1: Life without Kendra Coleman and Jasmine Jefferson
The Jaguars have had to move on from one of the most productive tandems in school history in Coleman and Jefferson, who were four-year fixtures in the backcourt and the post, respectively. No one person is going to fully replace either of them, but a blend of experienced returnees and a deep recruiting class can mitigate those big losses collectively.
2: Who’s the new point guard?
The graduations of Bunny Scott, the starting point guard the past two years, Coleman and reserves Keonia Parrish and Shaquandria Litmon leave Southern without a point guard who has played at a four-year college. Coach Sandy Pugh calls that fact “frightening,” though she likes the potential of three newcomers at the position: junior Kadesha Barry and freshmen Courtney Parsons and Danayea Charles.
3: When will Britney Washington be available?
The only returning double-figure scorer is a senior leader who won’t be available when the season starts. A grade-keeping mix-up has left university officials cautious in certifying her academically in the wake of the school’s APR issues with the NCAA. Pugh is hopeful Washington will be certified in the near future. But in the meantime, one of Southern’s leaders and top outside shooters is sidelined.
4: How quickly will chemistry develop?
Pugh begins her 16th season and said she’s not sure if she has ever had a recruiting class the size of this nine-member class. But the Jaguars have six experienced players returning, and four of the newcomers are from junior colleges, so inexperience isn’t a major problem. It’s just a matter of building familiarity, and Southern’s road-heavy preconference schedule allows time for just that.
5: The depth is as good as ever
Pugh likes to rotate 10 or more players, and she always seems to have enough capable players on hand to do that effectively. Though a lot of roles will belong to first-year players, Pugh should be able to go as deep into the bench as she cares to. The preconference schedule should be interesting to watch as she evaluates so many newcomers and a large variety of potential combinations.
— Les East
No., Name, Pos, Ht., Cl., , Hometown
1, Tashi-ana Thompson, G, 5-8, Jr., , Atlanta
4, Skylar O’Bear, G, 5-7, Fr., , White Castle
5, Jadea Brundidge, P, 6-2, Sr., , Seattle
10, Ashley Williams, G, 5-9, Sr., , Walker
11, Rishonti Cowart, G, 5-10, Fr., , Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
12, Courtney Parsons, G, 5-7, Fr., , Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
20, Danayea Charles, G, 5-6, Fr., , New Orleans
21, Britney Washington, G, 5-10, Sr., , St. Francisville
22, Briana Green, F, 5-11, So., , Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
23, Kadesha Barry, G, 5-7, Jr., , U.S. Virgin Islands
30, Cortnei Purnell, G, 6-0, Jr., , Pearland, Texas
31, Sarai Blissett, P, 6-1, Fr., , Atlanta
32, Miaya Crowder , P, 6-0, Jr., , Atlanta
33, Kenidi Robinson, P, 5-11, Sr., , Hollywood, Fla.
45, Deja Clay, P, 6-2, Jr., , Atlanta
NA, Alisha Celestine, P, 6-3, So., , New Orleans
Coach: Sandy Pugh (256-184, entering 16th season)
2014-15 record: 19-12, 15-3 SWAC (second)
13, Spring Hill, 5:30 p.m.
20, South Alabama, 5:30 p.m.
23, at Nebraska, 7 p.m.
25, at Kansas State, 2 p.m.
6, at Iowa State, 2 p.m.
11, at Maryland, 6 p.m.
14, Tougaloo College, 5:30 p.m.
18, at Tulane, 5 p.m.
2, at Texas Southern*, 5:30 p.m.
4, at Prairie View*, 5:30 p.m.
9, Grambling* , 3 p.m.
11, Jackson State*, 5:30 p.m.
16, at Arkansas-Pine Bluff*, 5:30 p.m.
18, at Mississippi Valley St.*, 5:30 p.m.
23, Alabama State*, 3 p.m.
25, Alabama A&M*, 5:30 p.m.
30, Alcorn State*, 3 p.m.
6, at Grambling*, TBA
8, at Jackson State*, 5:30 p.m.
13, Arkansas-Pine Bluff*, 3 p.m.
15, Mississippi Valley St.*, 5:30 p.m.
20, at Alabama State*, TBA
22, at Alabama A&M*, TBA
27, at Alcorn State*, TBA
3, Texas Southern*, 5:30 p.m.
5, Prairie View*, 3 p.m.
8-12, in Houston
* — Southwestern Athletic Conference games