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November 15, 1999 - Image 15

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I

Monday, November 15, 1999 - Woe'sBasktbdII99-The Michigan Daily - R

RTHWESTERN

5-11 (9th.

Coach: June Olkowski
1998-99 Record: 12-16,
no postseason)

c

Starters Returning: Dana Leonard
12.0 ppg, .707 FT%; Leslie Schock
14 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Make or Break: Defense is key -
Northwestern can't give its oppo-
nents 2015 points again if it wants to
obtain a winning record.
..... . :. .... ........ ......... .... .... .... ... ... . . . . .
Another season, another disappoint-
ment.
Who or what is to blame for
Northwestern's women's basketball
te's unsuccessful 19981999 season?
,ame the coach?
Blame the players?
Blame the numerous injuries?
"We've gone through two years now
having pretty disappointing seasons,"
senior forward Leslie Schock said.
"This is definitely going to be the year
where we turn it around with the new
coaching staff, new offense, new
defense and pretty much everything."
orthwestern is under renovation. It's
s g out fresh with the addition of a
new coach and four freshmen.
No, make that five freshman.
"Sometimes it's overwhelming.
Sometimes I feel like a freshman going
to class for the first time because in a
new university," Olkowski said. "You
have to learn the easiest way to do
things. But with that it brings such
excitement and a work ethic with the
players, and that we're excited and we're
g to get some things done."
'e Wildcats can also look toward the
slow, but gradual return of senior for-
ward Kristina Divjak - who spent most
of last season on the sidelines due to a
knee injury - as she rediscovers her
position both on the court and as a team
leader.
"It's been a long process Divjak
said. "It's been a lot of patience. It's not
really something i can jump into, so I
julave to be patient with it and let it
come. It's not 100 percent right now, but
hopefully, my goal is by the Big Ten sea-
son to be 100percent. Ijust have to work
out the kinks along the way"'
Northwestern knows a great deal
about 'kinks'
One kink in particular: defense.
'That's been the worst aspect of our
game,'Divjak said. "We allowed teams
to score way too many points on us per
g . We're not going tq win too many
ga sif teams can score 80 points on
us.'
Divjak and Schock are both still a lit-
tle discouraged by last season. There
was no substantial reason for the ninth-
place finish it had.
Although both Divjak and Scliock
have the opportunity to break some
school records, that's the least of their
worries.
'm just willing to do whatever it
tas to have a winning season this
year,' Schock said. "As far as the num-
bers go, I don't really have any goals like
that. I just want to be able to fill the role
that coach Olkowski assigns me."
Divjak feels the same way.
"I'm more really trying to focus on
getting this team out of the bottom of the
Big Ten," Divjak said. "If (breaking
records) happens along the way, that's
great."
.- Dena Beth Krischer

coach Jim Izard is taking a glass-
half-full approach, believing that this
year's crop of Hoosiers is capable.
"Those were three starters who
finished 10th in the Big Ten," Izard
said, "so we're looking forward to a
fresh start with new players."
Six new players to be exact, who
were rated the sixth-best incoming
class nationally. Leading that class
will be junior college transfer Rainey
Atling and freshman center/forward
Erica Christenson.
Atling was named second-team
All-American in the National Junior
College Athletic Association last sea-
son, averaging 6.7 assists per game.
Christenson averaged 16.7 points and
12.3 points per game in her senior
season of high school and is expect-
ed to compete for a spot in the start-
ing lineup Izard said.
"I've been really impressed with
her," Izard said. "She's big and
strong and physical. She's the biggest
player I've ever had there as far as
size and strength. She's already
blocking Chapman's shots, pushing
her around and making her work
harder."
While the incoming class may be
the future of Indiana basketball,
senior guard Kameelah Morgan and
sophomore center Jill Chapman are
its present.
Morgan is the team's second lead-
ing scorer and as the Hoosiers' only
senior will play a key leadership role
on the team. Chapman made the All-
Big Ten freshmen team last season,
averaging 14.2 points and 7.6
rebounds per game.
If the Hoosiers are to be success-
ful, they'll have to rely on Chapman
to perform at a top level every game.
"It's puts a lot of pressure on me,
but I don't look at it that way,"
Chapman said. "I've been with the
team for a year so I know what
(coach) wants."
With such a young team, Indiana
fans can probably expect another
season in the Big Ten cellar. But by
using this season to build on talent
and potential, Izard may be able to
create a Big Ten contender a few
years down the line.

