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Coach Taylor anticipates a good season for women

October 14, 2011



Coach Taylor anticipates a good season for women’s basketball team

Rob Vanya, October 14, 2011

HOUSTON, Texas — Eric Taylor, head coach of the San Jacinto College women’s basketball team, says he has good reason to anticipate a good season for his squad this year.

“We should have a better season than last year,” Taylor commented. “We had a talented squad last year, but we lacked experience with 11 freshmen and only four sophomores. This year we should advance farther in the playoffs because we have five sophomores, including point guard Korean Davenport (Houston / Washington High School), and Tarneshia Burns (transfer point guard from Paul Quinn College), two redshirt freshmen players, and three sophomore transfer players.”

Last year, the SJC women’s basketball team qualified for the regional playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Taylor is cautiously optimistic that this year’s squad will do better based on what he feels are the key strengths of the team – experience, maturity, and sophomore leadership.

“There are areas we are working on to improve, such as discipline, execution of plays, consistency, and of course defense,” Taylor remarked.

Players that Taylor will count on for offensive production this year include Jaleesa Allen (La Marque / La Marque High School), an All-Conference and All-Region power forward who last season averaged 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1 blocked shot per game; Raija McWright (Terrell / Terrell High School), who averaged 9 points last year; Adaeze Elonu (Houston / Alief-Elsik High School), who averaged 8 points last year; and Shadae Shepherd (Pasadena / Dobie High School), who averaged 6 points last year.

For defensive production, Taylor will count on strong forward Elonu, the team’s returning defensive player of the year, along with shooting guard Jessica Hines (redshirt freshman transfer from the University of Arkansas). “Elonu and Hines are both great perimeter defenders,” Taylor noted.

Taylor is also excited about adding two new players, “twin towers” from Australia who will bring plenty of athleticism and versatility to the team.

“Australia native Olivia Simmons is a 6-2 transfer from Arizona State who is a skilled athlete with a high basketball IQ,” he said. “She will more than likely start at center, but can also play forward. Olimpiea Hurst, the other player from Australia, is a 6-4 true freshman that has a good chance to start at center as well. She can also play power forward, handles the ball decently, is a good rebounder, and a great passer.”

Taylor says the team will excel if the players focus on basic, sound, basketball fundamentals. “The keys to success are staying focused, consistency, understanding and memorizing assignments, execution, and especially defense,” he concluded.

San Jacinto College has highly regarded athletic programs for men and women at all three campuses, and home games are open to the public with no admission charge. The North Campus is home to the baseball and women’s basketball teams. The Central Campus is home to the volleyball and men’s basketball teams. The South Campus is home to the softball and men’s soccer teams. For information about game schedules, rosters, and broadcast schedules, please visit www.sanjacsports.com.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The College, an Achieving the Dream Leader College, is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. Our graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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