Happy college basketball season opener! The 2013-14 season gets underway tonight, so for both the UE men’s and women’s season openers, I’m putting out a positional breakdown for each of the squads.
The Aces women get underway at the Ford Center tonight at 7 p.m. against Eastern Illinois, so here’s the position-by-position breakdown for the women’s team.
POINT GUARD: Junior Kat Taylor runs the offense for the Aces, and according to head coach Oties Epps, she’s done a “complete 180” from last season. With the majority of the offense lost to graduation, Taylor will bear a bit more of the offensive burden. She’s been working on slashing to the basket in addition to running UE’s fast-paced offense. Taylor will be flanked with freshmen Dakota Weatherford and Paris McLeod, who both can shoot the ball and play lockdown defense.
SHOOTING GUARD: The Aces are just waiting for Khristian Hart to return from her ACL injury, and when she does, she’ll be the star of the backcourt. Hart averaged 13.6 points per game last season before she went down, and she’ll be expected to do the same this year. UE also has sophomore Laura Friday, who started a handful of games last season, and freshmen Kenzie Gustin and Sara Dickey. Dickey shone in the preseason game against the Screaming Eagles, scoring 19 points, and is one of the team’s most athletic players.
FORWARD: Though the team as a whole is very young, the forward position may be the most inexperienced bunch. The Aces have two freshmen, Sasha Robinson and Caitlyn Russell, and just one senior, Katie Ellerson, who hasn’t see much court time in her career. Robinson started the exhibition against USI and Ellerson came off the bench and added 11 points, so this group will get some good experience this season.
CENTER: Though there’s not really such a position as a center in women’s basketball, senior Miranda Liles and junior Mallory Ladd are as close as UE gets. Ladd gets it done in the paint, as seen by her 21-point, 11-rebound effort against Southern Indiana and Liles, who missed the exhibition, is one of the most experienced rebounders on the team. The duo will likely share time at the ‘5’ position while the rest of the post players rotate at the ‘4.’