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Thursday, October 11, 2007

MU women's hoops/Practice preview story for Friday Press

Note to all - coming on our blog Thursday and Friday. MU women's (see below) and men's hoops practice preview stories (which will run in the Press Friday and Saturday). Plus on Friday on the blog the MU football preview for Wagner game (for Saturday Press).


WEST LONG BRANCH - Get out the duct tape.
A Monmouth University women's basketball team brimming with potential to win its first Northeast Conference Tournament championship since 1987 will report to Friday night's first practice for the 2007-2008 season with several key players, including two of its three returning leading scorers, at less than full strength.
Junior guard Marisa Jimenez (shoulder) and junior forward Lakia Barber (ACL) will be held to light or limited practice for the time being while senior point guard Brianne Edwards (knee), the team's returning leader in scoring (10.9 ppg.) and assists (86), probably won't be playing until at least late next month.
It remains to be seen how, in the long term, the injuries affect the Hawks who bring back virtually their entire roster after an 18-13 record and a trip to the 2007 NEC Tournament semifinals where they fell to eventual champion Sacred Heart.
""When we left the post season, other than Kia's (Barber's) ACL tear, we thought we were going to be in pretty good shape,'' said coach Michele Baxter. ""It turns out we had a couple of more serious injuries than we anticipated.''
The most serious appears to be Edwards who underwent surgery. Baxter said the player, who led Monmouth with 17 points and seven rebounds in the NEC Tournament semifinal, is pushing to be on the court by Thanksgiving. ""The doctors are predicting a little bit of a later date,'' said Baxter.
By Thanksgiving week Monmouth will have played four games, though its NEC schedule doesn't begin until Dec. 8 when it hosts Sacred Heart.
Last year Jimenez was Monmouth's No. 3 scorer (8.8 ppg.) and tied for second in steals (41). Barber averaged 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds.
Baxter said Jimenez and Barber are expected to be ready for Monmouth's Nov. 9 season opening game at Rider.
"'Going into the season it's going to be a period of adjustment,'' said Baxter. ""We're just going to have some other players step up.''
One of those players is expected to be junior point guard Marbely Montas. The 5-8 transfer from Union County Junior College was named an all divisions JUCO All-America after averaging 16.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists at Union.
She said she turned down scholarship offers from St. John's and St. Peter's. ""I truly wanted to come here,'' said Montas. ""I'm ready to play.''
Montas said she's determined to help the Hawks end their title draught. ""We're making it this year,'' she said. ""We've got a lot of talent. We all get along. The chemistry is thereeen here.''
"'We're focusing on that goal of winning the championship.''


Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony i don"t understand what went wrong here,from following your blogs since the end of the season,everybody new kia and bre were hurt. WE didn"t know about marisa but my ? to you is why did it take so long for the last 2 to have surgury that they may not be ready or at full strenght. They are lucky to have a deep team or they would be in deep trouble

9:14 AM, October 14, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Far as I know Kia had surgery at the end of last season...

When they did the surgery on Bri - from what I understand - it was not expected to be a big deal.. and would result in a quick recovery - When they got in there had to do more than anticipated....

10:15 AM, October 14, 2007  

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