2018-19 Season: Personnel News


Tennessee

August 31, 2018: Heading into her sophomore season, Anastasia Hayes was dismissed from the team for the proverbial “violation of team rules” (see below). UPDATE (October 8): Hayes committed to transfer to Middle Tennessee, and she’ll sign a letter of intent in January.

“Anastasia Hayes has been dismissed from the Tennessee women’s basketball team due to violation of team rules,” Warlick said.

Losing Hayes is not an ideal situation for the Lady Vols. Part of last year’s standout freshman class, which ranked first in the nation in recruiting for 2017, she played a big role off of the bench.

Hayes made such an impact that she was awarded the honor of SEC Sixth Woman of the Year, which is given to a player chosen by coaches in the conference that came off of the bench and found success on the court.

October 19, 2018Lou Brown, the grad transfer from Washington State, has suffered a torn ACL. The forward is likely out for the season, although the Lady Vols are saying she’s out “indefinitely.”

UT coach Holly Warlick announced Friday afternoon that Brown suffered a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament in practice Wednesday and will be out indefinitely. Given the nature of the injury, the 6-foot-3 forward likely is finished for the season.


Texas

August 6, 2018: Freshman center Sedona Prince suffered a broken leg playing for the United States at the FIBA U18 world championships in Mexico City. The official release from the Longhorns (see below) stated that “no timetable for her return has been established,” but a Austin American-Statesman item included this: “Prince expects to be ready for the 2019-20 season after sitting out this year with a medical redshirt, her mother said.”

Texas women’s basketball freshman Sedona Prince successfully underwent surgery on Monday afternoon in Austin to repair a lower right leg fracture. She sustained the injury on Friday evening competing for the United States U18 Team at the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship in Mexico City. She is expected to make a full recovery, but no timetable for her return has been established.

Statement from Texas Head Coach Karen Aston
“I am so thankful to [USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director] Carol Callan, the USA Basketball staff and our training and administrative staff here at Texas for their diligence in caring for Sedona and transporting her back to Austin. We are disappointed for her but will focus on her road to recovery with faith that she returns stronger and better than ever.”

October 11, 2018: Junior guard/forward Joyner Holmes had surgery on her right ankle following an injury suffered earlier this week. The timetable for her return to the court hasn’t been determined.

November 9, 2018: Chasity Patterson, 5-5 sophomore point guard out of Houston, Texas, announces that she’s transferring. She averaged 2.8 PPG in 7.6 MPG during her freshman season. Patterson came out of high school as a McDonald’s All-American and top-five recruit in the 2017 class. Texas had the #3 recruiting class for 2017 (per espnW), but now two of the three members of that class have left. Rellah Boothe transferred to a juco (Northwest Florida State College) following the 2017-18 season.

November 26, 2018: More injury woes for the Longhorns, with news that starting senior guard Lashann Higgs has suffered a season-ending knee injury. The article also says that Joyner Holmes (see above) might be able to return in December.

The tough-luck Texas women’s basketball team suffered another blow on Monday when starting guard Lashann Higgs learned she suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The Longhorn senior suffered a torn ACL to her right knee while driving to the hoop in the first half of a victory over Quinnipiac Friday night in Estero, Fla. It was a non-contact foul, according to Texas spokesman Sean Cartell.

Higgs will like petition the NCAA after the season to have a medical redshirt year, he said.

December 8, 2018: Joyner Holmes could return for the Longhorns’ game Sunday versus Tennessee. If she isn’t ready for that game, she should be for the team’s matchup a week later with Stetson. UPDATE (December 9): Holmes returned to the court in the Tennessee game, tallying 2 points and 3 rebounds in 11 minutes of action.

Help might be on the way soon. Forward Joyner Holmes, who had surgery on her right ankle in early October, has been working out with the team for the past two weeks. If she’s not cleared to play against Tennessee, she should be ready by next Sunday’s home game against Stetson.

