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2018-19 Season: Personnel News

Roster-related news for the 2018-19 D-I women’s basketball season, covering injuries, suspensions, dismissals, preseason and in-season transfers, roster additions, and preseason and in-season coaching changes, arranged by school.

Latest updates: Syracuse (April 1), South Florida (March 31), South Carolina (March 30), Indiana (March 29), Florida Gulf Coast (March 29), Oregon (March 28), West Virginia (March 27)


Air Force

February 4, 2019: Junior center Kassady Huffman (4.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG) is out for the season with a torn ACL.

The injury woes continued for the Air Force women’s basketball team in a loss Saturday to Colorado State.

A week after junior center Kassady Huffman was lost to a torn ACL – a diagnosis confirmed by coach Chris Gobrecht on Monday – freshman Riley Snyder left with a sprained ankle.


Akron

December 29, 2018: Junior point guard Shaunay Edmonds recently returned to the court following a six-game suspension for a team rules violation.

Point guard Shaunay Edmonds was the leading scorer for the Zips with 14 points, their lone player in double figures. Kendall Miller, a freshman from St. Vincent-St. Mary, had nine points.

It was the second game back for Edmonds, a 5-foot-4 junior from Pittsburgh, following a six-game suspension for a team rules violation.

“It was definitely a fight,” she said of the time off. “But I just kept going strong and practicing and going hard for when I do come back.”

[Zips head coach Melissa] Jackson said Edmonds handled the situation well.

“She did an unbelievable job of coming in every single day and making our scout team better,” Jackson said. “And preparing us during that time and being a great teammate.”


Alabama

January 9, 2019: Junior point guard Jordan Lewis (13.5 PPG, 3 APG) is out for the season after suffering a broken wrist on December 20, per the team’s latest game notes.

There was also a press release posted earlier on her injury indicating that she’ll get a medical redshirt for this season and still have two years of eligibility remaining.

Junior point guard Jordan Lewis is out for the season after suffering a broken wrist in the Crimson Tide’s win over Virginia on Dec. 20.

Lewis is tied for the team lead with 13.5 points per game and tops on the team with 3.1 assists per contest in eight games this season. Lewis has started in all 73 games of her career and is currently No. 9 all-time in career assists at Alabama.

The junior will return in the 2019-20 season with two years of eligibility remaining, while pursuing her master’s degree in Business Administration.

February 25, 2019: Freshman guard De’Sha Benjamin (6.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG) is out for the season with a broken foot.

Freshman guard De’Sha Benjamin is out for the season after suffering a broken foot in Sunday’s overtime loss to Georgia.

Benjamin was tops on the Tide bench and freshmen class with 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 25 games this season. The Augusta, Ga., native led the team in three-point percentage (36.5 percent) and was second on the squad in free throw percentage (76.1 percent).

Benjamin has scored in double-digits on eight occasions this season and was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week back on Dec. 18, becoming the first freshman since the 2016-17 season to earn the honor.


Arizona

November 16, 2018: Kiana Barkhoff, 6-3 sophomore forward out of Kitzingen, Germany, is transferring from the Wildcats. She played in 22 games in 2017-18, averaging 0.7 PPG in 5.9 MPG. Her departure reduces the Arizona roster to eleven players. UPDATE (December 3): Barkhoff is transferring to Mercer.

November 28, 2018: Another player is transferring from the Wildcats: Shalyse Smith, a 6-1 freshman forward out of Tacoma, Washington. The 2018-19 roster is now down to ten, when it was expected to be fifteen.

The news came a week after Kiana Barkhoff asked for a transfer to be closer to her home in Florida. During the offseason, Sammy Fatkin and Marlee Kyles decided to leave the UA and Valeria Trucco opted to go pro instead of joining the Wildcats.

UPDATE (December 3): Marlee Kyles is transferring to Colorado State.

January 16, 2019: Tara Manumaleuga, one of the Wildcats’ 2019 signees, arrived on campus this month and is eligible to play, but she’ll instead redshirt and start playing next season. Per the team’s latest game notes (where she is listed on the roster).

