Lady jackets seek to build a tradition

As the 2010-11 season gets underway, the Tech women’s basketball team is coming off the most successful four-year run in team history and will be looking to record a fifth straight 20-win season in the upcoming campaign. The Jackets will have to fare without their top player from last year, as forward Brigitte Ardossi graduated and was selected in the WNBA Draft, but they return most of the roster from a team that went 23-10 and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Guard play should be a strength for the Jackets. The two returning seniors, Deja Foster and Alex Montgomery, have been fixtures in the Tech backcourt for years and should be among the ACC’s top players in the 2010-11 season. Junior Metra Walthour and sophomore Sharena Taylor both return to give Tech two solid options at point guard, and the Jackets boast depth both at the point and wing positions.
Montgomery returned from a torn ACL suffered at the end of the 2008-09 campaign to play in 28 of Tech’s 33 games last season. Though her numbers were down somewhat from the previous year, when she was a healthy starter all season long, she remained a top option for the Jackets and was the team’s primary option from beyond the arc. She was second on the team with 11.9 points per game and had a team-high 59 three-pointers. Foster, meanwhile, emerged as a key weapon for the Jackets in Montgomery’s absence, shooting 48.0 percent from the field and averaging 9.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Her assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.0 was among the best in the conference.
Neither Taylor nor Walthour was extremely effective on the offensive end, but Walthour proved to be an effective distributor and a strong defender, recording a 1.34 assist-to-turnover ratio and 61 steals.
Along with a handful of experienced backups, including junior Mo Bennett and sophomore Jasmine Blain, at least one highly touted freshman will contribute to the Jackets’ backcourt this year. Point guard Dawnn Maye will battle Walthour and Taylor for playing time in her first year with the Jackets.
The loss of Ardossi will no doubt hurt the Jackets’ frontcourt play. The Jackets will have several options available as they look to replace her production up front and continue to receive strong play on the post.
One definite starter will be junior center Sasha Goodlett, who at 6-foot-5 is the tallest player on Tech’s roster. Goodlett has been Tech’s starting center for each of the past two seasons and has shown steady improvement over that span. As a sophomore, she posted 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, both up from her numbers the previous year.
Aside from Goodlett, the Jackets will have to rely on a handful of newcomers and former reserves to shore up the frontcourt. Junior forward Chelsea Regins and junior center LaQuananisha Adams saw time off the bench throughout last season, and both will continue to be factors in the upcoming season. Regins was productive off the bench in the 2009-10 campaign, recording 3.7 points per game (on 46.4 percent shooting) and 2.6 rebounds as she averaged 12.8 minutes per contest. The 6-foot-4 Adams played 8.6 minutes per game and was a reliable reserve who should continue to produce off the bench this season.
The Jackets have added plenty of depth up front, with three forward recruits from Sweden joining the squad for the 2010-11 campaign. The most prominent of these is sophomore Danielle Hamilton-Carter, who missed last season after being ruled ineligible but will see the court for Tech this year.


Comments are closed.