Holmes lends depth in the paint, an area where the Longhorns have struggled in the first seven games. After last week’s loss to Mississippi State, Aston griped that her team did not match the Bulldogs’ physicality.

“We still have to be realistic because she’s going to need some reps under her belt, but she will bring a level of confidence for our team,” Aston said. “More importantly, she brings experience.”


UT Arlington

October 21, 2018Danielle Williams, a 6-4 center out of Fort Worth, TX, announces that she’s grad-transferring to UT Arlington (though she does not yet appear on their roster). She was on the Indiana roster for two years before receiving a medical exemption and sitting out the 2017-18 season. Williams follows in the footsteps of Bre Wickware, who transferred from the Hoosiers to UTA over the summer.


TCU

November 6, 2018: Anneli Maley, a transfer from Oregon, has received an NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility (and played 17 minutes in the Horned Frogs’ season opener). But the team’s other transfer, Jaycee Bradley (South Dakota), is doing the usual sit-out year. Source: TCU’s 2018-19 Fact Book.

  • TCU will also get the added services of sophomore Anneli Maley who comes to Fort Worth after playing 37 games at Oregon as a freshman last year. She will be immediately eligible to play this year.
  • The Frogs also added senior Jaycee Bradley to the roster. She transferred from South Dakota and will sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Texas Southern

September 27, 2018Joyce Kennerson is not listed on the TSU 2018-19 roster. Kennerson was the SWAC player of the year during her junior campaign in 2017-18, averaging 24.2 PPG, which ranked fourth in D-I women’s basketball. The only thing close to an official word on this was this tweet from June.

October 18, 2018: Houston Chronicle article says Kennerson is taking a medical redshirt.

Texas Southern, with 11 newcomers, is picked second. But the Lady Tigers will be without the services of guard Joyce Kennerson, last year’s conference player of the year who is taking a medical redshirt. Xavier transfer Marquia Turner and high-motor Niya Mitchell, who sat out last year with an injury, are expected to shoulder some of the scoring load.


Utah

October 10, 2018: Sophomore Maurane Corbin, expected to be the team’s starting center, suffered a torn ACL in individual workouts two weeks ago and is out for the 2018-19 season.

Sophomore center Maurane Corbin tore her ACL two weeks ago in individual workouts. The 6-foot-5 Corbin was going to be leaned upon to be Potter’s full-time replacement, but now Utah will have to wait another year for the talented young Canadian to be back in red.

“It sucks,” [Utah head coach Lynne] Roberts said.

October 15, 2018: On media day, in addition to noting Corbin’s injury, Roberts said that 6-4 freshman forward Lola Pendande had not yet been able to enroll at Utah. They are trying to get the freshman from Spain in school by December.

“We lost Mo Corbin our 6-foot-5-inch center from Canada who had a tremendous off-season,” Roberts said to start her Media Day press conference. “Really, and this is sometimes how life works is that you put in so much time and work so hard and the rug gets pulled out from under you. She tore here ACL- gosh- I don’t know, the second week of September? And so she just had the ACL surgery about a week ago. She’ll obviously be out this year. We’ll miss her. And then our 6-foot-four-inch kid from Spain- the freshman, she didn’t get all the boxes checked to get into school so we are still trying to get her in by December, but that is 6-foot-5, 6-foot-4 that two months ago we thought we were going to have and we don’t and that’s part of sports. You just roll with it.”


Vanderbilt

October 11, 2018: In late September came the first indication that a change on the Vandy staff was imminent . . .

Now there’s word that assistant coach Carolyn Peck has departed the staff to return to the TV booth. [UPDATE (October 12): Vanderbilt out with an official release on Peck’s departure.]

Vanderbilt women’s basketball associate head coach and former ESPN analyst Carolyn Peck has left Stephanie White’s staff, less than a month before the season to return to the TV booth, a source confirmed Thursday.

The same article also noted that Paige Warren, who had announced plans to transfer from Vandy following her freshman season, is still enrolled at the school but is not on the basketball team.

