Nov. 1, 2008
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson women’s basketball team will play host to the Peach State Elite (Formerly Southeast Hoop Support All-Stars) in an exhibition contest on Monday, Nov. 3. The teams are slated for a 7:00 pm tip from Littlejohn Coliseum. Admission is free to the general public.
The Peach State Elite is comprised of former collegiate players preparing to continue their careers on the professional level either in the United States or overseas. The Lady Tigers will see familiar faces on the court on Monday, as Clemson’s own D’Lesha Lloyd, a senior on the 2007-08 team, is a member of the Peach State Elite squad. Former Miami Hurricane Maurita Reid is also on the nine-player team. They will also face Georgia, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Mississippi State in exhibition contests.
Head Coach Cristy McKinney is entering her fourth season at the helm of the Lady Tigers. She and her staff – A.G. Hall, Saudia Roundtree and Todd Steelman – return nine letterwinners for the 2008-09 campaign, while five newcomers and red-shirt freshman Bryelle Smith will compete in their first full seasons at Clemson. Senior Tasha Taylor is coming off an ACL injury that sidelined her for the 2007-08 season, but the 5’9″ combo guard has played in 86 career games with 71 career starts. Four juniors also return, led by two-year starters Christy Brown and Lele Hardy. Hardy, who hails from nearby Spartanburg, SC, was named the team MVP last season after leading the team in rebounding and ranking second in scoring. Brown, a native of Atlanta, GA, returns at the point after totaling 110 assists last season.
Guard April Parker averaged 16.6 minutes per game in the post to round out the junior class.
Whitney Hood, Sthefany Thomas, Jasmine Tate and Kirstyn Wright are entering their second seasons at Clemson after gaining valuable experience as freshmen in 2007-08. McKinney expects Hood to play significant minutes in the post this season as the 6’2″ native of Meridian, MS worked hard over the summer to improve her 5.7 scoring and 3.3 rebounding averages. Thomas spent the off-season playing for the Argentinean national team after ranking fifth on the team in scoring during the collegiate season. Wright, a long-range specialist, hails from Stone Mountain, GA and led the team in three point field goals a year ago. Tate, a native of Birmingham, AL, played in 24 games as a rookie.
Smith played 18 minutes in Clemson’s 2007-08 season opener before suffering a torn ACL in the closing minutes of the game. She had tallied three assists at the point guard position and is anxious to begin her first full season. Five players then joined the program to make up the six-member freshmen class. Post players Lindsey Welker, who can play either the small or power forward position, hails from Tifton, GA, while guards Morgan McMinn comes to Clemson from Hendersonville, NC and guard Chelsey Pinkstaff hails from Knoxville, TN.
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