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2012-13 Women's Hoops Outlook: Wings
As the Liberty women's basketball team prepares for its Nov. 9 season opener at Duquesne, LibertyFlames.com will provide a four-part preview of the 2012-13 season. Today's article provides a look at the Lady Flames' group of wing players.
The wings are the most experienced group of players on Liberty's 2012-13 roster, including four of the team's five seniors (Devon Brown, LaKendra Washington, Brittany Campbell and Terika Lunsford). Brown has made 85 starts during her career, while competition should be fierce to replace Danika Dale at the other wing spot.
Brown has already enjoyed a sensational career with the Lady Flames, playing a key role on two Big South Championship-winning teams. She will now look to finish her final season in style, coming off of a junior campaign which saw the Waynesboro, Va., native rank second in the Big South in free throw percentage (.790), fourth in scoring (16.9 ppg), sixth in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and ninth in steals (2.0 spg).
"Devon is coming back into her senior year healthier than ever," Green observed. "She is our primary offensive threat, who can explode as a scorer at any time. She displays an instinctive ability to rebound, making her one of the best on our team. Devon leads the team with passion and intensity that cannot be surpassed."
Washington, a 5-8 guard from Milwaukee, looks for a healthier senior campaign after missing five games due to injury in 2011-12. When healthy, she led Liberty's reserves with a career-high 6.7 ppg while topping the team in three-point field goal percentage (.406) and ranking third in steals (45). Washington stepped up her play for a short-handed squad at the 2011 Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament, earning all-tournament team recognition.
"LaKendra is coming back healthier than last year," said Green. "She provides excellent perimeter shooting from three-point range. She is also an active thief on defense, which generates easy offensive opportunities. Her senior exploits will have a definite impact on the success of our program."
A local product from the Lynchburg area, Campbell also hopes to be able to play a complete season in 2012-13. She has been limited to 30 appearances during her first four years with the team, but provides vocal leadership and a deft shooting touch when healthy.
"Brittany's presence this year will bring a definite outside shooting presence to our team," asserted Green. "She has a high basketball IQ and has worked extremely hard to become a major contributor to our success. Brittany is a natural leader who displays the heart of a champion."
A 5-9 senior from Suffolk, Va., Lunsford has taken an unusual journey thus far in her collegiate career. She started out on Albany's women's basketball team but transferred to Liberty before playing a game for the Great Danes. After making the 2010-11 Lady Flames roster as a walk-on, Lunsford earned the first four starts of her career a season later. Now, she is aiming to take an expanded role on this year's squad.
"Terika boasts exceptional athletic ability, which combined with her skills, could make her a major surprise contributor this season," Green observed. "She has the ability to turn the game and decide the final outcome. Terika also has the ability to score from three-point range, while her length makes her one of the best defenders on the team."
Another player who originally joined the team as a walk-on, 5-7 Ellee Rollins is back for her sophomore season. Green expects her top on-court contributions to come in the form of perimeter shooting and defense.
"Ellee continues to develop as a Division I basketball player," Green stated. "She has a great work ethic and has become an unseen leader on our team. Ellee exhibits the heart of a lion."
Jessi Edmonds and Jaymee Fisher-Davis, freshmen who both hail from North Carolina, will provide the Lady Flames with two new options on the wing. A part of back-to-back state championship teams at Carolina Day School, the 5-11 Edmonds scored over 1,000 points including a school-record 43 tallies in a single game.
"Jessi brings a pedigree of winning tradition," said Green. "She is a balanced offensive threat, with the ability to score both inside and from beyond the three-point arc. Jessi possesses an exceptionally high basketball IQ and is one of the best passers on our team."
Fisher-Davis also exhibited impressive scoring ability at Butler High School in the Charlotte area. As a senior, she averaged 19.6 ppg and knocked down 80 three-pointers, while shooting 86 percent from the free throw line.
"Jaymee is a combo guard with deep three-point shooting range," Green explained. "She comes to Liberty to provide scoring punch from the perimeter. Jaymee will surprise many people with her determination and tenacity."