, single-season record
Jericka Jenkins, 593 assists, second all-time at HU
Longwood joining Big South in 2012-12
Taysha Pye, graduates as W&M's second-leading scorer (1,647 points) and free-throw shooter (683)
Katherine DeHenzel, set single-season assist mark (168) at W&M
Janine Aldridge, her nine 3-pointers set a single-game record; her 89 treys is a single-season record and her 218 3-pointers is the all-time career record at W&M

Did we miss something? Let us know!


  1. Tia Lewis getting 1000 rebounds

  2. JMU's 7th consecutive 20-win season.

  3. Kat DeHenzel - 168 assists, WM single-season record

    Janine Aldridge - 9 3's, WM single game record, 89 3's, single-season record, 218 3's, all-time career record

    Taysha Pye - WM 2nd All-time leading scorer (1647) and free throw shooter (683).

  4. Think you missed Coach of the year.....UVA Coach Joanne Boyle who took the same players Debbie Ryan had last year minus China Crosby and got 22 wins this year.

  5. The only miss about COY was the tie...Kenny Brooks should have had it on his own...and the Lady Duke's WNIT run proved it.