Cynthia Cooper-Dyke had problems last year, her first as head coach at University of North Carolina-Wilmington. First, a player quit the team after assistant coach Johnetta Hays forced her to log roll continuously during a practice on Sept. 20, 2010. Then last May three players left the team, though whether or not it was their choice to do so was never made clear. This year the team is almost entirely brand new:
Seven players from last year’s squad, which finished with a school-record 24 wins and earned a trip to the WNIT, are gone;only three graduated.
Kristen Hanzer, who was third on the team in scoring last season, isn’t listed on the roster. UNCW officials said they couldn’t comment on why she isn’t with the team.
Hanzer’s departure, along with the graduation of Brittany Blackwell (16.4 points per game) and Martha White (14.6), means the Seahawks return only 29 percent of their points on offense. Sophomore Alisha Andrews is the lone double-figure scorer from last season’s team, which averaged nearly 69 points per game.
One of Cooper-Dyke’s assistant coaches, Jalie Mitchell, also left to take a job at North Texas.
Other college items:
Arizona Coach Niya Butts told supporters this week that the Wildcats program continues to move upward.
Yet another US team will be representing this week. This time it’s the Pan American Games Team. They convene tomorrow to get ready for competition in Mexico.
ESPN is on the latest verbals.