Baylor Freshman Could Spell Trouble For Mountaineers; Rest Of Country

This fall, incoming freshman Brittany Griner will be enrolled at Baylor University.

Griner, a six-foot, eight-inch center is one of the top recruits in the country and immediately makes Baylor a contender in the Big 12 conference as well as the nation.

Griner has an amazing skill set for someone her size. She can step out and hit a 15-foot jump shot or run the fast break. And being six-eight, she has a repertoire of dunks the world of women’s basketball has never seen. Honestly, I have never seen a girl be able to dunk flat-footed off two feet. Amazing. She has potential to be a game-changer for women’s basketball.

Luckily, the Mountaineers will not be facing Baylor in the regular season, but if WVU can live up to it’s expectations, there is no telling who they would square-off against in the “Big Dance” of the NCAA Tournament.

Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself, and let me know what you think.

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New Assistant Coaches Earning Their Stripes

Over the past few months, the WVU Women’s Basketball team has made not only changes to their roster, but changes to their staff as well. Last month, Head Coach Mike Carey announced the addition of two new assistant coaches to his program. These roles were filled by Donchez Graham and Malikah Willis.

Graham, a native of Balitmore, comes to the Mountaineers from Morgan State, where he was an assistant for four years. He was in charge of recruiting, opponent scouting, and working with post players.

While at Morgan State, he led the Bears to 53 wins in three seasons and had three Top 100 recruiting classes .

“Coach Graham not only brings coaching experience to our staff but also great recruiting contacts, ” said Carey. “His connection with the D.C. area will be very helpful to our program.”

Associate Head Coach George Porcha agrees.

“Coach Graham has a wealth of Division I coaching experience and will help us to continue recruiting the talent in the Baltimore area as well,” said Porcha.

A New York native, Willis joins Carey’s staff after serving two years at Norfolk State under the same position. Willis was responsible for out-of-state recruiting, travel coordinating, and post player development.

In her playing career, Willis was a first team Parade All-American out of high school and played four years under college coaching icon C. Vivian Stringer at Iowa.

After college, Willis played professionally for Color Cap Tybnik of Poland and Tapiola Honka of Finland in 1999 and Brazil’s Santa Maria Club in 2000.

“Coach Willis not only brings recruiting contacts, but her playing experience will be very useful,” said Carey.

Porcha is not only excited about where she has been, but where she is from.

“Coach Willis is from New York, which is a hot-bed of talent in college basketball,” said Porcha. “We think she will be able to help us recruit from that part of the country.”

While they have only been on the job for two months, Coach Porcha feels they are already making an impact.

“So far they are doing a great job and I expect them to continue to make a smooth transition from coaching  lower-level Division I to coaching in the Big East,” said Porcha.

With the new staff in place, Coach Porcha feels very confident about the direction the program is heading.

“The new coaches have brought a new energy, fresh recruiting ideas and a very positive and uplifting attitude to our staff,” said Porcha. “I am looking forward to continue working with them.”

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A New Blog, A New Roster, A New Season..

Looking for something new in the world of WVU women’s basketball?  This blog may be the place for you.  My name is Terry Fletcher and I am a journalism major at West Virginia University. For (at least) the next six weeks, you can follow my journey to inform not only the Morgantown-area, but anyone willing to listen, of the other Mountaineer basketball team that has enjoyed its share of success over the past several seasons. Some of you may be asking yourself  “What does this guy know that I can’t read about on any other Mountaineer website?”  A reasonable question in my opinion. But to answer it, for the past two years I have volunteered my free time to helping the women’s team on the court. At West Virginia University, as well as other colleges and universities around the country, there is what is called a “scout team”. This “team” is made up of male students enrolled in West Virginia University who are willing to sacrifice their bodies (and weekends) in the hope that it may help the women’s team reach their ultimate goal of a national championship.

As a member of the scout team, I have a first-hand look at what goes on behind-the-scenes of a major Division-I program, as well as the sacrifice and effort it takes from each person involved with the team, coach and player alike.  I have developed close relationships with the players and coaches and understand what they are trying accomplish. This blog will be able to provide you with coach and player profiles, recruiting updates and information, and interviews with your favorite players. Unfortunately, you will also hear my opinions and views as I try to predict the outcome of the upcoming season and which players will have the most impact. Thank you and enjoy.

Top Recruits Fill Depleted Roster

After a number of injuries and transfers, the WVU women’s basketball team had a serious problem on their hands. They only had seven players, three of which are coming off major surgeries. Luckily, the recruiting season was generous to the Mountaineers as they landed three recruits, all of whom can help take WVU to the top of women’s basketball.

The three incoming freshman are Asya Bussie, Akeema Richards, and Antishia Wright.

Bussie, a 6’4 center from Seton Keough HS in Maryland provides depth in the frontcourt and gives returning 6’5 sophomore Natalie Burton some help around the rim. Busse was the 2009 Baltimore Sun Player of the Year and averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks per game.

Richards comes to the Mountaineers from Western HS in Maryland. She helps replace senior point guard Ashley Powell and gives the Mountaineers another threat in the backcourt. Richards averaged 13 points, 5.9 rebounds, four assists, and 2.6 steals per game at Western High School where she was a 2009 first-team all-state selection.

Antishia Wright will fill in the hole left by senior Takisha Granberry at the forward postion. A Boyton Beach, Fl. native, the 5’11 forward possesses great three-point shooting and all-around game that will fit well in head coach Mike Carey’s system.

“All the girls we have recruited are skilled athletic players that we feel can help take our program to the next level,” said Graduate Assistant Kyle Cooper. “We are very excited to have them as Mountaineers.”

Head coach Mike Carey, who was away on recruiting visits, was unavailable for comment.


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