October 16, 2018: Replacing Peck on the coaching staff is Gary Redus II, formerly an assistant at D-II Delta State. Vanderbilt press release also notes the promotion of Kelly Komara to associate head coach.

October 17, 2018: A health issue relating to blood clots will keep redshirt senior center Bree Horrocks off the court until at least January. This would appear to leave the Commodores with just seven scholarship players available at the start of the season. Among their games in November are road tilts versus North Carolina State and UConn.

Horrocks, who arrived at Vanderbilt as a graduate transfer from Purdue prior to the 2017-18 season, appeared in 20 games in 2017-18 with one start. The 6-5 Buford, Ga. native averaged 1.5 points and 0.5 rebounds per game last season.

“I am looking forward to being back and contributing to my team in my last year,” Horrocks said. “I had a great offseason but unexpected things happen to everyone at any stage of life. It’s important for me to be cautious in this circumstance and I’m thankful to be part of a program that understands.”

White said the Commodores will miss a valuable inside presence without Horrocks in uniform. “I was so proud of Bree because she did a great job getting ready for the season. She was on schedule to impact our program and I think still will when she returns,” the coach said.

December 6, 2018: For their road contest against Ball State, the Commodores were down to six available players. Bree Horrocks remained out, and Jordyn Cambridge, Chelsie Hall, and Isabella Palmdric were all out with injuries. On top of that, Brinae Alexander started the game but ended up playing only five minutes (see the box score) after suffering some sort of knee injury early in the game. So the remaining five players were on the floor for the entire second half of Vandy’s 60-43 victory.

Not coincidentally, Vandy earlier in the day announced it would be holding tryouts in an attempt to shore up its roster.


Virginia

November 9, 2018: Redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi will miss her second-straight season with a knee injury.

Virginia redshirt freshman guard Amandine Toi (Paris, France) will miss the 2018-19 season, head coach Tina Thompson announced Friday (Nov. 9). Toi will have surgery on her right knee after sustaining an injury during practice.

Toi missed the entire 2017-18 season with a left knee injury.

November 24, 2018: Junior center Felicia Aiyeotan will reportedly be out several weeks with a sprained knee. In the first three games of 2018-19, she had averaged 7.3 PPG and 12.7 RPG, while blocking 11 shots.

Aiyeotan — the ACC’s leader in blocked shots in each of the past two seasons — exited Tuesday’s win over North Carolina A&T in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return.

On Saturday, Thompson called the junior’s injury a sprain and said she expects her to be on the shelf for several weeks.

December 8, 2018: Felicia Aiyeotan remains out, with head coach Tina Thompson saying she does not know when she will return. And freshman guard Erica Martinsen missed her second-straight game after being suspended for violating team rules. And again, during a postgame press conference, Thompson said she did not know when Martinsen would return.

Virginia was short two players: junior center Felicia Aiyeotan (knee injury) and freshman guard Erica Martinsen (violation of team rules)


Virginia Tech

November 5, 2018: The Hokies are dealing with various injuries at the start of the 2018-19 season: Alexis Jean is out with a separate shoulder until early December, Michelle Berry might miss the entire season on account of an “undisclosed medical condition,” and Kaela Kinder has been off the court since September because of a concussion.

Alexis Jean, a returning starter at power forward (8.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg), suffered a separated shoulder in practice and will be out until early December.

Backup forward Michelle Berry has an undisclosed medical condition and might miss the entire season.

“So we’re very thin again in the post,” Brooks said.

. . .

Tech backup guard Kaela Kinder is in the concussion protocol. She got hurt during an individual workout and has not played since September.

“Our depth will hurt us again this year,” Kenny Brooks said.


Wake Forest

October 2, 2018: Senior guard Ariel Stephenson recently underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the upcoming season as a result. She had averaged 8.9 PPG in the 2017-18 season (fourth-best on the team), playing in 27 games and starting 22.

In August, two other returning players, Destini Walker and Kortni Simmons, were medically disqualified, ending their Wake Forest careers.