COLORADO
STATE

ns

Coach: Tom Collen
1998-99 Record: 33-3, 14-0 WAC
(1st, lost in NCAA Sweet 16)
Last year, Colorado State had a dream
season. The Rams compiled a 33-3
record, won the Preseason NIT and were
ranked as high as fourth en route to a
Sweet Sixteen appearance.
The Rams will be hard-pressed to
match that success this year after the
graduations of all-American Becky
Hammon and Katie Cronin, two players
who accounted for 60 percent of
Colorado State's offense during the past
four years.
"I'm glad that 10 of our 12 non-con-
ference games are at home," Rams
coach Tom Collen said. "I think that is a
positive and gives us a chance to
rebound if we slip and fall."
This season, Colorado State will look
to junior Heather Haanen and senior
Roxanne Manning for scoring leader-
ship. Joining these holdovers is one of
the nation's top recruiting classes, fea-
turing guard Elizabeth English from
Indiana and forward Shannon Strecker
from Colorado.
"Playing in Colorado is always tough
and we'll have to contend with the thin
air out there," Michigan coach Sue
Guevara said.
-Arun Gopal

HOLY CROSS
Coach: Bill Gibbons
1998-99 Record: 21-8 1
League (1st, lost in NCAA1
The Crusaders are comi
successful season last year
posted a 21-11 record, won
League Tournament and
NCAA berth, too.
Coach Bill Gibbons lost t
off of that team but will loo
behind his two returning sen
Anna Kinne and Veronica J
is the team's leading retun
after putting up 11.8 point
last year, while Jutras, who
5.8 assists per game last sc
team's top passing threat.
The Crusaders are hopin
talented crop of freshmen ca
up for the graduation losses.
newcomers are forwardsP
Campbell and Katie 0'
guards Becky Flynn and Liz
If Holy Cross has any hopec
as Patriot League champion
couple of the freshmen willI
up and contribute immnediate
Interestingly enough, Hol
ties to Michigan. Assist
Catherine DiGiacinto is a '
so perhaps the Crusaders wil
insider knowledge of
schemes. Either way, Holy C
that it's crusade this year wi
back in the Big Dance.

'4 MASSACHUSETTS
Coach: Joanie O'Brian
1-1 Patriot 1998-99 Record: 16-14, 11-5
first round) Atlantic Ten (2nd, no postseason
action)
ng off of a
when they Massachusetts posted an 11-5 record
ithe Patriot in the Atlantic 10 last year, which was
earned an good for second place in the confer-
ence's Eastern Division. Although their
hree starters overall record was just 16-14, the
k to rebuild Minutemen have reason to be optimistic
iors, guards this year.
utras. Kinne Coach Joanie O'Brien's squad will
ning scorer rely on its backcourt to lead the way. Tri-
s per game captains Kathy Coyner and Alison
dished out MacFarland started every game together
ason, is the last year. Junior Kelly Van Huisen
returns after tearing her right ACL early
g that their last year to give Massachusetts some
n help make depth at the guard spots.
. Among the The experienced guards will have to
Mary Rose show some patience with their young,
Keefe, and but talented, frontcourt mates. The
z O'Conner. starters in the paint will probably be a
of repeating pair of sophomores, Nekole Smith (an
is, at least a Ann Arbor native), and Caroline Nehls.
have to step Assisting the youngsters will be senior
ely. tri-captain Jaywana Bradley.
y Cross has "We have great guards when they
ant Coach play together and we have great posts
98 graduate, when they play together," O'Brien said.
11 have some "So it is just a matter of putting all the
Michigan's pieces together."

