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2018-19 Season: Personnel News


Oakland

January 30, 2019: Head coach Jeff Tungate will miss the Golden Grizzlies’ next two games to enable him to “undergo further medical evaluation for a non-life threatening health issue.”

Oakland University Athletics has announced women’s basketball Head Coach Jeff Tungate will not travel with the team to its games this weekend at Cleveland State and Youngstown State so that he can undergo further medical evaluation for a non-life threatening health issue.

Associate Head Coach Eric Stephan will serve as acting head coach for the games.


Ohio

January 26, 2019: Sophomore forward Gabby Burris (13.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG) missed the Bobcats’ victory over Bowling Green with some sort of injury.

The Bobcats main concern was that sophomore forward Gabby Burris was unable to make the trip due to injury. At the end of the game, coach Bob Boldon still had no update on the state of one of his most well-rounded players.

UPDATE (Jan. 30): Burris returned for the Bobcats’ next game, but she was limited to 14 minutes.


Ohio State

September 7, 2018: Among its huge influx of newcomers for 2018-19, the Buckeyes were expected to add four freshman. Spanish forward Aixa Wone, however, has signed with a team in her home country. UPDATE (October 1): This article indicates Wone signed as an amateur and “could come to Ohio State at a later date.” ANOTHER UPDATE (November 14): Wone has signed with OSU as part of their 2019 recruiting class.

October 23, 2018Ashanti Abshaw, one of the Buckeyes’ five grad transfers, will miss the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. She transferred to OSU from Cleveland State.

Ohio State graduate transfer Ashanti Abshaw suffered a torn ACL in practice over the weekend and following surgery, she will miss the 2018-19 season.

“I’m extremely devastated for Ashanti”, said head coach Kevin McGuff. “She is a great kid and worked really hard to get acclimated to our system and was going to make an impact. She will undergo surgery soon and we will support her throughout this process to make sure she gets back to 100 percent.”

December 11, 2018: Senior guard Karlie Cronin, a former walk-on who had not played in 2018-19, is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Ohio State senior guard Karlie Cronin had season ending ACL surgery, the second member of the team, along with redshirt senior guard Ashanti Abshaw, to undergo the knee surgery this season.

Cronin, who came from Southern Methodist University, was in her second year as a member of Ohio State’s basketball team after having received a scholarship last spring. She also played lacrosse for Ohio State last season, starting two games for the Buckeyes while appearing in seven games.

January 25, 2019: Dorka Juhasz, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer (12.1 PPG) and rebounder (8.3 RPG), sat out the team’s loss to Maryland with a sprained ankle. She’s questionable for Ohio State’s next game, Monday at Minnesota.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team entered a game Thursday night against 11th-ranked Maryland short-handed and, well — short. Injuries meant the Buckeyes had only eight players in uniform and just two true post players.

Among the injured was 6-foot-4 Dorka Juhasz, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds in Maryland’s six-point win earlier this month. It was primarily up to Aaliyah Patty and Makayla Waterman to patrol the lane.

UPDATE (Jan. 31): Dorka Juhasz missed OSU’s game versus Minnesota but then returned for the team’s win over Illinois today.

February 17, 2019: Starting forward Makayla Waterman (8.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG) sits out her second-straight game today with a knee injury.


Oklahoma

November 14, 2018: Sophomore guard Ana Llanusa will miss several weeks after undergoing surgery on a stress fracture in her foot. She tallied 12.6 PPG and 4 RPG last season.

Llanusa underwent surgery Monday to fix a stress fracture in her foot that has been bothering her recently.

Llanusa, a Choctaw product, is expected back sometime around the start of Big 12 play Jan. 2.

“It’ll just be a wait-and-see kind of thing but we expect her back,” Sooners coach Sherri Coale said Wednesday as her team prepares to play their first game without Llanusa on Thursday when they host Northwestern State.

January 1, 2019: Ana Llanusa is expected to return to the court for the Sooners’ Big 12 opener against Texas Tech on January 2.

Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said Llanusa’s return would be a big boost.

“It’s potentially a game-changer because it affects rotation so you can keep the guards a little fresher,” Coale said. “It affects production — she’s worth about 15 a game. It affects our transition game because she’s such a great athlete. It affects our defense because she plays so hard and talks while she’s playing. … Then there’s the presence piece, the invisible stat that there is no column for. Just when she’s out there everybody else feels a little more confident.”

March 12, 2019: Assistant coaches Pam DeCosta and Chad Thrailkill have departed from the OU staff.

Oklahoma head women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale announced the departure of assistant coaches Pam DeCosta and Chad Thrailkill on Tuesday. DeCosta and Thrailkill indicated they will seek new opportunities away from basketball.