Manumaleuga, a native of Sydney, Australia and the cousin of former Arizona tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, graduated high school in November and arrived on campus in January. She is now eligible to play, but intends to use the rest of the season as a redshirt year in preparation for the 2019-20 season.

March 4, 2019: Tee Tee Starks will return next season to the Wildcats and use her final year of eligibility. She is averaging 4.4 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 24.3 MPG this season.

Rarely is a senior honored on Senior Day only to reveal she will take part in another such event next season.

Tee Tee Starks, an Iowa State transfer who has another year of eligibility based on games missed while nursing knee, hip and shoulder injuries, broke the news to coach Adia Barnes during the Senior Day festivities that she will honor her fifth year of eligibility next season.


Arkansas

January 31, 2019: Sophomore guard A’Tyanna Gaulden has missed four-straight games with a knee injury. She was averaging 5.1 PPG in 13.7 MPG off the bench.


Arkansas–Pine Bluff

January 15, 2019: Head coach Nate Kilbert, in his seventh season at the helm, has been fired. Assistant coach Danny Evans named interim head coach.

The University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff has relieved Head Women’s Basketball Coach Nate Kilbert of his duties, effective immediately.

In six-plus seasons as head coach, Kilbert led the Lady Lions to five SWAC Tournament appearances, including a loss in the 2013 SWAC Tournament finals.

Assistant coach Danny Evans has been named Interim Head Coach. A nationwide search will be conducted at the conclusion of the season.

“We thank Coach Kilbert for his years of service to the University as head coach and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said UAPB Athletic Director Melvin Hines. “We felt a change was needed in our women’s basketball program, and decided to go in a different direction.”


Auburn

January 2, 2019: Senior wing Emari Jones has suffered a season-ending torn ACL, also bringing her college career to a close. She was averaging 9.8 PPG and 4.6 RPG this season.

Jones is scheduled to have surgery in Gulf Breeze, Fla., where Auburn team surgeon Dr. James Andrews has a practice. Because she has played in 13 games this season Jones is not eligible for a redshirt so her collegiate playing days are finished.

Jones leads the Tigers in three-pointers made this season with 26 and is averaging 9.8 points per game. Defensively, the six-foot-two forward/guard played the point on Auburn’s full-court, three-quarters court and half-court defenses, which is a key role on the team. She averaged 4.6 rebounds as a senior.


Ball State

January 4, 2019: The Cardinals lost freshman guard Anna Clephane to an ACL injury in early December. She had started the first five games of the seasons, tallying 7.2 PPG.

Losing freshman Anna Clephane to an ACL injury in the Vanderbilt game was a big blow to the team’s depth, as she showed some early promise with 22 points against Cincinnati. Now Gabby Smith, who wasn’t in the rotation at the start of the season, has played double-digit minutes in the last three games. Thelma Dis Agustsdottir was probably the most well-equipped to play right away, along with Clephane, and she has been steady at 7.1 points per game.


Baylor

September 11, 2018: Alexis Morris, expected to be the team’s starting point guard after averaging 9.4 points and 3.4 assists during the 2017-18 campaign, was dismissed from the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Sophomore guard Alexis Morris, one of the standout freshmen on last year’s squad, has been dismissed from the Baylor women’s basketball team, just six weeks away from the team’s first exhibition game. Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey released a statement that Morris has been dismissed “for a violation of team rules, effective immediately.”

The 5-6 guard was expected to be the starting point guard this season with plenty of excitement surrounding her return to the court after her performance as a freshman.

January 15, 2019: There have been rumors about Alexis Morris returning to Baylor next season despite her dismissal from the team prior to this season (see above). It appears that won’t be happening. A source says that her name was added to the NCAA transfer portal last week. UPDATE (Jan. 22): Officially transferring to Rutgers.


Belmont

March 6, 2019: Maura Muensterman will be back playing for the Bruins in 2019-20 after the NCAA granted her a sixty year of eligibility.