LouISIANA
STATE

Coach: Sue Gunter
1998-99 Record: 22-8, 10-4 SEC
(2nd, lost in NCAA Sweet Sixteen of
The Tigers enter the 1999-2000 sea-
son with high hopes. The Tigers are
coming off of a successful campaign
when they put together a 22-8 record
and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of
the NCAA Tournament.
Sue Gunter's Tigers, ranked 14th in
the preseason ESPN/USA TODAY poll,
return four starters from last year's
squad, led by senior forward Katrina
Hibbert, a two-time first-team all-con-
ference honoree. Hibbert is currently the
10th leading scorer in school history and
will have to compensate for the loss of
point guard Latasha Dorsey.
Assisting Hibbert will be 5-11 sopho-
more forward DeTrina White, last year's
national freshman of the Year as voted
by the Women's Basketball News
Service. White's 8.2 rebounds per game
were good for second place on the team.
"We go to LSU because we were
selected to play in the Big Ten/SEC
Challenge," Michigan coach Sue
Guevara said. "It will be a challenge."
-Artn Gopal
LOUISIANA TECH
Coach: Leon Barmore

AL -191k.
f
f

Cross hopes
ll land them

COLORADO

9.

- Michael Kern
-> j

MINNESOTA

6i!

Coach: Cheryl Littlejohn
1998-99 Record: 7-20, 5-11 (tie
10th, no postseason)
Starters Returning: Cassie
VanderHeyden 9.3 ppg, 2.1 apg;
Moneeke Bowden 6.5 ppg, 3.7 apg;
Jackie Tate 6.5 ppg, 4.4 apg
Make or Break: There is little
Minnesota can do to "make" their
season. Look for a long, depressing,
year for the Golden Gophers.
There won't be any dancing in
Minneapolis this March. The men's
team self-imposed a post-season ban
and the Minnesota women's basket-
ball team hasn't had a winning sea-
son since the 1994 campaign. With a
young team that lacks talent, don't
expect that to change this season.
Minnesota lost its leading scorer,
Sonja Robinson, who averaged 9.7
points per game. Golden Gophers
coach Cheryl. Littlejohn, entering
her third season as Minnesota coach,
has won a total of three Big Ten
games.
Then consider that her top three
returning scorers from last year
averaged a combined 21 points and
by the end of this season, the Golden
Gophers probably won't be quite as
"golden."
The Gophers -have not found a
consistent go-to threat as only two
players on their roster are not in
their first or second year.
"We're young, we have 10 players
that are in their first or second year
in our program," Littlejohn said.
"We take it one game at a time, but
in non-conference, I want to be a lit-
tle better than .500 and I want to
double our wins in conference. And
when I say 'double the wins,' I mean
I want to be more competitive."
One of the Gophers' wins last year
came when Minnesota came to
Crisler Arena and beat the
Wolverines 54-47.
The win was the high-point in the
Gophers' season.
"That win and our (two-point) loss
to Purdue, showed our players that
on any given night, we can compete
with anyone in the country. Add in
our loss to Kansas in Hawaii, when
they were ranked in the top 15 -
and we played at a higher level."
- Raphy Goodstein

Coach: Ceal Barry
1998-99 Record: 15-14, 7-9 Big 12
(9th, lost in WNIT second round)
Ceal Barry's Buffaloes have been
accustomed to 20-win seasons and
NCAA Tournament berths during the
1990's. In her 16 years in Boulder, has
established her program as one of the
premier programs in the nation.
All of this success makes last year's
results that much harder to accept.
Colorado stumbled to a 15-14 record,
with a 7-9 mark in the Big 12 and was
relegated to the WNIT, where they
were ousted by Drake in the second
round. Part of the Buffaloes' woes
resulted from their young roster. Still,
the losing was something new to
Colorado's program and will serve as
a motivating factor for this season.
Colorado returns four starters from
last year's team. Leading the way will
be a trio of sophomores, guards Linda
Lappe and Mandy Nightingale and
center Britt Hartshorn. Lappe, with
10.7 points per game last year, is the
team's leading returning point-getter.
Barry will also look to a trio of New
York freshmen to assist the returning
letterwinners. Guard Kate Fagan and
forwards Sabrina Scott and Diana
Spencer bring an infusion of new
blood to the Buffaloes' roster.
Colorado is hoping that this young tal-
ent can mesh to return it to its' accus-
tomed perch on the mountaintop.
- Arun Gopal

-Arun Gopal

PROVIDENCE

Coach: Cristy McKinney

Coach: Jim Jabir
1998-99 Record: 5-22, 4-14 Big East
(1 1th, no postseason action)
There is an old proverb that states:
"Those who ignore history are doomed
to repeat it."
Last season, the Providence Friars
went 5-22.
So, now for that history test...
The Friars, who return four starters,
are hoping that the experience gained
from last year's struggles will translate
into better results on the court this year.
Providence will look to junior for-
ward Monika Roberts for leadership.
Roberts led the Friars in both scoring
and rebounding last year and will have
to provide more of the same if
Providence has any hopes at all of mov-
ing up the ranks in the Big East.
Jim Jabir's Friars face a difficult
climb to respectability, but if they can
learn from last year's history lesson, per-
haps a passing grade will be a reality in
the next few years.

