2007-08 Women's Basketball Season Preview
Moving into a new season, the 2007-08 Bloomsburg University women’s basketball team is focusing on one thing: WINNING!! "Our motto this year is: Failure is not an option, so get it done," said head coach Tammy Millsaps.
"It's not going to be easy but I want them to accept the challenge and hit it head on."
Many of the faces have changed for this season’s roster, but don’t let that fool you. Several of these faces bring with them playing experience at the collegiate level. "Many have played either one or two years of college basketball so they bring so much to the court: experience and knowledge of how to play the game at the collegiate level," said Millsaps of the incoming junior college transfers. Mix their experience with that of those returning from last season; add in the competitiveness of the newcomers and it makes a formula for a completely revamped team.
The Huskies will look to prepare themselves for their PSAC East games by starting off the season playing several non-conference games along with a few PSAC cross-over games mixed in. Using these games as stepping stones could give the Huskies the advantage they need to succeed in the PSAC East.
This season, the backcourt opens up to give opportunities to both returners and newcomers. Kelly Joyce is a returning junior that played in the post last season, but is looking to move to the guard position. "Kelly can really shoot the ball," said Millsaps. "The coaching staff is looking to really develop her play on the defensive end of the floor."
Also returning is senior point guard Lauren Healy. Last year, Healy was a transfer player who was injured during preseason and was out for the season. "She seems like she’s 100%, and is in excellent shape," said Millsaps of Healy. "She is blessed with great speed, now we have to work and develop her into a point guard. She is solid, very heady, coachable, I'm anticipating a smooth transition."
The backcourt will also feature Brea Lewis, a transfer from Cheyney. “She has exceptional ball handling skills and the ability to either beat you with the three-point shot or beat you off the dribble,” said Millsaps of Lewis. Also looking to help out the Huskies in the backcourt are juniors Shameika Christian, an explosive athlete with a quick first step from Mercyhurst Northeast, Steph Jones, a transfer from Manor College, along with sophomore Angela Mensch and freshman Steph Rankin.
Returning in the frontcourt for the Huskies is junior Colleen Kegerreis. Colleen is coming off an outstanding sophomore campaign. She was one of the top players in the PSAC last season and is looking to lead the Huskies into playoff contention this season. "Colleen is a tremendous leader; always leading by example," added Millsaps. "She works her tail off every summer and comes into preseason in shape and it shows. She’s just intrinsically motivated."
The frontcourt will also feature Chantal Hardy, a junior college transfer from Harcum College. "Chantal has such great ability with the ball and is so strong on the block; what a bonus for us that she can play multiple positions," said Millsaps. Another junior college transfer looking to contribute is Giselle Lara from Jamestown Community College. Also looking for time in the frontcourt will be sophomore Kim Hallick and freshmen Lori Neyhard and Monica Dennison.
Niemah Brooks will be looking to share time between both the backcourt and the frontcourt. "She’s a great athlete and is more of a slashing guard, she uses her length to get to the basket," added Millsaps. "She has good leaping abilities and is a very good one-on-one defender."
The Huskies are looking to be among the top teams competing for the PSAC East top spot. "We can compete," said Millsaps. "If we stay healthy, we can contend for one of the top four spots in the East. We have depth and talent, now the challenge is putting it all together to produce some wins."
A new addition to the coaching staff in the form of assistant coach Learnell Wesley also adds promise to the newly revitalized team. "I believe Learnell is going to be tremendous for us this year in helping to develop our players and providing game strategy," said Millsaps of her new assistant.
In the PSAC East, look for the two of the top contenders to be Millersville and East Stroudsburg trying for the top spots. West Chester and Mansfield are also teams that will be looking to be mixed up in the four playoff spots. "I’m optimistic this will be an exciting year for the Huskies, a turn in the right direction," added Millsaps. "I think it’s our time to experience some success on the court and feel good about what we’re trying to accomplish for this year and years to come."