Wake Forest women’s basketball head coach Jen Hoover announced Tuesday (Oct. 2) that senior Ariel Stephenson will miss the upcoming season after undergoing successful shoulder surgery last week.

“While we are disappointed that Ariel will be unable to play for us this season, we are encouraged that the surgery was successful and that she can make a full recovery,” said Hoover. “We look forward to her supporting the team this season and can’t wait to have her back for the 2019-20 season.”


Washington

September 21, 2018: The Huskies announced the medical retirements of both Natalie Romeo and Deja Strother, marking the end of their UW careers.

University of Washington Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jody Wynn announced a pair of roster changes heading into the 2018-19 season, as Deja Strother and Natalie Romeo will be medically retired, ending their UW careers.

“We are thankful for the contributions both players have made to the program during their time at UW,” said Wynn. “Player well-being is so important to the program and the athletic department. Despite the best efforts of our medical team, Natalie and Deja have been unable to progress to the point where they can re-join the active roster. We are happy to have them remain on scholarship and close to the program in a supportive role this season and wish them all the best as they complete their studies at UW.”

In addition, although there’s been no official announcement on this, sophomore forward Fapou Semebene is not listed on the UW roster for 2018-19. During her freshman season, she played in 25 games, starting eight, while averaging 14.4 MPG and 3 PPG. Whether she simply quit the team or is transferring is unknown. UPDATE (October 10): Seattle Times article indicates that Semebene has withdrawn from school, without any other elaboration. UPDATE (December 3): Semebene is transferring to UC Riverside.


West Virginia

November 6, 2018: Freshman center Rochelle Norris will sit out the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL, and the NCAA has not yet ruled on on the transfer waiver request for De’Janae Boykin.

Outside of senior 6-foot-6 center Theresa Ekhelar, the Mountaineers have very little size to speak of, because highly-recruited freshman center Rochelle Norris tore her ACL during preseason practice and will redshirt this season.

. . .

The final addition could be 6-foot-2 forward De’Janae Boykin, a former McDonald’s All-American, who transferred from Penn State and began her career at Connecticut.

West Virginia is working through a waiver process with the NCAA on getting the junior cleared to play this season, but the NCAA has yet to rule on Boykin’s eligibility.

November 6, 2018 (part 2): Sophomore point guard Kyrse Gondrezick missed WVU’s opening game “attending to a personal matter” and apparently from other reports will be out indefinitely. Her absence leaves the Mountaineers with just eight available players.

The Mountaineers were supposed to have nine as they await players to become eligible later in the season, but Michigan transfer Kyrse Gondrezick, a point guard who sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, was missing.

A release from the school said the sophomore was away from the team attending to a personal matter but added intrigue to it by adding that “the WVU Athletics Department will have no further comments on the situation.”

Coach Mike Carey, who has had trouble keeping his roster filled almost since he got here, injuries decimating his teams, said this one was on him.

“Some unexpected things happened, but we weren’t ready for it. I blame it on no one but myself. We should have had more players. I promise you this … that will never happen again while I am here. Shane (athletic director Lyons) may not be happy with 18 scholarships, but if that’s what it takes …”

November 15, 2018Kyrse Gondrezick‘s absence ended up lasting just two games, as she made her WVU debut today, scoring 16 points in 28 minutes off the bench in the Mountaineers’ victory.

Redshirt sophomore guard Kysre Gondrezick scored 16 points and five assists and four rebounds in her Mountaineer debut, and senior guard Katrina Pardeechipped in with 15 more, including three 3-pointers.


Western Michigan

November 15, 2018: The Broncos have two players missing the 2018-19 season: sophomore guard Jordan Walker (7.9 PPG in 2017-18) and senior forward Breanna Mobley, the team’s leading scorer (16.3 PPG) and rebounder (8.3 RPG) last season.

While the Broncos were picked to finish last in the MAC West after losing sophomore guard Jordan Walker to an ACL injury and forward Breanna Mobley to a medical redshirt, they will have an opportunity to give themselves some early momentum on Thursday.


