EXCITING TIME FOR UNIVERSITY
As the Lady Flames move into the Gulf South Conference and NCAA Division II, coach Marty Rowe says, “This is an exciting time for the entire university and I couldn’t pick a better group of young women to go into this season with.”
It has been a while since veteran Rowe has been blessed with seven players who started at different times last season, plus having a player returning from knee surgery, who started several games the year before.
Only wing player Julie Zimmerman, point guard Brooke Hamby and versatile Mary Jackson will be missing from last year’s roster. Hamby started all 37 games last season and dished off 137 assists. Zimmerman was usually the first player off the bench and averaged 7.6 points per game. Jackson started two games and average three points and 4.6 rebounds per outing.
PLENTY TO BUILD AROUND
The 2013-14 squad has plenty to build around. Senior Hollie German’s numbers and accomplishments were off the chart during the record-setting 2012-13 season. The talented guard averaged 19.5 points per game. The NAIA All-American was the SSAC Player of the Year, and the CoSIDA NAIA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in leading the Lady Flames to a 34-3 season and a runner-up spot in the NAIA National Tournament.
Junior Jenna Adams came on strong in the second half of last season. At 6-foot, she is versatile enough to score inside and step outside to drill the 3-pointer. Adams averaged 15 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Coach Rowe likes to call seniors Karley Miller, Myriah Iles and Rachel Lockhart his blue-collar workers. Miller started 17 games and averaged eight points and five rebounds. Iles started 21 games and averaged seven points and 4.3 rebounds. Lockhart worked through injuries to start 34 games. Madison Lee is back after missing the entire 2012-13 season while recovering from knee surgery.
Rowe has added Alex Swope, a transfer from Volunteer State Community to the mix. “Alex is a two-year starter from Volunteer State,” he explained. “With the loss of Bambi (Brooke Hamby) we felt like a tough, pass-first point guard would be a good addition to our current guard group. We feel like Alex can take some of the pressure (ball-handling) duties away from Hollie (German) and allow us to continue to run sets for Hollie from multiple positions.”
“Our biggest concern will be how we adjust to the later start date with practice (Oct.15). When you’ve done something the same way for the last 16 years like I have; will we have them ready to go against Bryan? With as many veteran players and quality leaders we have, I’m confident it won’t be an issue, but there is some concern on my part.”
TEAM’S STRONG POINTS
“I think definitely it is leadership by our seniors and Madison (Lee). This is a special group of people and players who deserve the opportunity to be a part of Lee history again this season. Also, we feel good about our depth this year at all positions.”
ENTERING THE GULF
“From what I’ve been told it’s a really solid, well balanced league from top to bottom,” said Rowe. “Every team is well coached and well prepared so this season will be a grind both mentally and physically.
“Delta State and Union finished tied at the top last season so I expect them to be right there again this year. Honestly there is so much parity in this conference, it is hard to separate the next several teams, and they are all quality programs.”
OVERALL TOUGH SCHEDULE
“Yes, it’s a tough schedule, but in talking to Mark Campbell (Union University coach) about what he did last year, we wanted to see where we stack up against good programs in this area. That’s why we reached out to schedule Bellarmine, Carson Newman, and North Georgia. We feel like this approach will give us a great gauge on recruiting in the future,” added Rowe.
EXCITING TIME FOR UNIVERSITY
“This is an exciting time for the entire university and I couldn’t pick a better group of young women to go into this season with.”