The 6-foot Muensterman in late November was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after successfully petitioning the NCAA for an extension.

“It’s been a really, really special year,” she said. “Knowing I have another year is exciting and awesome, but we have a lot to do this year and I’ve stayed focused.”

Muensterman sat out the 2015-16 season to NCAA transfer rules. She then missed all but the first three games of the following year because of injuries, which is why the NCAA granted her medical hardship eligibility waiver.


Boise State

February 8, 2019: Junior guard Riley Lupfer, the team’s leading scorer (12 PPG), has missed two-straight games with an undisclosed injury and is considering day-to-day.

The Broncos (20-3, 10-1) played without Riley Lupfer for the second straight game. The junior guard was injured last week against UNLV and has been day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

February 26, 2019: Riley Lupfer is still out, having now missed four games.

In four games without Lupfer — the Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year — the Broncos have gone 3-1. The bench averaged 24.6 points per game in wins over San Jose State, Fresno State and San Diego State, but had just 10 points in a loss at Utah State — its second-lowest total of the season.

UPDATE (March 2): Lupfer has returned to action for the Broncos.

Riley Lupfer, in only her second game back after missing the previous four with an injury, played 25 minutes and had 10 points off the bench.


Boston College

February 8, 2019: Junior guard Taylor Ortlepp (7.3 PPG) Missed the Eagles’ latest game with an ankle injury (noted here).

February 17, 2019: Taylor Ortlepp has returned to game play after the ankle injury kept her out of three contests.

After missing her first six shots, Taylor Ortlepp was able to tally her first points since returning from an ankle injury that kept her out for three contests. The junior played 26 minutes in her return, and while her shot was not falling often, she was communicating well defensively and added an emotional leadership boost to the team.


BYU

November 5, 2018: Sophomore center Sara Hamson, the team’s leading rebounder last year, will miss at least the beginning of the 2018-19 season with a knee injury.

First, the Cougars will start the season without their only other returning starter, 6-foot-7 sophomore center Sara Hamson. She was BYU’s best rebounder last season, averaging 7.7 boards per game, but sustained an ACL injury in early August while preparing for volleyball season and won’t return to the basketball lineup until December, at the earliest.


Buffalo

October 1, 2018Finess Dickson was granted a waiver by the NCAA to play immediately after transferring from Memphis. She played very little in 2017-18 for the Tigers during her injury-plagued freshman season. Dickson also received a medical hardship waiver, so she retains four years of eligibility.

The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team received some great news late last week as the NCAA approved a waiver to allow Memphis transfer Finess Dickson to be immediately eligible for competition. Dickson will be a redshirt freshman this season for the Bulls after being granted a medical hardship waiver last season at Memphis.

“Finess has been fighting for over a year to get on that basketball court again and she needed someone to fight with her,” stated head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. “To have her come to Buffalo and believe in us enough for a chance to be eligible to play as a walk-on is extraordinary. She believes that we are the people that can help her grow into this game of life. I am humbled and thrilled to have her character, academics, basketball and belief join our Bulls family. We are blessed to have Finess join us.”

Dickson was granted legislative relief by the NCAA, through a legislative relief waiver, so instead of sitting out a full academic year for the Bulls after transferring, she will be immediately eligible to play. The University of Memphis was in full support of the waiver and worked with the Bulls to get the waiver approved by the NCAA.


Butler

January 27, 2019: Redshirt junior guard Katherine Strong (7.5 PPG) is suspected to have suffered a torn ACL in the Bulldogs’ loss to Marquette today.

Adding injury to insult is that Butler starter Kat Strong went down with a suspected ACL tear that would end her season.

February 7, 2019: The team’s game notes indicate that Katherine Strong is out for the season with a knee injury. Also noted is that redshirt junior Ashanti Thomas (4.2 PPG in 12 games this season) is academically ineligible for the remainder of the season. She had sat out last season after transferring from Penn State.


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Categories: 2018–19 season

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