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2011-12 Women's Hoops Outlook: Wings
As the 2011-12 Liberty women's basketball team prepares for its season opener, Nov. 11 at UNC Greensboro, LibertyFlames.com will preview the upcoming year. Today's article provides a look at the Lady Flames' shooting guards and small forwards. On Thursday, the season preview series will wrap up by examining Liberty's power forwards and centers.
Devon Brown, now a redshirt junior, paced the Lady Flames in scoring (13.5 ppg) and three-pointers made (35) last season, despite battling injuries which sidelined her for seven games. Brown made the first team All-Big South roster for the second straight season and is the Lady Flames' top inside/outside scoring threat. She enters her third season as a Lady Flame needing just 83 more points to reach 1,000 for her career.
"Devon continues to improve her game," asserted Green. "She brings an instant offensive threat to the court and is a very fierce competitor. Devon has a great deal of experience playing against a very high level of competition."
The only 2010-11 starter not returning to the Lady Flames this season is Jelena Antic, who signed a professional contract with the Partizan Belgrade team in Serbia. Two of the most likely candidates to fill the resulting vacancy in Liberty's starting five are experienced players Danika Dale and Brittany Campbell.
Dale, who made three starts last season with Antic sidelined by injury, is one of only two seniors on the team (along with Avery Warley). The 6-1 Texas native was at her best during the 2010 Terrapin Classic. One day after scoring 13 points against nationally-ranked St. John's, Dale grabbed eight rebounds versus La Salle. She has seen playing time both on the perimeter and on the low block during her first three years as a Lady Flame.
"I expect that this will be Danika's best year," stated Green. "She is very versatile and has been a utility player for us in the past. Danika is an exceptional athlete who can score either inside or outside."
Meanwhile, the 6-0 Campbell is the healthiest she has ever been as a Lady Flame, after knee injuries sabotaged her first two years on Liberty Mountain. The redshirt junior appeared in 25 games during the 2010-11 campaign, knocking down five triples.
"After battling injuries for several years, Brittany is now meeting her physical potential," observed Green. "She has worked extremely hard to compete for starting minutes. Brittany has a strong understanding of team chemistry and serves as a team leader and encourager. She is also perhaps our best shooter and perimeter threat."
Two of the Lady Flames' other two perimeter players—junior LaKendra Washington and redshirt sophomore Terika Lunsford—are both solid defenders. Washington has come up with 61 steals during her first two seasons at Liberty, while Lunsford is "potentially our best defensive player, with the skill level to guard the 1, 2 and 3 positions," according to Green.
The 5-8 Washington is also one of the Lady Flames' best outside shooters. In 2010-11, she made nearly 39 percent of her three-point tries. Washington drained four three-pointers during a 13-point outburst against nationally-ranked St. John's at the Terrapin Classic.
"LaKendra provides nice depth at the 2 guard position," said Green. "She exhibits great endurance that adds to her defensive presence. LaKendra is both an outside scoring threat and an effective penetrator."
Lunsford will be playing her first full season with the Lady Flames, after joining the active roster at the close of the fall semester last year. She played in only 11 games during the 2010-11 season but is expected to take on a much larger role this time around.
"Terika is an exceptional athlete who can penetrate and score inside as well as shoot the three-pointer," Green highlighted. "She will have a major impact on the success of our program and can be considered our ‘sleeper.'"
The 5-7 Ellee Rollins is the newest addition to this year's team. A standout at Caravel Academy in Delaware, she will present the Lady Flames with another outside shooting option off of the bench.