“I want to thank Pam and Chad for their dedicated service to our program. I have been honored to have them play a vital role in our program and they have both been an integral part in our sustained success over the last 23 years,” Coale said. “Pam helped lay the foundation for our run of 19 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances by recruiting a program-defining player like Stacey Dales. Chad has been a part of my basketball family for the past 21 seasons at Oklahoma and Norman High and his commitment to our team has helped countless student-athletes succeed in life as well as on the court.

“Again, I want to express my gratitude for their dedicated effort to our team during their time at OU and I’m truly grateful for their impact. We all wish them the best in their future endeavors.”


Old Dominion

February 9, 2019: Sophomore guard Victoria Morris, the team’s leading scorer (13 PPG), has missed two-straight games with a foot injury.

ODU played without its leading scorer in Victoria Morris, who was out with a foot injury, for the second straight game.


Oregon

October 2, 2018: A knee injury suffered while playing for the German national team will force freshman forward Nyara Sabally to miss the 2018-19 season. Ducks head coach Kelly Graves believed she had a chance to be the top freshman in the Pac-12.

Nyara Sabally, the younger sister of Satou, will sit out this season to recover from a serious knee injury suffered while playing for the German national team. The 6-foot-4 forward was the most valuable player of the FIBA Under-18 Div. B European Championships after averaging 17.3 points and 12.8 rebounds.

“She’s such a quality person and student and obviously athlete that one more year in the program is a good thing, but it also makes our bench shorter,” Graves said of Nyara Sabally, who waited until joining the program to undergo surgery. “She’s the kind of player that I think would have been the best freshman in the conference.

“I think she would have had a good chance to be our third straight freshman of the year and was going to give us 20-to-25 minutes a night.”

Following last season, Oregon had lost three players to transfer (Sierra Campisano, Anneli Maley, and Mallory McGwire), plus Aina Ayuso returned to Spain to turn pro. So Sabally’s injury reduces the Ducks’ 2018-19 roster to just nine available players.

December 19, 2018: Oregon has decided not to appeal the NCAA’s two-game suspension of head coach Kelly Graves. He had received the penalty for directing an assistant strength and conditioning coach to participate in on-court activities during and after practices (making that coach, in essence, a fourth assistant coach), in clear violation of NCAA rules. Graves will sit out the next two games, vs. Air Force and UC Irvine. Assistant coach Mark Campbell will be the acting head coach for those contests.

UO’s athletic department announced its decision Wednesday, two weeks after an NCAA Committee on Infractions handed down penalties against the program, which it put on probation for two years.

“While we disagree with the NCAA rulings, head coach Kelly Graves will not appeal and will miss the Ducks’ next two games against Air Force and UC Irvine this week,” the university’s statement read.

February 18, 2019: Junior starting forward Ruthy Hebard (16.8 PPG, 9.1 RPG) suffered a knee injury during the Ducks’ loss to Oregon State, the severity of which is not yet known.

“Don’t know, doesn’t look good,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “But we’ve got a lot of season left to play for and obviously we were good enough to have a chance to get it done without her. We’ll see.”

UPDATE (Feb. 19): Still waiting for official diagnosis on Hebard, but she’s unlikely to play in the Ducks’ game on Friday.

Even if the MRI shows no structural damage to Hebard’s knee, she is unlikely to play Friday. Senior Oti Gildon will be in the starting lineup for the final two regular-season home games of her career this weekend, if Hebard is unable to play on Sunday against USC.

UPDATE (Feb. 20): The Ducks are now saying Hebard is questionable for the games this weekend; MRI “revealed no structural damage in her knee.”

Ducks head coach Kelly Graves later said it was a bone bruise:

“It’s good news relatively speaking,” Graves said. “But she is questionable for the week. She’s not going to practice for the week, and it could run into some time. We’re not completely out of the woods yet. I’m just happy for her that there’s no structural damage, then you’re talking months, and that’s not good for anybody.”

Graves identified the injury as a “bone bruise”. He was unable to provide a timeline for return. He reiterated multiple times that that will come down to the doctors.

UPDATE (Feb. 22): Hebard did not play in the Ducks’ loss to UCLA today.

February 24, 2019: Ruthy Hebard was back for the Ducks today, coming off the bench in their game versus USC.

March 1, 2019: Freshman guard Taylor Chavez (4.5 PPG in 18.4 MPG) is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

March 6, 2019: Taylor Chavez will not play for the Ducks during the Pac-12 tourney, leaving them with eight players, including Ruthy Hebard, who is not fully recovered from a bone bruise.

