UVA Women's Basketball: Looking Ahead to Next Season
The Cavaliers had an excellent '07-'08 season, despite exiting in the second round of the NCAA's as a four seed. It was a great way to send off senior Sharnee Zoll, a senior captain and highly influential Cavalier who helped revive the program. Zoll went 29th in the WNBA draft to the LA Sparks.
The only other graduating senior is Tara McKnight, a former walk-on who was a consistent fan-favorite and three-point sharp-shooter; McKnight sunk over 54 percent of her shots from behind the arc to lead the team in three-point percentage.
Both of these players were leaders for UVA and will be sorely missed, and Zoll's 6.35 assists per game in particular helped lead the offense. Zoll, the career ACC leader in assists, is great at setting up baskets, so other Cavaliers' numbers may suffer.
Next year will be a big one for the Cavaliers. It will be a good opportunity for them to step up, as it will be an exceptionally experienced roster for the Cavaliers'.
Here's a look at how the roster will likely play out next year. The given years for the players are what they will be next year.
Probable starting five:
G—Paulisha Kellum (Jr.)
Kellum was a reliable starter in '07/'08, and will likely step up to point guard and lead the offense. She did not put up big assist numbers last season, and seemed more explosive as a scorer. But look for her assists to surge next season. Kellum has shown flashes of brilliance, such as her game-dominating 23 points at Maryland. Though she'll likely end up fourth on the team in PPG, she will probably score the team high a few times.
G—Enonge Stovall (Jr.)
Stovall was the sixth-woman for the Cavaliers, starting only seven of the 28 games she played in. Coach Debbie Ryan clearly likes her a lot, and she brings a lot of toughness to the court. Her play during the second half of the season was much improved from the first half, and she even scored double digits a few times. With Zoll's departure, Stovall will likely take the starting roll, though Britnee Millner could rotate starts with her.
F—Monica Wright (Jr.)
Wright is the best Cavalier women's basketball player, and led the team in scoring in '07-'08. She's also a persistent defender, and a great passer, with the second most assists behind Zoll. Wright will likely continue to lead the team in scoring. Despite a rough final few games of the season, Wright has generally been improving consistently. She'll turn the ball over less as she gets more experienced—her 112 on the season needs to decrease—and could push to lead the ACC in scoring.
F—Lyndra Littles (Sr.)
Littles put up startling numbers during the last five games of the '07-'08 season, averaging over 27 points and 13 rebounds during that span. At about 44 percent, she isn't quite as good an inside shooter as Aisha Mohammed, but she is tough and puts forth tremendous effort, and that gets her really far. '08-'09 could be the season where Littles really pulls things together, and approaches overall excellence on the level of Wright.
C—Aisha Mohammed (Sr.)
Mohammed averaged fewer than 26 minutes a game, the least of the starters, yet still managed to lead the team in rebounding with 9.8 per game, while putting up over 13 points per game. She could easily average a double-double next season, especially if she plays a little bit more, though I'm guessing that is for injury reasons.
G—Britnee Millner (Sr.)
Millner is another player that could see some starting time now that Zoll has departed. She started one game in the '07-'08 season. Millner has never put up big numbers, but she's a good defender and a high energy player. Despite her being injured for part of the season, a win or two during the '07-'08 season might not have happened if it wasn't for the kick-start that Millner's court presence provided. She's a lot of fun to watch and a fan-favorite.
G—Kristen London (Sr.)
London saw about nine minutes of playing time per game in 22 court appearances. She struggled during the '08-'09 season, tallying fewer than two points and rebounds each per game, and putting up a turnover/total minutes ratio worse than many other backups. Hopefully during the '08-09 season, with a bit more court time, she can step up her play.
F—Kelly Hartig (So.)
Kelly, the tallest player on the team at 6'4", came into the '07-'08 season as a five-star recruit the Cavaliers hoped would make an immediate impact in the way Monica Wright had during the '06-'07 season. However, Hartig was still very raw, despite a few impressive moments. Hartig will almost certainly continue to improve and develop on the touch shooting and smart rebounding she has shown. By the end of the season, she will likely be seeing as much game time as any backup.
F—Jayna Hartig (So.)
Kelly's older sister, red-shirted in the '07-'08 season after an injury she described as "frustrating." J. Hartig isn't quite as big as her little sister, but will be a welcome addition to the Cavaliers' frontcourt. As a freshman in the '06-'07 season, her numbers weren't very impressive, but there's no reason why she won't drastically improve after a season of practicing, and developing familiarity with Debbie Ryan's system.
F/C—Abby Robertson (Sr.)
Standing at 6'3", Robertson is another big woman for the Cavaliers. On the court, she can often seem a bit slower and less coordinated than some of the other Virginia players. She puts up a decent shooting percentage, foul-shot percentage, and leads the team in blocks per 40 minutes. She won't be a star for the Cavaliers, but she'll continue to be a reliable and physical presence on the court.
Virginia's most promising potential recruit is Lynetta Kizer, who scout.com ranks as as the No. 2 recruit for the center position. This would be a huge boost for the Cavaliers, and will give the Cavaliers someone ready to fill Aisha Mohammed's shoes once she leaves. Beyond that, recruiting is still hazy for the Cavaliers. Look for an update from me once the recruiting situation becomes more clear.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?