NEW MEXICO
STATE

-Arun Gopal
HiM

RICE

-Arun Gopal
s .v

1998-99 Record: 30-3, 12-0
Belt Conference (1st, lost inI
Four of NCAA Tournament)

C

CINCINNATI

INDIANA

Coach: Jim Izard

1998-99 Recgrd: 13-18
T~tie 10th)

(2-14 Big

Starters Returning: Kameelah
Morgan 11.4 ppg, 3.3 apg; Jill
Chapman 14.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Make or Break: With only two
.eturning starters, Indiana will need
ts six newcomers to make an imme-
:iate impact ........................
lter an 11-3 start last season,
[rna stood on the verge of an
ippearance in the Top 25. Many
>icked the Hoosiers to be one of the
op teams in the Big Ten come tour-
iament time in March.
But Indiana lost 15 of its last 17,
neluding 14 of its 16 in the Big Ten
onference .mark that placed the
loosiers 10th in the Big Ten.
After losing three starters from last
on, the outlook for this season is
0 Iooking any brighter then last
ear's 10th-place finish. But Indiana

Coach: Laurie Pirtle
1998-99 Record: 22-9, 12-4 C-USA
(1st, lost in NCAA first round)
... . . ................. ......... ........... .. ..... ....... .... ......
Cincinnati has had a women's bas-
ketball program for 28 years, and in
that time they have made just two
appearances in ' the NCAA
Tournament. This year, the Bearcats
feel like they can make that a trio.
The Bearcats have reason to be
optimistic, coming off a year in
which they amassed 22 victories (the
second-highest total in school histo-
ry), claimed the Conference USA
regular-season title, and played in
their second-ever NCAA
Tournament.
Bearcats Coach Laurie Pirtle, last
season's Conference USA Coach of
the Year, welcomes back only two
starters, but those two, senior guards
Madinah Slaise (a first-team all-
conference selection last year) and
Candice Robertson, will team to
give the Bearcats a strong backcourt.
These veterans will be joined by a
talented group of frontcourt new-
comers, including highly touted 6-2
freshman Candice Holly. Holly is
part of a recruiting class ranked in
the top 20 by the Reebok All-Star
Girls Report.
-Arun Gopal

Coach: John Sutherland
1998-99 Record: 7-19, 4-12 Big
West (5th, no postseason action)
Roadrunners coach John Sutherland
is no stranger to success. While the head
coach at Arkansas, Sutherland steered
the Razorbacks to two Southwest
Conference titles in nine seasons.
After what happened last year,
Sutherland is no stranger to misery,
either. New Mexico State experienced a
rash of injuries that forced Sutherland to
employ 11 different starters during the
season. The result of all this chaos: a 7-
19 season, including a 2-12 record in the
Big West that left the Roadrunners look-
ing for the coyotes that ambushed them.
New Mexico State is hoping that nine
newcomers can mesh with the six
returning letterwinners to erase the bad
memories from last year. Leading the
charge this year will be junior guard
Chelsea DeMarte, who finished second
on the team in assists last year.
The Road runners' front line is not so
clear. Gone is all-Big West choice
Wendy Ray. In her place, the
Roadrunners have a mix of seven play-
ers competing for three forward spots.
One of the starters could be sophomore
Lauren O'Neill, but the other two slots
are up for grabs. The same can be said
for New Mexico State's season.
-Arun Gopal

