The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team had its first official day of practice for the 2013-14 campaign on Sunday afternoon in the Gentry Center.
The Lady Tigers will continue practicing for the next 40 days leading up to the season opener at Kansas State on Nov. 8.
“It was a great practice,” said head coach Larry Inman. “We had great attitudes. It looked like a typical first day as far as execution but we’re changing our system so it will take a while to get that in place. We have a lot of new kids and they were very enthusiastic. We worked hard and had a good time and that is what’s important.”
Tennessee State has four returning letter winners from last season’s squad with eight newcomers joining the roster.
Junior guard Rachel Allen is among the top returners and will be expected to provide leadership on the court for TSU. The 5-5 native of Clarksville, Tenn., started all 28 games last year while leading the team in assists with 3.4 helpers per contest. Allen finished the season with the best assist/turnover ratio in the Ohio Valley Conference at 1.9. She also ranked eighth in the OVC in assists and 11th in steals.
“The first day of practice was good,” commented Allen. “[We have] a lot of new people so we’re just trying to mesh together. I’ve taken more of a leadership role this year so I’m just trying to help my team however I can.”
Redshirt Junior Chelsea Hudson is the only returning post player for the Lady Tigers. In 2012-13, she averaged a team second-best 5.4 rebounds per game while posting 6.6 points per contest.
Senior Alana Morris and sophomore Brianna Lawrence round out the returners for TSU. Morris dished out the second-most assists on the team last season while Lawrence saw action in 25 contests.
The 2013-14 newcomers include: Diamond Beatty (5-7*Guard*Fr.), Imani Davis (6-0*Forward*Fr.), Shekinah Gibson (5-10*Guard*Fr.) Alexis Haddock (5-8*Guard*Fr.), LaTeasha Hill (6-0*Forward*Junior), Jayda Johnson (6-0*Forward*Fr.), Jemilah Leonard (5-7*Guard*Freshman) and Julie McCarthy (6-2*Center*Fr.).
The Lady Tigers will face Tennessee Temple in an exhibition contest on Friday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Gentry Center.