Oregon will be down to eight players during the Pac-12 Tournament and Ruthy Hebard is still recovering from a bone bruise.

Ducks coach Kelly Graves said backup guard Taylor Chavez, who missed the last two games of the regular season due to a foot injury, will miss this weekend’s games at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

March 28, 2019: Taylor Chavez may be back for the Ducks’ Sweet 16 game on Friday.

“It is starting to feel a lot better,” Chavez said. “I’m excited I get to do a little bit of the drills (Thursday) to work my way back in to some live stuff. … Right now, we’re going to see how it feels and make that decision (Friday) about that game. If not, I’m feeling really good about Sunday.

“It depends just on how it feels the days I wake up.”


Oregon State

November 21, 2018: Freshman center Andrea Aquino, who was ranked in the top 25 in the 2018 class, has yet to play for the Beavers because of an “undisclosed medical condition.”

Andrea Aquino, a 6-9 freshman from Paraguay who was rated the No. 7 prep prospect in the country last season by ESPN, has not been given clearance to play due to an undisclosed medical condition.

“I can’t talk about her situation beyond that she’s out,” OSU coach Scott Rueck told me last week. . . .

Rueck declined to identify Aquino’s condition but said there is hope she will be cleared to play in games at some point this season.

November 27, 2018: Update on Andrea Aquino: she will redshirt this season.

“I’ve decided to redshirt her,” he said in a phone interview. “I just want to use this year for her development.”

. . .

Rueck said Tuesday that Aquino, who, according to an OSU spokesperson, is not being made available for interviews at this time, has handled the situation well.

“I don’t typically make decisions just on my own,” he said. “That was through a discussion with her and we both felt it was for the best. She’s been an incredible teammate and I mean she just makes the gym better place every day with her presence.

January 4, 2019: Junior forward Janessa Thropay, who is averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG, mainly off the bench, will be out for an extended period after suffering a broken finger. And junior shooting guard Kat Tudor appeared to have injured her knee in the Beavers’  victory over Washington State, leaving the game in the second quarter and not returning. Her prognosis is not yet known. She’s third on the team in scoring, at 12.3 PPG.

Tudor was injured with 5:44 left in the second quarter when she grabbed a rebound and fell to the floor. She clutched her left knee and had to be helped off the floor and did not return to the game.

She did return to the bench with a sleeve on her left leg.

“We’re not going to know anything until after (Saturday),” Rueck said of Tudor’s status. “She was out on the floor after the game, she was up there with us in the second half so I think that’s a good sign. But there haven’t been any tests done or anything.”

. . . The Beavers will also be without Janessa Thropay for an extended period of time after she had surgery on a broken finger on her left hand. She injured it against Cal State Bakersfield last Saturday.

January 6, 2019: Update on Kat Tudor: she will miss the rest of the season with some sort of knee injury. That leaves the Beavers down to nine healthy players, at least until Janessa Thropay returns.

But this weekend didn’t end without its challenges. Oregon State learned Saturday that it has lost forward Kat Tudor for the season. Tudor, the Beavers’ third-leading scorer at 12.3 points a game, suffered a knee injury during the second quarter of Friday night’s game against Washington State.

Rueck said it is the first time during his eight-year Oregon State tenure that he has lost a player for the season.***

“It’s miserable, to be honest,” Rueck said. “We’re going to rally around her.”

Oregon State’s roster is down to nine players at the moment as forward Janessa Thropay sustained a broken finger earlier last week. Rueck said Thropay will return this season, but not for this week’s road series against USC and UCLA.

***Hard to believe that a WBB program could go eight years without a season-ending injury.

February 12, 2019: Junior forward Janessa Thropay is close to returning to the floor after recovering from her broken finger.

She is getting closer every day. Thropay suited up for the Stanford and California games last weekend but said she was a last resort.

“I was emergency status last week,” she said, adding that if everyone fouled out and the Beavers needed a fifth player she would have gone in.

“I think this week it’s going to be moreso maybe we can get her in there, maybe give her some minutes, stuff like that. We’ll see.”


Pacific

January 8, 2019: Tylah King, a senior guard out of Brisbane, Australia, is no longer listed on the Tigers’ roster. She started the first seven games of the 2018-19 season, averaging 3.9 PPG in 24.4 MPG.


Penn State

November 28, 2018: Sam Breen, a 6-1 sophomore forward out of Gibsonia, PA, is no longer listed on the team’s roster and is transferring. She played in PSU’s first four games this season, averaging 3 PPG in 10.5 MPG. During the 2017-18 season, she played in 22 games, averaging 1.5 PPG in 6.5 MPG. Breen was ranked #65 in the 2017 class per espnW. UPDATE: Breen announced on December 26 that she’s transferring to UMass.

