JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 4, 2010) - The ETSU women's basketball team held its first official practice Monday night at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. The Lady Bucs begin their 2010-11 season on Nov. 12 at in-state rival Chattanooga.
ETSU, who is coming off its best season in program history, spent the majority of practice working on defensive drills, rebounding, and conditioning. The Lady Bucs recorded a program-best 23-win campaign in 2009-10, and won both the Atlantic Sun regular season and tournament championships, marking ETSU's third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
"The first day of practice is always exciting, because it gives us a chance to work on things as a team," commented head coach Karen Kemp, who begins her 17th season at the helm with the Lady Bucs. "I saw some good things out here tonight and there are some other drills that we need to work on. From here, we are going to continue to spend these next few weeks preparing for the season-opener at Chattanooga."
The Lady Bucs return nine letterwinners from a year ago and the ETSU coaching staff did a tremendous job reloading after losing co-Atlantic Sun Players of the Year Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) and TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.). Five new faces will don the Blue and Gold in 2010-11, while point guard Tara Davis (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and post Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) return for their final campaigns.
Due to a new NCAA rule put into effect for this season, women's basketball teams are allowed more preseason practices and have an opportunity to begin workouts earlier than past years. From 40 days prior to their regular season start date, teams are allotted 30 practices.
"Personally, I like this new rule and I think the same goes for coaches across the country, because it gives us more time to practice with our players before the start of the season," added Kemp. "This is a good time for the rule to go into place, seeing we are without our top three scorers from a year ago, and have nine underclassmen on the roster."
ETSU will play a pair of exhibition games prior to opening the regular season, beginning Monday, Nov. 1 when the Lady Bucs host Tusculum at 7 p.m. The Lady Bucs will also take on King inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center on Sunday, Nov. 7.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball and to purchase season tickets for the upcoming 2010-11 season, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.