At one of
the first lady raider practices of the season, I noticed quickly the absence of
trainer Larry Munger. I usually
look for Larry when I first get to practice just to see how everyone is
physically. Turns out he was taking
junior post Haley Schneider to the doctor because of a problem with her
weeks later, I come to practice only to find again - no Larry. This time, it was freshman Yvonne
Cooke-Taylor's turn. Larry had
taken her in for ACL surgery.
it went well and Yvonne is expected to fully recover and be at 100 percent next
season. But you get the idea - it's
already been a busy month for the lady raider trainer, before the team suits up
for their first game Sunday afternoon against Arizona State.
So as we
look ahead to the upcoming season and what to expect, there are plenty of
reasons to be excited about the 2012-'13 edition of the lady raiders.
two words "if healthy" loom large over this team based on what we've
already seen. The most pressing
situation now is with junior post Shauntal Nobles. She's been diagnosed with guillen barre
disease? Which affects the immune system.
Although sometimes the condition can be extremely dangerous, she's been
treated and is expected to fully recover.
It's when that nobody is certain of. But she's the top post position player
for the lady raiders, and
be a much better team with her than without. Let's wish for a speedy recovery for
shauntal for the team's sake, but more importantly - for hers.
previous years, the lady raiders can boast about depth in the frontcourt - with
nobles or without. Expect big
things from transfer Jackie Patterson first of all. The big 12 pre-season newcomer of the
year looks to be a very active player on the glass who can play with her back
to the basket or knock down the mid-range shot as well. Coaches have also been raving about
Kelsi baker's off-season conditioning.
junior forward from mesquite Is 23 pounds lighter this season and, for obvious
reasons, that should help a lot.
Fans will also be happy I think with local products Haley and Kellyn
Schneider. The 6'5 sisters can give
tech a size mismatch they haven't had much of lately when needed.
seems to be more and more confident as time goes an, and Kellyn will provide
some mobility at the post that you don't always get from a player 6'5. Kellyn will have to be dealt with
delicately in the beginning however.
She had heart surgery back in October to fix an irregularity with her
heartbeat. Doctors have given her a
clean bill of health, but her time may be limited early in the season. Without nobles this team can be pretty
good in the frontcourt. With her,
they could be very dangerous, and it will be nice to watch the advantage tech
will have in the paint night in and night out.
think there's a lot that needs to be said that's new about the 5 seniors. Christine Hyde is the only one of them
that won't play the guard position on a regular basis, and will probably come
off the bench more than in previous years.
She also may get some time at the power forward position. That could give her a chance to use her
quickness to the basket against defenders unable to match that speed.
the rest of the seniors, Monique Smalls still runs the show offensively, and
expect her to make it a long day for those she's guarding at the other
end. Don't be surprised to see more
vocal leadership from Mo as well.
Chynna brown will probably be the most consistent contributor, Casey
Morris will quietly make a difference each night, and mary Bokencamp off the
bench is still one of the best pure shooters in the league. I think sophomore guard amber battle can
be a real x factor for this team.
didn't see a lot of playing time last year and with all the senior guards ahead
of her she might not get the attention she deserves from opponents. Minta spears is another freshman like
Kellyn Schneider who could also see quality time this season, giving added
scoring punch off the bench at either the one or two guard position.
team it's hard to say who will lead the way in production from one night to the
next and that can be a good thing.
Look for the lady raiders to be a very balanced team and also a very
the first time in a while, a very experienced team. Of course, I say that knocking on
wood. Because much of it is
depending on those operative words..."if healthy.”