Monday, November 14, 2016

Ex-VCU staff, meet the new VCU staff

Marlene Stollings
Who ya got in Tuesday's Minnesota-VCU game? Our money is on the team with the former state championship point guard at Princess Anne High.

That way we can't lose - when the teams square off at 6 p.m. Tuesday at VCU, both will have the Virginia Beach angle well-covered

Golden Gophers true freshman Gadiva Hubbard, who led PA to three straight state titles, debuted for Minnesota Saturday with 16 points, eight rebounds and five steals Saturday in a 103-87 victory over Harvard.

VCU counters with redshirt senior GG Goodhope, who was part of a 2011 Princess Anne state title team that included WNBA Most Improved Player Elizabeth Williams, former Radford All-Big South guard Aisha Foy and ex-William and Mary star Jazmen Boone.

The game also features the return of Marlene Stollings, the Minnesota coach who led the Rams for two seasons (2012-14) before accepting the Big Ten job.  Four current Rams - guards Keira Robinson, Ashlee Mitchell and Isis Thorpe and forward Camille Calhoun - played for Stollings as VCU freshmen.

The Minnesota staff also includes associate head coach Nikita Lowry Dawkins, who was the first member of Stollings' VCU staff and prior to that spent seven seasons as the right hand to Old Dominion's Wendy Larry. Another Golden Gophers assistant, Tamisha Augustin, spent one year under Stollings at VCU.

The Gophers (1-0) will be playing their first road game. VCU (1-0) opened by thumping Coppin State 73-44 at home Friday.

Other games Tuesday:

JMU (1-1) at Liberty (0-1), 5 p.m.
      - The near-complete makeover of the Lady Flames continues as the team started three freshmen for the first time in 20 years and saw seven players make their Liberty debut in Friday's season-opening 98-38 loss at Duke. JMU will be hitting the road for the first time this season after falling to Tennessee Friday and thumping St. Francis (N.Y.) Sunday at the Convocation Center.

St. Augustine's (1-1) at Norfolk State (0-1), 5:30 p.m.
     - The Spartans return to their CIAA roots for their home opener against the Division II Lady Falcons. St. Augustine's redshirt freshman guard Quiera Gilmore was a Spartan last season but sat out the entire campaign with a knee injury. Norfolk State opened with a 64-56 loss at UNC Wilmington.

Longwood (0-1) at Duke (2-0), 7 p.m.
     - Another tough assignment for the Lancers, who fell 87-37 at Marquette Friday. A rare highlight was the strong debut of Longwood freshman Jada Russell (13 points), the one-time high school teammate of Virginia freshman Felicia Aiyeotan at Neumann-Goretti (Pa.). Game is also a homecoming for Longwood assistant Wanisha Smith, who starred for some elite Duke teams from 2004-08.

George Mason (1-1) at LIU-Brooklyn (0-1), 7 p.m.
     - Third game in five days for the Patriots, who have struggled on the road for years (2-11 last year, 7-35 the last three years) and are coming off Sunday's 67-51 setback at Delaware. The Blackbirds stumbled badly out of the gate, committing 32 turnovers in a 68-47 home loss to defending Patriot League champion Army.

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