Friday, June 19, 2015

Comings and goings Part II: Richmond

Tuuli Menna of Finland
Here is the second part of our 13-part series called Comings and Goings that allows us to take a look at roster changes, both hellos and goodbyes, for each of the state's team.

Part I of our series was Old Dominion.

Richmond finished 19-14 last season, falling by a point in the second overtime of the WNIT to Atlantic 10 foe Duquesne. 

Who's going

Genevieve Okoro, 6-0 F, Gibbsboro, N.J.
   - Two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection (third-team in 2014-15)
   - Finished career with 1,334 points and 1,005 rebounds

Liz Brown, 6-3 F/C, Baltimore
    - 7.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game
   - 35.6 percent 3-point shooter

Keri Soppe, 5-9 G, Rochester, N.Y.
   - Appeared in 106 games with 67 starts (10 last season) as a Spider

Yazmean Burgess, 6-3 F/C, Asheville, N.C.
   - Appeared in 87 games during her Richmond career.

Amber Battle, 6-3 F/C, Apex, N.C.
   - Did not play in 2014-15 due to injury.
   - Appeared in 24 games her first three seasons.

It's hard to imagine the Spiders minus the versatile Okoro and Brown, one of only two Richmond players (along with Lauren Tolson) to start all 33 games last season. Meanwhile, we're hopeful Liv Healy is on a quick mend from her second ACL surgery (left knee in March, right knee the year before). Richmond went 4-5 after Healy went down, with all five losses by two points or fewer or in overtime. Healy averaged 8.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg before her season abruptly ended. We also send positive vibes to Karleigh Wike, who had surgery to repair a severely torn labrum in early April, and is looking at 4-6 months of rehab.

Who's coming

Tuuli Menna, 5-11 F, Finland
   - Averaged team highs of 10.0 points and 7.6 rebounds in leading Finland to a fifth-place finish in the B Division of the 2014 U18 European Championships.
  - Averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds per game in 2013-14 U 18 European Championship

Salita Greene, 5-11 F, Durham, N.C. (Charles E. Jordan Sr. H.S.)
   - Graduates from Jordan High as the Lady Falcons all-time leading rebounder (1,202) and second leading scorer (over 1,500 points)
  - MVP in 2015 when she averaged more than 21 ppg and 13 rpg

Taisha Murphy, 5-10 G, Clayton, N.C. (Clayton HS)
 - Averaged 24.3 ppg, 5 rpg and 7 assists in 2015, reaching 30-plus points in 6 games
 - Played four seasons for Blue Star Carolina AAU, averaging a club-record 25.5 per game in summer of 2014

We'll be intrigued to see how well Menna's numbers translate to American ball. She comes in with plenty of experience, having played 72 international games for 26 different nations and is likely to feel right at home when the Spiders travel to Europe for four games in two weeks. Greene and Murphy bring in good-looking high school stats and ideally will contribute early given the loss of five players. But with Okoro, Brown and Burgess gone, the Spiders could use some size to go along with their quickness.

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