Voorhees College Lady Tiger’s 2013-2014 Outlook
The Voorhees College Lady Tigers Head Coach, Edward Glover, feels if the returning players stay focused and are consistent with their hard work, commitment, and dedication to the program then this year’s team will be able to continue the program’s winning ways. The Lady Tigers will have to bounce back from an underachieving 2012-2013 season where they played one of the toughest NAIA schedules in the country that included nine games against teams that made the NAIA national tournament and two of those teams were in the final four. Voorhees will make the move from the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) to compete as a first year member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) and will again face a very challenging schedule with tough NAIA and NCAA competition.
This year’s squad will have a deep but inexperienced bench with only six returning players, who should know what to expect to make a run at another successful season and emerge into the 2014 NAIA national tournament picture. Returning for her final campaign is pre-season GCAC all-conference player Amber Johnson (5’11”, forward, Hardeeville, SC). Johnson, an A.I.I. all-conference team member and the only full-time starter from last season, is the team’s returning leading scorer and rebounder. She will have to carry the load and lead a group of very young lady hoopsters that will include seven true freshmen.
The other five returning players that will be relied on more this season to make contributions to the team are Jasmine Parker-Gant (5’9”, RS-Jr., Nashville, TN/Whites Creek HS), Rachel Blocker (5’2”, Jr., Rowesville, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkinson HS), Lasherria Sprinkle (5’10, Jr., forward/post, Orangeburg, SC/Orangeburg-Wilkinson HS), Kritofia Smart (5’7, RS-So., guard, Bamberg, SC/Bamberg-Erhardt HS) and Mariah Crook (6’1”, So., center, Simpsonville, SC/Hillcrest HS), Parker-Gant will have to fill in at small forward and Blocker will be entrusted into the point guard position. After sitting out most of last season with injuries, Sprinkle will have to pick up where she left off during her first season when she was the team’s “freshmen of the year”. Smart and Crook, the top two recruits from the past two seasons will have to take their games to the next level and be more consistent on the court.
During the off-season the Lady Tigers reloaded and rebuild to replace eleven players lost to graduation which included an honorable mention NAIA all American, NAIA all-academic team member, an all-A.I.I. tournament player and four all-A.I.I. conference team members who won 78 games, two regular season championships and one tournament championship over the past four seasons. The newcomers not only include the true freshmen but also two junior college transfers, five redshirts and a walk-on.
The two juco transfers from Clinton College in Rock Hill, SC are Kendricka Bellamy (5’9”, guard/forward, Little River, SC/North Myrtle Beach HS) and red shirt Elisha Long (5’9”, guard/forward Conway, SC/Conway HS). They both should bring much needed experience to the program. Redshirt freshmen include Miasha Hackett (5’11”, forward/center, Spartanburg, SC/Spartanburg HS), Kimberly Gordon (5’9”, forward, Atlanta, GA/Carver HS) and Alexandria Scriven (5’2” guard, Sumter, SC/Crestwood HS), Dominique Hagood (5’6”, guard, Greenville, SC/Southside HS) and Shawanna McNeil (6’1, post, Charleston, SC/Burke HS). Hackett, Gordon and Scriven should challenge the returning players, see some time coming off the bench and will be counted on in the rotation. Takisha Gooden (5’2”, guard, So., College Park, GA/Tri-Cities HS) is the lone walk-on and is needed to help out at the point guard position. The true freshmen forwards are Briunca Caldwell (6’, College Park, GA/Langston Hughes HS), Tajara Muhammad (6’, Savannah, GA/Sol C. Johnson HS), Brionna Missouri (5’11”, Ellenwood, GA/Arabia Mountain HS) and Ja’Quella Livingston (5’10”, Longs, SC/North Myrtle Beach HS). Helping out in the backcourt positions as true freshmen are Courtney Roberts (5’4”, guard, Sylvania, GA/Screven County HS), sharp shooting Jamilia Burgos(5’7”, guard, Columbus, GA/Hardaway HS), Jenayah Moore (5’9”, Denmark, SC/Denmark-Olar HS) and red shirt Keosha Hardaway (5’10”, Charleston, SC/West Ashley HS). The freshmen should make an immediate impact if they can catch on quick and learn the system. Long and Hardaway will sit out this season.