Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Comings and Goings: Radford 2016-17

Brittany Allen

We've got Radford and the Highlanders are looking awfully good! Here's the series so far.

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

Aisha Foy: Radford's leading scorer (12.2 ppg) and a first-team All-Big South selection in a senior season cut short by an ACL tear in mid-February. Finished her career 45 points shy of 1,000 and with 129 3-pointers, fifth in program history; graduate assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State
Gaby Gilmore: Came up big in her final season after a series of injuries to Radford's guards, doubling her scoring output (8.9 ppg) from her junior season. Also notched at least three steals in 11 games.
Fran Recchia: assistant coach who did two tours of duty with Radford has now moved on to Kent
Jamie Givens: assistant coach now at Belmont after two seasons with the Highlanders.

Khiana Johnson:  a 5-7 freshman from Chesapeake's Western Branch High who earned second-team all-state honors after averaging 14.9 points and nearly five steals per game.
Charnissa Chillers: a 5-9 freshman guard who earned Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Player of the Year honors at Williamsburg Christian Academy.
Christie Rogers: assistant coach and recruiting coordinator who held those same titles for four years at Towson. Prior to that, she assumed those roles for one season at Big South Rival Winthrop.
Ross Jolly: assistant coach joins Radford after three seasons at Division II North Greenville. Sister, Kellie Harper, was a three-time national champion at Tennessee and is currently the head coach at Missouri State.

It's no wonder coach Mike McGuire is excited about this Highlanders team. We knock on wood for how healthy they are after injuries depleted their roster and a promising season a year ago.

Sophomore guard Brittany Allen, sophomore guard Claudia Quevado and redshirt freshman Jen Falconer are all cleared to play after suffering ACL tears last fall. They'll join Janayla White, a first-team All-Big South selection last year and the only conference player to average a double-double, on a team that looks to be McGuire's best. With 11 returners, this is certainly his most experienced team in his four seasons at Radford.

While Foy will be missed, we're excited for her new adventure at Southeast Missouri State, by the way along with Gilmore, Radford's healthy-again guards address that problem. McGuire is sky high on both White and Jayda Worthy, essentially a two-headed monster.

Of White, he noted, "Physically she looks as good as ever. She's got poise and makes good decisions."

Of Worthy, he said, "She's our glue."

McGuire, who said only Alexis Jackson will miss the opener due to compartment syndrome in both legs, said the Highlanders trained differently during the offseason, not pushing quite as hard given last season's early injuries. Jackson should be ready by week 2.

Expect Radford to make noise in a Big South race that's UNC Asheville's to win. The Highlanders are picked second and we expect them to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.

Season opener: Nov. 11 at George Mason

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