February 24, 2019: PSU has been without two starters, Teniya Page and Alisia Smith, for two games now (but won both games). Page reportedly has an ankle injury; have not seen a report on Smith.

“It was good for us to come here and get a road win when we’re a little short-handed without Teniya Page and Alisia Smith. I was really glad that our kids responded to the challenge and were able to come in here and execute the game plan against a tough Illinois team.”

February 26, 2019: Update on the injured PSU players:

According to Penn State women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington, guard Teniya Page is day-to-day with an injury. Starting forward Alisia Smith is expected to miss this next week with a foot injury.

March 4, 2019: Another injury update on Teniya Page (who’s back) and Alisia Smith (who’s not).

Teniya Page returned from injury in the last game of the regular season after missing multiple games down the stretch. Page scored 22 points on an efficient 7-13 shooting in the loss at Nebraska.

“I think she’s pretty close [to 100%],” Washington said. “She’s been rehabbing and we finally got her in practice a day before we played Nebraska so she’s still recovering from that.”

The Lady Lions have also been without regular starter and leading rebounder Alisia Smith for some time now due to a foot injury.

“She’s still rehabbing her foot injury and so it’s doubtful that she’ll be ready to go for the Big Ten Tournament.” Washington said.

March 8, 2019: Coquese Washington is out as head coach. She had a 12-year record of 209-169 overall, 98-106 Big Ten. This year was the fifth-straight time her team failed to secure an NCAA tourney berth.

Penn State Athletics and women’s basketball head coach Coquese Washington have agreed to a change in leadership for the Women’s Basketball program.

“I am very appreciative of Coquese’s contributions to the Lady Lion basketball program and Penn State,” said Sandy Barbour, Penn State Vice President of Athletics. “She is committed to developing young women, has been impactful in our community and we are grateful for her dedication. We thank her for 12 years of service to Penn State, and wish Coquese and her family all the best in their future endeavors.  We both agree that the program is not where it needs to be, and this change of leadership is best at this time.”

“I’ve had an amazing run at Penn State,” Washington said. “I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people, especially the talented and dedicated staff members who were with me along this journey. I was fortunate to coach some extremely talented players along the way and will remember the fantastic experiences we enjoyed together. I am thankful for the Penn State and Lady Lion fans who supported us strongly year-in and year-out. I will always look back at my time at Penn State with fond memories while taking on this next chapter with my family.”


Pitt

November 28, 2018: Senior guard Aysia Bugg, the team’s leading scorer at 14 PPG, is indefinitely sidelined by a “health issue.”

Bugg is the leading scorer (14.0) but was sidelined indefinitely two games ago by what the team called a “health issue.” Though the timetable for her return is unknown, she has seen enough to sense the difference White has made.

December 7, 2018: A bit of an update on Aysia Bugg, with an official Pitt release saying she’s “out indefinitely due to blood clots.”

Pitt women’s basketball head coach Lance White announced on Friday afternoon that redshirt senior guard Aysia Bugg will be out indefinitely due to blood clots. The Panthers leading scorer has missed each game during their current four-game winning streak.

Bugg started the first five games of the season for the Panthers at point and was averaging a team-high 14.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds while also producing back-to-back 20+ point games against Youngstown State and Cincinnati. Bugg missed all of her 2017-18 campaign as well due to injury.

January 18, 2019: Junior guard Alayna Gribble has decided to retire from basketball after dealing with multiple concussions. She has received a medical disqualification from the team. Gribble had played in four games earlier this season, averaging 7 PPG, and she averaged 7.1 PPG in 52 games over her two-plus seasons on the floor.

“Although I can no longer play basketball with my team, I will be on the sidelines cheering them on and providing any insight that I can to help our team be successful,” stated Gribble. “I am thankful for the opportunities that basketball has provided me, especially the opportunity to be part of the Pitt Women’s Basketball team and the opportunity to attend an amazing university and receive a world class education. To the young basketball players out there: Do not take the game of basketball for granted because you never know when you will play your last game. Embrace all of the opportunities that basketball can provide and appreciate the journey. I am excited for the next chapter of my life. H2P.”

Gribble appeared in 52 games over her Pitt career while earning 15 starts for the Panthers. She will conclude her Pitt career accumulating 371 career points and 105 career rebounds while ranking 10th in program history in three-point field goals made with 96. Of her 96 career triples, 46 of them came during her freshman campaign as she ranks second in school history for three-pointers made by a freshman.

