Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Second in CAA
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Va., Oct. 16, 2012 - James Madison women's basketball has been picked to finish
second in the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2012-13 season. The preseason poll, voted on by the league's
head coaches, was announced Tuesday at the annual CAA Basketball Media Day at
Champps-Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va.
The reigning CAA champion Delaware Blue Hens, returning all five starters from
last year's 31-2 squad, were selected as the preseason favorite to capture the
2013 CAA title.
Delaware was followed by JMU, Hofstra, Drexel, Old Dominion and
Northeastern. George Mason and UNCW tied
for seventh, Towson and William & Mary tied for ninth and Georgia State
rounded out the rankings for the 11-team conference.
Tarik Hislop (Silver
Spring, Md./Paint Branch), a three-year starter, was selected to the preseason
All-CAA First Team for the first time in her career. Hislop was named to the All-CAA Second Team
following her junior season.
The Dukes had two representatives on the preseason All-CAA Second Team with
Nikki Newman (Harrisonburg,
Va./Turner Ashby) and junior Kirby
Burkholder (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby).
Newman was named the 2012 CAA Defensive Player of the Year, and Burkholder
was an All-CAA Third Team member at the end of the 2011-12 campaign.
A Closer Look at the CAA's
captured its first CAA championship and
advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year. Back to lead the
Blue Hens is senior All-America guard/forward Elena Delle Donne, who led the
nation in scoring (28.1 ppg) in 2011-12 and is on pace to become the all-time
leading scorer in CAA history. She will
be joined in the frontcourt by senior Danielle Parker (8.6 ppg), who ranked
eighth in the CAA in rebounding (7.5 rpg).
The Blue Hens' backcourt is led by two-time All-CAA senior Lauren Carra
(10.2 ppg), senior Trumae Lucas (6.8 ppg) and junior Akeema Richards (6.2
ppg). Senior Kayla Miller will also
provide depth in the backcourt, while junior center Kelsey Buchanan will assist
in the post.
advanced to the
postseason for the seventh straight season in 2012 and reached the championship
game of the WNIT. The Dukes welcome back
four starters from last year's 29-8 squad.
The backcourt includes a pair of All-CAA guards in Tarik Hislop, who topped
JMU in scoring (14.8 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg), and Kirby Burkholder (11.5
ppg). The Dukes also return 2012 CAA Defensive Player of the Year Nikki Newman
(5.8 ppg), the Dukes' top returning rebounder (7.8 rpg), and redshirt senior
guard Jasmine Gill (9.0 ppg). Sophomore Toia Giggetts (4.7 ppg), a strong
contributor last year for JMU's frontcourt, also returns to the line-up.
Hofstra, who finished 19-12 overall
last season and made its fourth postseason appearance, returns a pair of senior starters in Shante
Evans and Candace Bond. Evans, a
two-time All-CAA First Team member and two-time honorable mention All-America
honoree, ranked fourth in the league in scoring (19.2 ppg) and second in
rebounding (10.5 rpg) last season. Bond
(7.8 ppg/5.4 rpg) led the CAA in steals with 2.7 per outing. Sophomore guard Andreana Thomas (4.2 ppg)
will step into the starting spot at point guard. Providing depth in the frontcourt are senior
Deven Green (3.3 ppg) and junior Anma Onyeuku (3.3 ppg), while Annie Payton and
Onyesonam Nolisa should contribute to the backcourt.
advanced to the second round
of the WNIT last season and finished with a 19-14 overall record. The Dragons return two senior starters in
Hollie Mershon and Taylor Wootton.
Mershon, an excellent outside shooter, knocked down 56 treys a year ago
and ranked ninth in the CAA in scoring with 14.5 ppg. Wootton averaged 7.2 points per game. They will be joined by senior guard Fiona
Flanagan (4.1 ppg/2.4 rpg) in the backcourt.
Senior forward Nicole Jones saw time in 28 games off the bench for the
Dragons a year ago and led the team with 20 blocks.
The CAA is coming off an
outstanding year in which the conference sent six teams to postseason play for
the second straight year. This season,
the league returns 60 percent of its starters and eight all-conference
2012-13 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
William & Mary
11. Georgia State
2012-13 CAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
First Team, Cl., Pos., Ht., Hometown/Previous School
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware*, Sr., G/F, 6-5, Wilmington, Del./Ursuline
Shante Evans, Hofstra*, Sr., F, 6-0, West Chester, Pa./Henderson
Tarik Hislop, James Madison#, Sr., G, 5-7, Silver
Spring, Md./Paint Branch
Deanna Kerkhof, Northeastern^, Sr., G, 5-11, Wallaceburg, Ontario/Ursuline
Hollie Mershon, Drexel#, Sr., G/F, 5-10, Malvern, Pa./Archbishop Carroll
Second Team, Cl., Pos., Ht., Hometown/Previous
Kirby Burkholder, James Madison^, Jr., G, 6-0, Bridgewater, Va./Turner
Lauren Carra, Delaware^, Sr., G, 5-9, Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore
Emily Correal, William & Mary, Sr., F, 6-3, Venetia, Pa./Peter's Township
Amber Easter, George Mason, Sr., G/F, 6-0, Hampton, Va./Bethel
Nikki Newman, James Madison, Sr., G/F, 6-2, Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby
CAA Preseason Player of the Year:
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware
Betz-White, Old Dominion; Candace Bond, Hofstra; Karneshia Garrett, UNCW; Jewel
st team All-CAA in 2011-12
# 2nd team All-CAA in 2011-12
^ 3rd team All-CAA in 2011-12