Thursday, November 10, 2016

Coming and Goings: Norfolk State 2016-17

Gabrielle Swinson

Here we are with the final Comings and Goings. We thank all our readers for their patience as we rolled these out.

The whole series:
VCU: Comings and Goings
George Mason: Comings and Goings
William and Mary: Comings and Goings
Richmond: Comings and Goings
Virginia: Comings and Goings
James Madison: Comings and Goings
Liberty: Comings and Goings
Virginia Tech: Comings and Goings
Old Dominion: Comings and Goings
Longwood: Comings and Goings
Hampton: Comings and Goings
Radford: Comings and Goings


Debra Clark: Spartans coach was let go by the university last January
LaShondra Dixon-Gordon: the assistant to Clark is no longer with the program
Koryn Lawrence: Senior guard who averaged 9.1 ppg did not return to school
Quiera Gilmore: Sophomore guard who did not play a minute as a Spartan transferred to St. Augustine's, NSU's opponent on Tuesday
Ashante Doby; Senior guard transferred to Virginia State
Ronesia Spicer: Senior forward left the team last December
Amber Brown: Senior forward survived a diabetic coma last year, but will not return to basketball
Brehanna Daniels: 5-5 guard who made eight starts averaging 4.9 ppg has graduated
Siobhan Beslow: 5-11 forward who was team's leading scorer and rebounder from last year (10.7 ppg, 9 rpg) graduated

Danielle Bell: Virginia Beach native is former director of operations from Richmond; graduate assistant at Georgia; four-year letterwinner for the Spiders; played her high school ball at Kellam
Tamoria Holmes: the former assistant from Chowan played at Howard
Jordan Strode: 5-8 redshirt senior guard from St. Joseph's; played in 14 games last year and averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.1 rpg; had a knee inury her freshman year of college and missed most of the season and redshirted her sophomore season
Gabrielle Swinson: 5-8 junior guard from Bryant & Stratton; averaged 17.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 5 apg, 4 spg last year; scored in double figures in 16 of her 18 games played; named to 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association Junior College Division II All-American team as a freshman; played her high school ball at Virginia Beach's First Colonial High
Treasure Doberson, 5-5, redshirted her freshman year at Virginia Union; averaged 15.1 ppg at Crossland High in Temple Hills, Md.
Tyona Moses, 5-11 freshman guard from Goldsboro (High), N.C.; her high school coach was former NSU All-American LaTina Bullock; MVP of her high school team as a freshman and senior
De'Janaire Deas 6-0 freshman center/forward from Academy of Holy Names (Albany, NY); averaged 18 ppg, 13 rpg and 5 bpg her senior year; five-year letterwinner
Khadedra Crocker: 6-3 forward/center from Virginia Tech: King's Fork High grad and Virginia Tech transfer; will sit out 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules
Khalilah Ali: 6-0 redshirt junior forward: transfer from Longwood sat out last year due to ACL tear; played high school ball at nearby Wilson High

We didn't list Larry Vickers under our "Comings" section, as he was the coach last year, but what's new is the interim tag is removed, and he is in his first full season coaching Norfolk State, a program that won three games last year.

The Spartans graduate leading scorer Siobhan Beslow from that team and will be without Yazmen Hannah, out with a knee injury. She will likely redshirt since she's not expected back until February, and the Spartans will miss the 8 ppg she averaged, especially given Koryn Lawrence, who averaged 9.1 ppg did not return for her final season.

That leaves Kayla Roberts to carry a load. The preseason second-team All-MEAC selection is better prepared for the attention she'll face, Vickers said. "I hate to call it a sophomore slump, but last year she wasn't used to having defenses shift toward her," he said. "This year she's more suited to that."

Ali, formerly of Longwood, will also start. Vickers called her a strong veteran to have in the lineup, and added that she now plays without memories of the ACL tear lurking in her head. Swinson, who put up fabulous numbers at underrated Bryant & Stratton, will be the starting point guard and Strode, a transfer from St. Joseph's, gives NSU an athletic presence on the wing.

"She gives us something we didn't have before," Vickers said. "She's got two years left as a graduate student and is one of the most talented players we have."

Among the freshmen, he elevates Deas, who played for a strong Albany AAU program, just a tad, though he'd like to slow her motor down until she gets acclimated to the college game. Meanwhile, talk to Vickers and you can sense his excitement in preparing for his first season taking over the reins of a program that he predicts will compete for a conference title in the coming years.

Season opener: Nov. 11 at UNC Wilmington

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