March 3, 2019: Aysia Bugg, after missing most of this season and not playing last season, will apply to the NCAA for a sixth year (noted in this article).


Portland

March 12, 2019: Cheryl Sorenson is out as head coach.

The University of Portland announced today that Cheryl Sorenson will not return as women’s basketball head coach. Sorenson recently completed her fifth season as head coach at Portland.

“I would like to thank Coach Sorenson for her service and dedication during her time here at Portland,” Vice President for Athletics Scott Leykam said. “Cheryl represented the department and the University with professionalism and positively shaped the lives of many student-athletes.”


Portland State

January 16, 2019: Senior guard Corey James medically retired before the 2018-19 season, but she remains on the team and is listed on the team’s roster.

Following last season, however, she was diagnosed with two herniated discs and nerve damage, effectively ending her basketball career. Her style of play didn’t help, she said. “I’m a very physical player and I was always on the ground and getting pushed around.”

That didn’t mean she quit.

All her career, James has considered herself a team player. In fact, that is what she’s liked most about basketball. “The team atmosphere is what I get the most joy out of. Relying on everyone, the hard work and teamwork of everyone.”

“Corey was a great student. She was a great student-athlete. Lots of injured players leave the team but she stayed around. She wants to help out,” said [head coach Lynn] Kennedy.

Knowing she can’t play has been difficult, James admitted. “I know I can help in other ways. I even help off in a corner with a little coaching, helping some of the other players adjust to the college level.”


Presbyterian

December 25, 2018: Late word that sophomore guard Mattie Kennedy left the team before the season opener to concentrate on the academic side, ending her basketball career. She had averaged 3.1 PPG in 16.7 MPG during her freshman season.

Kennedy, who is still a student at Presbyterian, left the team before this year’s season opener.

Kennedy, who wants to earn a biochemistry degree and attend medical school, said her academic demands conflicted with basketball. She also was hurt when preseason practice began a few months ago, so she said it seemed like the right time to step away from the court. She has been plagued by ankle and Achilles tendon injuries.


Princeton

November 1, 2018: The Tigers will start the season without junior forward Bella Alarie, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, after she broke a bone in her right arm.

“She’ll be practicing here soon, but with how important the league season is for the NCAA Tournament berth, we’re not going to rush her back,” Banghart said. “She’ll be back as soon as she can, but not before I tell her she can play.”

In addition, sophomore guard Abby Meyers will not play in 2018-19 because of an academic issue.

Sophomore Abby Meyers had what Banghart termed a “misunderstanding” in her computer science course that violated university policy and will have to take a separation year.

Meyers, a highly-rated shooter, was third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.4 points in 28 appearances. She can return next season with three years of eligibility remaining, Banghart said.

December 11, 2018: Bella Alarie has returned to the court from her broken arm, scoring 16 points and grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds in her season debut, earning Ivy League player of the week honors in the process. She then scored 16 points again in her second game back.


Purdue

September 19, 2018: No official word yet, but it appears that junior guard Lamina Cooper will not be playing for the Boilermakers in 2018-19. She started 20 games last season, averaging 10 PPG, before missing the final 10 games. UPDATE (October 4): Head coach Sharon Versyp confirms that Cooper will not return to the team and is not enrolled at Purdue, stating, “It was in the best interest for her not to return to Purdue.”

October 25, 2018: Senior center Nora Kiesler has ended her basketball career because of “complications from multiple concussions.” She played in 89 games over three seasons, averaging 2.3 PPG in 9.5 MPG.


Purdue Fort Wayne

February 12, 2019: Head coach Niecee Nelson has been placed on administrative leave for a “pending personnel matter.” Assistant coach Marcie Alberts will fill in for her during “upcoming games.”

The move was announced in a news release Tuesday afternoon. Purdue Fort Wayne Director of Athletics Kelley Hartley Hutton did not provide a reason for the decision, calling it a “pending personnel matter.”

Assistant coach Marcie Alberts will fill in for Nelson as coach during “upcoming games,” the release said.

February 21, 2019: Head coach Niecee Nelson has returned from administrative leave after an investigation cleared her of allegations concerning “practice drills and possible NCAA rules infractions.” She missed three games during her leave, all losses for the Mastodons.

On Thursday, Purdue Fort Wayne said Nelson was cleared to return as head coach after a university investigation into allegations about “practice drills and possible NCAA rules infractions” from an anonymous source were determined to be unfounded. The university said the investigation included input from student-athletes, assistant coaches, staff members, and Nelson herself.

In the end, the school said Nelson had not violated any athletics department or university policies.


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