Oberlin College Women's Basketball Season Preview
The Yeowomen, coming off an 8-18 season are still young, but have as much experience as any team in the conference. The oldest members of their team are juniors, which means they will all be able play and grow as a team for the next two years. The Yeowomen, who were picked to finish eighth in the NCAC Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released today, return six players who averaged nearly 20 minutes a game last year. The team also returns six of their top seven scorers and their two leading rebounders from a year ago. All things are pointing towards a successful 2011-12 campaign.
Junior Allison Anderson returns as arguably the best point guard in the NCAC. As a sophomore she was sensational averaging 15.1 points, 6 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.8 steals per contest, while also leading the NCAC in minutes played per game at 37.9… The 2010-11 All-NCAC Second-Team selection for the second straight year led the conference in assists (150, also 6th in the nation) and steals.
The Yeowomen lose 1,000-point scorer and four-year starter Syrea Thomas and will look to sophomores Malisa Hoak and Ashley Young to step in and fill the void. Hoak averaged 19.9 minutes per game, while adding 20 steals and 4.1 points per game. Young averaged 31.6 minutes per game last year, while averaging 2.4 steals, 3.9 rebounds per game, and 3.8 points per game.
The Yeowomen also welcome the return of redshirt-sophomore Lillian Jahan who missed her entire freshman year due to a knee injury. Jahan will look to insert herself into the Yeowomen lineup and contribute.
Junior Kelly Warlich joins Anderson as another scoring threat for the Yeowomen. One of the most versatile players in the conference, she proved last year that she can play outside by knocking down 39 3-pointers while still having the ability play down low on the block. She had a team high 27 blocked shots last season (5th in NCAC) and is the second leading returning scorer averaging 12.1 points per game. She led the team with 7.2 rebounds per game last year and her 6.2 defensive boards per game were the most in the league.
Joining Warlich at the forward position is sophomore Allison Gannon, who provided a spark off the bench for the Yeowomen last year. She ended up starting the final six games of the year, and had a respectable freshman season by averaging 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
The Yeowomen bring in two freshmen this year. The first is Jackie Toland, from Cooper City, Florida. Her senior year she averaged 11 points and six rebounds, and was named honorable mention Broward County for the 6A-5A-4A class.
The other freshman this year is Christina Marquette, from Huntington Beach, California. The Orange County all-star averaged 9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game at Edison High School, while helping her team go 29-4 her senior year. She was a three time first team member of the Sunset League.
Junior Ellen Neumann will control the middle for the Yeowomen, with help from Warlich. In her first year as a full-time starter, Neumann averaged seven points a game and added 5.2 boards per contest. She averaged 2.6 offensive rebounds per game, which was fifth in the conference. She also averaged 22.9 minutes per game last year, and will be relied on heavily again this year as a presence in the middle.
Oberlin will tip-off the year on Tuesday, November 15th when they travel to LaRoche, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The home opener is set for three days later (11/18/2011) against Kalamazoo at 7:30 p.m. The Yeowomen wait until December 3rd to open conference play, when they travel to Wittenberg.