Returning letterwinners (key stats): None
Letterwinners lost (key stats): Antoinette Lewis (26 games played – 26 started, 11.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 49 asts, 74 blks, 35 stls); Ashanti Lavergne (15 games played, 1.1 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 2 asts, 2 blks, 0 stls)
Returning redshirts/Squad members (Yr., Hometown, Previous school): None
Newcomers (Yr., Hometown, Previous school): Zena Elias (Sr., Clearwater, Fla., Buffalo); Kiana Anderson (Jr., New Orleans, La., Trinity Valley [Texas] Community College); Debbie Reese (Fr., Fort Pierce, Fla., Lincoln Park Academy)
– During her three seasons at Buffalo, Elias made 32 appearances in which she averaged 4.6 rebounds per outing.
– Elias posted a career best 11 points and 16 rebounds against Akron during her junior season.
– Anderson posted 18 steals and 12 assists at Trinity Valley.
– Throughout her high school career, Reese accumulated over 1,000 points and rebounds.
– Reese scored double figures in all but one contest as a senior at Lincoln Park Academy.
– As a junior, Reese was named first-team all-area after posting 17 double-doubles in 28 contests.
– Reese is the daughter of Patricia (Ingram) Reese who played two seasons of volleyball for South Alabama earning all-Sun Belt Conference honors in 1983 and a place in the South Alabama Athletics Hall of Fame.
Head Coach Terry Fowler
– On replacing Antionette Lewis: “Zena is kind of that person. She is a good offensive rebounder. The thing she does a lot is she rebounds out of her area, she’s not just around the basket. She can go get long rebounds. Kiana averaged about six or seven rebounds a game in junior college so we expect her to do it here as well.”
– On Zena Elias: “Zena is really starting to pick up the flow and understand what we are doing. She has the ability to stretch out 17 feet occasionally and can make some threes but she fits what we are doing.”
– On Kiana Anderson: “Kiana is a big, strong young lady who we just really need to get healthy. That may take us some time here in the early part of the season, but hopefully once we get into conference play she will really get back to what she is capable of doing.”
– On Debbie Reese: “Debbie is just learning but I think she has a lot of potential. I think she is going to be a really good player here in time. She’s athletic, she’s able to handle the ball and has a really good skill set. She has the ability to step around the perimeter and shoot the three as well.”
– On preparing for the season: “We pride ourselves on our defense. We pride ourselves in everything that we do, how we conduct ourselves on and off the court. We have been getting in shape. Honestly basketball is a game of runs so we have to be in shape, you have to be mentally, physically and emotionally in shape. We have been really focusing on defense and fixing it and perfecting it. It’s not going to be perfect, but we know we have all the pieces to get through it. Offensively, we are just getting better.”
– On her goals: “My personal goal for the season is to lead in rebounds, that’s a big goal for me. I want to be what my teammates need me to be. Also, just being someone that they have to guard, to where you can’t go a game without guarding me. I want them to think ‘She is that person, you need to guard her.'”
– On the upcoming season: “Come to the Mitchell Center. We are going to put on a show. We are going to entertain. This is going to be fun. We are a brand-new team and we are gelling together so well, so come watch with the mindset that you are not going to be sitting down. You are going to be on your feet, cheering, and invested in every single play.”
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