College Basketball Preview

November 14, 1997|By Mark Hoeflich

Division II

Bowie State

Affiliation: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Coach: Ed Davis (90-61, sixth year)

1996-97 record: 29-2

Top players: Rashida Brooks, 6-5, Jr., C (13.8 ppg, 9.9 rpg); Anita Creek, 6-0, Sr., F (4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg); Brenonda Jackson, 5-4, Sr., G (5.0 ppg); Rebecca Rolle, 5-1, Sr., G (2.5 ppg.); Tarsha Wilson, 6-0, Sr., C (3.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg); Beverly Winstead, 5-8, Soph., G (6.0 ppg.)

Outlook: With consecutive trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a No. 14 ranking in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches poll, the stakes are higher for this year's Bulldogs. Gone from last season's team are three starters, most notably leading scorer Brandey Lemons. But Bowie has enough pieces necessary to defend its conference title.

Division III

College of Notre Dame

Affiliation: Atlantic Women's Collegiate

Coach: Tim Engle (90-93, ninth year)

1996-97 record: 12-14

Top players: Nicole Dickson 5-3, Soph., G; Nicole Kilgannon, 5-11, Jr., F; April Krueger, 5-6, Sr., G; Daniela Rados, 5-10, Fr., F; Shannon Skopp, 5-5, Jr., G (7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg); Emily Yanero, 5-10, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Gators look to regroup after losing all five starters from a year ago. Yanero (14.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg as a sophomore in 1995) returns after a year off and strengthens an already versatile backcourt, where Krueger will likely win the starting point guard position.

Frostburg State

Affiliation: Allegheny Mountain Conference

Coach: James Crawley (350-134, 21st year)

1996-97 record: 23-3

Top players: Chiara Lee, 5-9, Sr., F (5.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Cheryl Karwois, 5-11, Jr., F-C; Kara Reed, 5-7, Sr., G (17.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4.1 apg); Shannon Rexrode, 6-1, Soph., F (13.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg); Shelly Ridgeway, 5-5, Sr., G (14.7 ppg, 3.4 apg).

Outlook: By abandoning independent status, the Bobcats have a renewed focus this year -- winning a conference title. And they have the talent to do so, beginning in the backcourt, where Reed, an All-East Coast Athletic Conference selection, is the long-range shooter and Ridgeway the playmaker.

Goucher

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Noelle Navarro (66-83, seventh year)

1996-97 record: 2-22

Top players: Dana Bollinger, 5-4, Soph., PG (8.0 ppg, 3.0 apg); Zeena Huang, 5-5, Jr., G (8.6 ppg); Eve Kennedy, 6-0, Fr., C; Tiffany Orsini, 5-8, Fr., F; Nanette Sherman, 5-6, Soph., G; Kim Rogers, 5-10, Fr., G

Outlook: The Gophers are one of the youngest and most untested teams in the conference. Still, Navarro thinks the team is headed in the right direction with eight new players. As many as four freshman could start and among those with the most potential is Rogers, who will challenge Huang and Sherman for the third guard spot.

Johns Hopkins

Affiliation: Centennial Conference

Coach: Nancy Blank (168-100, 13th year)

1996-97 record: 25-4

Top players: Julie Anderson, 5-10, Sr., F (19.9 ppg, 12.4 rpg); Angie Arnold, 5-6, Sr., G (12.0 ppg, 4.8 apg); Jennifer Deaderick 5-9, Jr. F-C; Leslie Ritter, 5-5, Soph., G (9.5 ppg, 3.3 apg); 'N Marjahna Segers, 5-8, Jr., C (8.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg); Joy Vaccaro, 5-8, Jr., G

Outlook: The possibilities are endless for the Blue Jays this season. After a school-record, 25-win season in 1996-97, which included an appearance in the NCAA tournament quarterfinal round, and with four returning starters, a trip to the Final Four may be within reach. Included among the reasons are All-Centennial Conference picks Anderson and Arnold. A two-time All-American, Anderson is the top forward in the league, recording 24 double-double games a year ago on the way to being named conference Player of the Year.

Salisbury State

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Bridget Benshetler (95-83, eighth year)

1996-97 record: 16-10

Top players: E. Barfuss, 5-11, Fr., G; Amy Cooke, 5-5, Jr., G (7.8 ppg, 6.2 apg); Jessica LaTour, 5-7, Soph., G (17.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg); Katea Murray, 5-10, Soph., F (4.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg); Jill Trout, 6-1, Soph., C (12.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Lisa Neylan, 6-0, Fr., F

Outlook: The biggest challenge facing the Sea Gulls, at least early, will be managing without first-team All-CAC selection and last season's leading scorer LaTour, who is recovering from knee surgery and not expected back until mid-December. But Benshetler has plenty of help beyond LaTour, especially in Cooke, who led the conference in assists (161) a year ago, and Trout, who shot just below 50 percent from the field in 1996-97. Newcomer Barfuss figures to fill in nicely for LaTour and adds depth and size to the backcourt.

St. Mary's

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Shann Hart (14-12, second year)

1996-97 record: 14-12

Top players: Amaris Johnson, 5-6, Jr., PG (8.0 ppg, 4.5 apg); Leslie Kline, 6-0, Sr., F-G (12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg); Erica Pearson, 6-2, Jr., C (15.0 ppg, 12 rpg.)

Outlook: The Seahawks will rely heavily on the play of Pearson in the post, but a deeper and more versatile backcourt should take some of the pressure off her.

Villa Julie

Affiliation: Capital Athletic Conference

Coach: Chris Ramer (4-21, second year)

1996-97 record: 4-21

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