Wisconsin

September 18, 2018: The NCAA grants Alex Luehring immediate eligibility to play for the Badgers in the 2018-19 season, following her transfer from Green Bay.

Luehring redshirted her freshman season at Green Bay and will have four years of eligibility at UW.

“As a program we’re so excited for Alex to be able to join us completely,” coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “After having a redshirt year I think the ability to be involved in practices and travel with the team and play in the games will be a great benefit to Alex in her transition, as well as beneficial for our team.”

Tsipis said he expects Luehring to compete for regular playing time this season.

November 4, 2018: Several Badgers have been hampered by injuries in the lead-up to the season, including two freshmen: Carmen Backes, out at least four to six weeks and possibly redshirting, and Jasmine Hale, currently out with a broken finger. Also sidelined for the time being is Suzanne Gilreath, who is dealing with a foot injury.

Injuries have derailed a couple other promising freshmen. Carmen Backes, a 6-2 forward, recently underwent a procedure on her knee and will be out at least 4-6 weeks, and Jasmine Hale, a 5-9 guard, broke a finger in practice last week and will be in a cast for three weeks. Hale had been particularly impressive in early practices and was pushing for a starting spot.

Backes, arguably the centerpiece of the class, underwent another procedure in May and suffered a torn ACL in her junior season at Chisago Lakes (Minnesota) High School. Tsipis said her rehab is going well and the ACL is not an issue, but Backes could be a potential redshirt candidate.

November 20, 2018: Junior forward Courtney Fredrickson is out for the season with a knee injury. She had started the first two games of this season, before suffering the injury in the second game. During the 2017-18 season, she ranked fourth on the team in scoring at 8.9 PPG.

Junior forward Courtney Fredrickson, who suffered a knee injury last Tuesday at UW-Milwaukee, will undergo surgery later this month and miss the remainder of the season, Tsipis said. She will be able to redshirt and have two years of eligibility remaining.

November 21, 2018: Freshman center Maia Caito is leaving the program. She’s staying at Wisconsin academically, at least for now. Same article says that Carmen Backes (mentioned above) will “almost certainly” redshirt this season because of the knee injury she suffered.

Tsipis said freshman Maia Caito, a 6-4 post player from Cranston, Rhode Island, is leaving the program. She did not dress for any of the games and was not on the bench for the past two games. She plans to remain in school, Tsipis said.


Wyoming

September 26, 2018: Junior forward Selale Kepenc will miss the 2018-19 season “due to an offseason surgery,” per this report. She played in 25 games in 2017-18 off the bench, averaging 3.5 PPG and 1.3 RPG.


Yale

November 27, 2018: Sophomore forward Ellen Margaret Andrews is out for the season with a knee injury. She started the first five games this season, averaging 5.4 PPG. She averaged 7.4 PPG last season.

But perhaps no loss was as devastating as losing forward Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21, a staff reporter for the News, in the second quarter of the defeat to the Bearcats to an ACL and meniscus tear. Andrews played heavy minutes for the Bulldogs in the first five games of the season as a starter, scoring a season-high 11 points in Yale’s 67–64 win over Niagara (1–5, 0–0 MAAC) on Nov. 17 in the first game of the Preseason WNIT Consolation Round. The season-ending injury came as she was fouled driving to the basket.


Youngstown State

October 18, 2018: With two freshmen, Gabby Lupardus and Taylor Petit, sitting out the 2018-19 season recovering from injuries, the Penguins are left with nine available players, the Tribune Chronicle reports.

Incoming freshmen guard Gabby Lupardus tore her ACL during the postseason with Wyoming East (W. Va.), while Taylor Petit has a nagging shoulder injury and had surgery this summer. Both are out this season as they will redshirt.

Lupardus was the West Virginia player of the year, while Petit was an all-state player coming out of Wisconsin.

That leaves nine. The purveying theme of Tuesday’s media day was this is a small team, but it’s one these women and the coaching staff are quite comfortable with going forward.


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Categories: 2018–19 season

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