1998-99 Record: 20-12, 9-5 WAC
(3rd, lost in WNIT quarterfinals)
When people think of Rice, what usu-
ally comes to mind is the school's repu-
tation as one of the top academic institu-
tions in the United States. How many
people would think of women's basket-
ball?
Rice's women's basketball team has
quietly made a name for itself by earn-
ing back-to-back berths in the postsea-
son WNIT. Last season, under the expert
tutelage of coach Cristy McKinney, the
Owls posted a stellar 20-12 record with
a 9-5 mark in the WAC, good for third
place in the Mountain Division.
The Owls will take flight this year led
by senior guard Marla Brumfield, who
led the team in scoring last year with
14.5 points per game. Brumfield will be
assisted by senior forward Kirra Jordan
and sophomore guard LaToya Brown.
On a recent trip to Europe, these three
players spurred the Owls to a perfect 4-
0 record against teams from Belgium
and Germany. If they continue their
strong play and get some help from their
teammates, the Owls could change peo-
ple's perceptions of Rice a little bit. Did
someone say "basketball Mecca"?
-Arun Gopal
VANDERBILT.
Coach: Jim Foster
1998-99 Record: 13-14, 6-8 SEC
(Tie 8th, no postseason action)
The Vanderbilt Commodores are used
to being one of the best teams in the
country. Throughout the 1990's,
Vanderbilt has stood beside Tennessee,
Connecticut, and Louisiana Tech as one
of the elite teams in college basketball.
Which is why last year must have
been surreal for Vanderbilt fans, who
watched as the Commodores stumbled
to a 13-14 record and finished tied for
eighth in the SEC. Vanderbilt's win over
Michigan did not soften its fall.
The Commodores will look to
rebound this year, led by junior point
guard Ashley Smith - a preseason
Naismith Award candidate.
Complementing Smith's perimeter play
will be senior forwards Chavonne
Hammond and Jennifer Holmes, who
led the SEC in rebounding and was
fourth in blocked shots last year.
The Commodores also get a large
infusion of talent from 6-6 freshman for-
ward Chantelle Anderson, the first
Parade all-American in Vanderbilt histo-
ry. Anderson is part of a squad that
Vandy fans are hoping will generate
some sweet music this year in Nashville.
-Arun Gopal

CENTRAL
MICHIGAN

. 4~

Sun
Final

.

Coach: Fran Voll
1998-99 Record: 11-16, 7-9 MAC
In last year's meeting between
Michigan and Central Michigan, the
Wolverines thrashed the Chippewas,,
103-40. The loss was one of many for
Central Michigan, which finished a
disappointing 11-16.
The Chippewas are looking to turn
things around this year in coach Fran
Voll's fourth season at the helm.
Central Michigan will again field a
very young roster, with 11 freshmen
and sophomores. As a result, Voll is
looking to his two seniors, forward
Shelly Woods -and guard Jodi
Culbertson, to assume leadership roles
on the team.
Woods started 26 games last year
and is the Chippewas' top returning
scorer after averaging 10.7 points per
game last year. Meanwhile, Culbertson
is a strong outside shooter who nailed
16 3-pointers in limited action last year.
She will be counted on to take some of
the pressure off of Woods.
Central Michigan has just eight
returning players, so the freshman class,
which includes two forwards and two
guard/forwards, will be expected to take
up some of the slack for the older play-
ers. If that happens Mount Pleasant
might live up to its name this year.
-Arun Gopal

Last year; Louisiana Tech came up to
Ann Arbor and taught Michigan a les-
son, pounding the Wolverines 84-66.
The fifth-ranked Lady Techsters were
simply too much for the Wolverines to
handle, and Michigan got a lesson in
what it takes to be a national power.
This year's version of the Lady
Techsters is just as loaded with talent as
in previous years, but Louisiana Tech
has to hope that some of that talent can
make up for the huge graduation loss-
es. The departed include two-time Sun
Belt Conference player of the year
Amanda Wilson and three-time all-
conference choice Monica Maxwell.
To pick up the slack, head coach
Leon Barmore will look to a strong
senior class, led by the backcourt duo
of Tamicha Jackson and Betty Lennox,
both of whom are preseason Naismith
Player of the Year candidates.
"We go down to Cajun Country and
play LSU on Saturday and then play
Louisiana Tech that Monday," Guevara
said. "To me, it's like Purdue and Penn
State in the same weekend, and hope
fully that will get us ready."
- Arun Gopal

}

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