By MARLON SCOTT | Senior Staff Writer
Has the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference learned their lesson yet?
This should be the question foremost on the mind of fans of the 2010-11 Lady Govs basketball team. For two years in a row, the Lady Govs stormed through the OVC Tournament all the way to the championship and shocked the rest of the conference who underestimated them.
Carrie Daniels is still the head coach, directing the program for her fifth season. This year’s team contains 10 members of the championship team from last year and seven team members who were on the team who also did it in 2008-09.
The reigning OVC champions have depth and experience.
However, the rest of the OVC picked the Lady Govs to finish third in the preseason poll of conference head coaches and sports information directors. They chose Eastern Illinois to win the title this year. Eastern Illinois is the team the Lady Govs beat the last two years in the championship game.
The poll results beg the question, “Has the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference learned their lesson yet?”
Not only should the 2010-11 Lady Govs basketball team be respected by the rest of the OVC, they should be feared. Apparently, some teams in the conference are going to have to learn the hard way.
“I think the goal for us this year after back-to-back championship seasons is consistency,” Daniels said.
“That is something that we haven’t had, something that is definitely our goal is to go out and be more consistent with the regular season as well through the conference season. We definitely want to end up with another championship, but we have to have that consistent play.”
The Lady Govs lost two of their leading scorers from last season. Nicole Jamen graduated, the third leading scorer on the team and part of a dynamic duo who dominated the paint for the Lady Govs’ last season.
The teams leading scorer, Ashley Herring, also left the team for religious reasons.
Herring averaged 15 points a game and was named OVC Tournament MVP last season.
Brooke Faulkner is one of four seniors on the team this season. Faulkner, Darcie Warner and Dalila Thomas are the seniors expected to start.
Returning junior Jasmine Rayner was a force in the paint last season and the team’s second leading scorer. Rayner was named to the Preseason All-OVC team and is one of seven Lady Govs who earned both OVC titles.
The team has three new freshman faces. Nicole Olszewski is a 5’7” guard from Pickerington, Ohio, Shyra Brown is a 5’9” forward from Cleveland, Tenn. and Lauren Yarbrough is a 5’7” guard from local Clarksville Academy.
The Lady Govs schedule includes three teams who played in the NCAA Tournament last year. TAS