#22 Auburn Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Auburn Tigers
Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #6 SEC
Auburn reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy took over the program prior to the 2012-2013 campaign. The Tigers should be able to build off of that momentum, which included a first round victory over St. John’s, and remain a contender in the SEC. Senior guard Brandy Montgomery highlights a team that returns four starters. Montgomery led Auburn with 14.0 points per game and is the most prolific three-point shooter on the team. The Tigers do not shoot particularly well as a team from long range though and that is an area where Montgomery needs to help the squad improve.
2015-16 Record: 20-13, 8-8
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Terri Williams-Flournoy
Coach Record: 71-61 at Auburn, 214-161 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Tra’Cee Tanner, Forward, 11.8 ppg
Cabriana Capers, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Brandy Montgomery, Senior, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Katie Frerking, Senior, Guard/Forward, 11.7 ppg
Jazmine Jones, Junior, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Janiah McKay, Sophomore, Guard, 9.2 ppg
Erica Sanders, Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Khady Dieng, Senior, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Jessica Jones, Junior, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Key New Players
Daisa Alexander, Freshman, Guard
Ekiya Gray, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Tyra Johnson, Freshman, Guard
Emari Jones, Sophomore, Guard, JC Transfer
Tiffany Lewis, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Clemson
Sira Toure, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Weber State, eligible 2nd Semester
Justice Wright, Junior, Center, Transfer from Clemson, not eligible
Katie Frerking and Janiah McKay are the other shooters on the team and should again start beside Montgomery on the perimeter. Like Montgomery, they are not consistent shooters, but the duo combined to average 20.9 points per game. Auburn hopes Clemson transfer Tiffany Lewis can turn around their three-point shooting woes. Frerking will also be asked to help out even more on the glass this season after averaging 5.1 rebounds. She will need to do more because Tra’Cee Tanner, who averaged 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds, is gone. Jazmine Jones returns to lead the frontcourt, but she will need to be much more productive this season to help cover for the loss of Tanner. If the frontcourt can be productive, play solid defense and at least be a threat to score, the group on the perimeter will be able to lead this team back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 62.1 (216th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.8 (82, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.2 (101, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (151, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.1 (290, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 26.6 (313, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 61.9 (335, 13)
Rebound Margin: -0.3 (173, 12)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (148, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 18.0 (286, 12)