|Lauren Tolson is healthy again for the Spiders.|
Can you smell the season? With school starting, we sure can.We're ready to fill you in on the latest with the teams in our state. We have no particular order for what we call Comings and Goings; something just made us start with Richmond.
Ebony Tanner Moore: After seven seasons as a Spiders assistant, Moore reunited with her former teammate and best buddy Kim McNeil. McNeil is the new coach at Hartford and Tanner is her assistant.
Bria Powell: Graduated; started 12 games and averaged 5.5 ppg and 3.8 rpg
Liv Healy: After two ACL tears in two years, Healy has opted to remain a student at Richmond but will not play basketball for the team. She has asked for her release and plans to finish her bachelor's in journalism early and pursue a master's in conjunction with playing basketball at another university. Healy said she is completely healthy and ready for full contact.
Lauren Tolson: Healthy again, the 5-8 guard is a graduate student playing her final season of eligibility; averaged 13.4 ppg last year before a season-ending leg injury on Dec. 5. and is 211 shy of a career 1,000.
Danielle Hatcher: 5-8 G Freshman from Lake Nona (Fla.) High; played point guard and post in high school
Jaide Hinds-Clarke: 6-1 F Freshman from Westwood (N.J.) High, 1,000-point scorer
Ragan Wiseman: 6-1 F Freshman from Floyd (Va.) High, 1,500-point scorer who committed to the Spiders in October 2014
Amy Duggan: 6-0 F Freshman of Noble and Greenough (Mass.) High, won three Class A state girls basketball championships behind a 70-game winning streak; also played softball and volleyball
Kara Powell: Hello, old friend. The former Spider graduated in 2011 and spent last season as an assistant at Holy Cross. She will be an assistant to coach Michael Shafer this season.
We need to knock on wood for these Spiders, who battled injuries much of last season. Having a healthy Tolson and Janelle Hubbard in the backcourt should send shivers around the Atlantic 10; Hubbard upped her scoring average last year (15.8 ppg) with Tolson sidelined.
Richmond also returns 6-1 sophomore forward Tuuli Menna and 5-8 junior guard Micaela Parson. Menna will benefit from a summer conditioning with the Finnish national team and is in "unbelievable shape," Parson remains integral for the Spiders; the junior did not start a game as a freshman and started all 31 last season.
As for newcomers, Hinds-Clark, a player Shafer refers to as a Gen Okoro type, will fill an immediate need on the boards, and Hatcher adds to a complement of guards that are in the discussion for best in the league.
Wiseman and Duggan are both tweeners who pose intriguing matchup possibilities. Expect Shafer to create mismatches using Wiseman, a crafty passer and lights-out shooter who has the ability to post up. The athletic, versatile Duggan, who dreamed of the WNBA as a fifth-grader, was a post player her first two years of high school but she's versatile enough to play on the perimeter.
Season opener: Old Dominion, Nov. 13