Chiodi could start at point guard
Ky. - The last time a Northern Kentucky University women’s
basketball team had no seniors, it went on to win the school’s
first national championship on March 25, 2000.
year’s) team isn’t quite as experienced as that group,
but it’s always fun to dream,” NKU head coach Nancy
Winstel said. “The big goal is to work as hard as we can,
try our best to have a great season, get into the NCAA Tournament,
which will be very tough, then see what can happen.”
NKU must find
replacements for two key positions if the Norse hope to make it
back to the NCAA Division II Tournament after a year’s absence
and improve upon last season’s 16-12 overall record. NKU also
posted a 13-7 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
The Norse must
replace Elizabeth Burrows, NKU’s starting point guard the
past three seasons who started 94 games in her four years. Burrows
also led the team with 118 assists last season.
three, maybe four people who will compete for this position: Nicole
Chiodi, Betsey Clark, Keri Finnell and possibly Karen Brackman,”
Clark, a junior
guard from McNicholas High School in Cincinnati, saw action in 21
games last season and started three times. She collected 19 assists
and six steals. Chiodi, a 6-foot sophomore guard from Newport Central
Catholic High School, finished last season with 18 assists and five
steals in 24 games.
2003 graduate of Purcell Marian High School, sat out as a redshirt
during the 2004-05 season but is an outstanding scorer and ballhandler.
As a senior, she averaged 22.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. Finnell
also finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer with
1,584 career points.
12.3 points per game as a senior at Minster High School. She helped
lead Minster to the Division IV state championship as a junior.
Graham (34) is an inside force
The Norse will
also have to replace forward Connie Myers, last season’s leading
scorer (16.5 ppg) and rebounder (8.6 rpg) who also earned first
team All-GLVC honors. But Winstel believes one of the strengths
of this year’s team is its size. The Norse have five players
on the roster listed at 6-foot-1.
The top returning
player for NKU is 6-foot-1 junior Karmen Graham, who averaged 11.2
points and 5.7 rebounds per game during the 2004-05 season. As the
second-leading scorer and rebounder last season, Graham earned honorable
mention All-GLVC accolades.
a 6-1 sophomore from Highlands High School, saw action in all 28
games and started six times. She averaged 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds
per game last season, and she finished the season as one of the
team’s best shot blockers with 29.
The Norse also
add two Division I transfers, Katie Butler and Angela Estes. Butler,
a 6-1 junior transfer from Dayton, averaged 4.8 points per game
last season and was 11-for-38 from three-point range.
career at Dayton, Butler was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the
Week in December of 2003. She also scored 15 points in a win over
Wright State, and she had 14 points and seven rebounds against George
A 2003 graduate of Liberty-Benton High School, Butler was named
Northwest Ohio Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 25.3
ppg and 10.3 rpg.
a 6-1 post player, had 13 steals and seven blocks last season in
25 games for East Tennessee State.
averaged 9.7 ppg
a 5-11 junior guard, averaged 9.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game
last season. She also dished out 37 assists and had 18 steals. Creager
made a team-leading 88.5 percent from the free-throw line (77 of
87), and she connected on 36.8 percent of her three-point attempts.
Creager set an NKU single-season record by making 27 consecutive
played in all 28 games last season and started 13 times. The junior
forward from Minster High School averaged 6.8 points per game and
ranked No. 2 on the team in steals with 29. She also added 38 assists.
NKU adds freshmen
Cassie Brannen, a 6-1 center, and Danyelle Echoles, a 5-6 guard
from Colerain. Brannen helped lead Mount Notre Dame to the Ohio
Division I state championship as a junior and a state runner-up
finish as a senior.
a very young team, but we do have some experience,” Winstel
said. “We feel like we had a good recruiting year and that
everyone is working very hard in preseason conditioning.”
The youth of
the team will be tested with the addition of three new schools in
the GLVC and an NCAA Division I opponent on the schedule this season.
2004 national runner-up, visits NKU on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. Drury, in
its first year as a member of the GLVC, finished with a 29-2 record
last season. The Norse will travel to Quincy, the defending conference
champion, on Feb. 2 in their only meeting of the season.
The Norse will
also host Loyola (Ill.) at 5:30 p.m. in Regents Hall on Dec. 22.
Loyola is a member of the NCAA Division I Horizon League and posted
a 7-21 record last season.
the season Nov. 16 against Wilberforce (Ohio) in Regents Hall at
very excited about the season. We should have a lot of competition
at all spots on the team,” Winstel said. “It remains
to be seen how it will all play out, but our talent is good, our
chemistry is very good and our desire to excel seems to be very
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