The 2010-11 season will look a lot different to fans of the University of Mobile women’s basketball team when the season begins Nov. 1 at Tougaloo College.
The Lady Rams will begin their first season in the Southern States Athletic Conference, and the coaching staff worked hard to add more size, versatility and experience to the roster.
“We are much bigger this year,” Head Coach Michael Berry said. “We made an effort to get bigger, and added size in the post and on the perimeter.”
Adrienne Mackay and Alice Honnery return to lead the way in the post. Honnery set the school’s single-season and single-game block records last year. Joining them in the post will be 6-4 Daphnee Frieson, who comes to Mobile via Ole Miss and Stetson, 6-3 junior Jana Rastovic and 6-1 freshman Leana Tajkov and 6-0 sophomore Hillary Dedeaux.
“Daphnee provides the best inside prescence we’ve had the last 4 years, and her DI experience will be valuable,” Berry said. “Jana brings us size and experience, and the ability to stretch the defense. She’s probably the best shooting post player since Rheonda Leary. Leana can do a little bit of everything at 6-1. Hillary is a sophomore that can add strength inside.”
Mobile also has a solid group of wing players that can play guard or forward. Anna Maddox, who started as a freshman, will return after two years away from the game and sophomore Alyssa Lane returns after averaging 6.7 points per game last year. They will be joined by newcomers Briana Edwards, Qiana Lambert and Monet Kearse.
“Briana is a high-quality freshman with a really good skill-set and basketball IQ,” Berry said. “She can make an immediate impact. Monet brings some raw athleticism and defensive skills.”
The Lady Rams will have plenty of guards to complement the interior players, with newcomers Kyndra Davis, Allison Michael, Crosby Morrison and Jessica Palmer joining holdovers Morgan Melancon, Morgan Crawford, Judi Vignuelle and Kelsie Ruff.
The three holdovers combined for over 62 minutes per game, 13 points and totaled 148 assists.
“Allison is a 3-point shooter that can shoot the lights out and has solid fundamentals, while Kyndra brings some JUCO experience with quickness on the perimeter,” Berry said.
Waiting for the team will be a tough schedule.
“Our new conference is tougher, but we can compete,” Berry said. “We will likely be in the middle of the conference, which is about where we need to be at the start of the season.”
Dotting the schedule are four NCAA Division I games against University of Southern Mississippi, Alabama State, South Alabama and Southeastern Louisiana.