MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Mike Carey is certain of one thing when it comes to his West Virginia women’s basketball team:
“We can score,” Carey said. “Scoring the ball won’t be a problem for us.”
The 1991-’92 team set the school record averaging 82.4 points per game and is still the only WVU women’s team to average more than 80 per game in one season.
As the Mountaineers prepare to open their season at 7 p.m. today in an exhibition game against West Liberty, at the WVU Coliseum — admission is free — they will do so not worrying much about their offense.
“Our offense, we’ve got a lot of scorers,” said forward Naomi Davenport, who averaged 16.1 points per game last season. “Scoring is going to come. Everybody we have can score.”
With the return of guard Tynice Martin — the MVP of the 2017 Big 12 tournament — and with former all-Big Ten freshman Kysre Gondrezick now eligible, the Mountaineers have the making to spread defenses out with four double-digit scorers in the starting lineup.
“My approach to our offense this year will be a little bit different,” Carey said. “I’ve always been a power type of team. It’s going to be alittle bit different, because of our personnel. You have to go with the strengths of our personnel.”
Here’s how it will look:
Gondrezick, who averaged 14.9 points as a freshman at Michigan, will take over at point guard.
Katrina Pardee, who connected on 82 3-pointers and averaged 12,3 points last season, returns at shooting guard.
Martin, who scored 1,013 points in her first two seasons, will be on the wing, while Davenport will move from the wing to power forward.
“She’s going to be in the paint some,” Carey said of Davenport. “She’s going to have to be aggressive in there.”
Senior Theresa Ekhelar and highly-recruited freshman Kari Niblack will be on the inside.
“The problem with having a lot of people who can score is if somebody doesn’t get a shot a couple of times down the floor, then they’re going to make sure they get their shot the next time,” Carey said. “You can’t play that way, because that quick shot or that bad shot will lead to a fast break on the other end.”
WVU will open the regular season, against Coppin State, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6, at the Coliseum.
Carey said the NCAA has yet to rule on the eligibility of junior forward De’Janae Boykin, a transfer from Penn State.
Boykin, a former McDonald’s All-American who signed with UConn out of high school, has practiced with the team but will not be eligible to play until cleared by the NCAA.
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