State Team Previews

College Basketball 2006

Women

November 03, 2006|By STAFF REPORTS

COPPIN STATE

Coach -- Derek Brown, seventh full season at Coppin State (109-86)

Affiliation -- Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

2005-06 record -- 22-9 (18-0 MEAC)

Arena -- Coppin Center (1,720)

Consensus MEAC favorite -- Coppin State

Starters lost -- One

Outlook -- While waiting for the Coppin men's team to return to the form of the 1990s, pay attention to the women's squads Brown has been guiding in recent years. The Eagles have gone 46-16 over the past two seasons, including two NCAA tournament appearances and a current run of 29 straight wins in MEAC play. Coppin will have to adjust to playing without guard Sherrie Tucker, who had earned league Player of the Year honors for the past two seasons. Nonetheless, the team still has nine players and four starters returning from last year's 22-9 team, including guard Rashida Suber, who was chosen as the MEAC's preseason Player of the Year after finishing strong in the league's postseason tournament.

LOYOLA

Coach -- Joe Logan, second season (20-10)

Affiliation -- Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

2005-06 record -- 20-10 (14-6 MAAC)

Arena -- Reitz Arena (3,000)

Consensus MAAC favorite -- Iona

Consensus Loyola finish -- Seventh

Starters lost -- Two

Outlook -- After reaching 20 wins, a third-place finish in the regular season and the MAAC tournament final, the Greyhounds are expected to take a step back, having lost most of their frontcourt players to graduation. Loyola returns a trio of senior starters -- guards Jill Glesser (10.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and preseason All-MAAC pick Brittany Dunn (9.2 ppg, 2.5 apg), along with center Vanessa Ruffin (4.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg). Loyola's main task will be replacing its two All-MAAC selections, first-team forward Lauren Troupe and third-team guard Krystle Harrington, as well as reserve Jackie Valderas. The return of previously injured junior forward Meghan Wood (back) should help in the paint.

MORGAN STATE

Coach -- Donald Beasley, second season (5-23)

Affiliation -- Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

2005-06 record -- 5-23 (5-13 MEAC)

Arena -- Hill Field House (4,250)

Consensus MEAC favorite -- Coppin State

Consensus finish -- 10th

Starters lost -- One

Outlook -- The Lady Bears have quite the rebuilding project. Over the past five seasons, the program has seen 14 wins against 124 losses. That includes last year's 5-23 record in Beasley's first season as coach, which marked the team's highest win total since 2001. Senior guard Whitney Johnson, who averaged 13.5 points last season, is one of four returning starters. The team hopes to retain dominance on the boards after leading the MEAC in offensive rebounding last season.

MOUNT ST. MARY'S

Coach -- Vanessa Blair, ninth season (108-118)

Affiliation -- Northeast Conference

2005-06 record -- 12-16 (9-9 NEC)

Arena -- Knott Arena (3,500)

Consensus NEC favorite -- Sacred Heart

Consensus Mount finish -- Sixth

Starters lost -- None

Outlook -- With five starters returning, Blair hopes for a return to the success that the Mountaineers enjoyed in her first two seasons in Emmitsburg, which produced a combined record of 41-16 and one NEC regular-season crown. Last season, the team never found much consistency, a matter that might be solved with maturity coming from nine returning players overall. Junior guard Tiffany Green is likely to lead the Mountaineers, trying to follow up on a sophomore season that earned her honors as the league's top defender. Sophomore guard Brianna Gauthier and senior forward LaToya Butler join Green as the team's top offensive threats. Off the bench, Dita Krumberga gives the team an inside-outside scoring threat and a rebounder.

NAVY

Coach -- Tom Marryott, fourth season (38-49)

Affiliation -- Patriot League

2005-06 record -- 14-14 (7-7 Patriot)

Arena -- Alumni Hall (5,710)

Consensus Patriot favorite -- Army

Consensus Navy prediction -- Sixth

Starters lost -- Two

Outlook -- The Mids will try to locate rhythm that was missing last season. The team was able to get wins over Florida Atlantic and Radford, teams that finished in the top half of Division I in RPI. But Navy also lost in the Patriot League tournament to Colgate, a team it swept during the regular season. With the departure of Lauren Skrel and Ashley Pelzek, the Mids lost a combined 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists per game. Senior forward Carly Meyer is the team's top returning player, followed by senior forward Betsy Burnett and senior center Kate Hobbs. In the backcourt, the only returning letter winners are sophomores Emily Cordle and Kalen Kropa and junior Ali Currier.

TOWSON

Coach -- Joe Mathews, sixth season (39-103)

Affiliation -- Colonial Athletic Association

2005-06 Record -- 9-19 (4-14 CAA)

Arena -- Towson Center (5,000)

Consensus CAA favorite -- Old Dominion

Consensus Towson finish -- 11th

Starters lost -- Three

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