#19 West Virginia Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers

Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
#19 West Virginia Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
West Virginia Team Page


West Virginia is coming off of an amazing season. The Mountaineers went 16-2 in Big 12 play, which tied the team atop the standings with Baylor, and had 29 wins heading into the NCAA Tournament. Win number 30 came in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Albany, but WVU was then upset by LSU. Recreating last year’s regular season success may be a stretch, but this team will get another shot at the NCAA Tournament with the return of Bria Holmes. Holmes, a 6-1 guard, led the team with 15.2 points per game and knocked down 34.3 percent of her many attempts from beyond the arc. She also grabbed 3.5 rebounds per game and led the team in steals and ranked second in blocked shots.

2013-14 Record: 30-5, 16-2
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Carey
Coach Record: 274-146 at West Virginia, 562-248 overall

Linda Stepney will start again with Holmes on the perimeter. The senior point guard dished out 3.1 assists per game and has done a great job keeping the offense under control. She is not much of a scorer, but is a capable enough shooter to keep the opposition honest. Stepney could see her scoring output increase, yet Coach Mike Carey has brought in plenty of talented options to help replace departed guard Christal Caldwell. Wing Bre McDonald spent her freshman campaign at Georgia Tech where she saw limited playing time. Jessica Morton spent two years at the junior college ranks and is a proven scorer. She averaged 16.4 points as a sophomore last season. But the best newcomer of them all could be Abigail Asoro. Asoro is an undersized forward at 5-10, but she was one of the best junior college transfers in the nation last season at Iowa Western. Asoro is extremely tough on the glass and a very efficient scorer inside the arc.

Replacing Asya Bussie in the frontcourt may prove to be more difficult. She easily led the team with 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game and was also the team’s best interior scorer. Averee Fields is more than ready to take on a leading role in the frontcourt though. She averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds as Bussie’s frontcourt mate. Crystal Leary is the other experienced frontcourt option. The 6-2 senior is a strong rebounder and that is enough as long as Fields can pick up the scoring slack. Kayla Montgomery, another junior college transfer, is expected to play a big role on this team. The 6-4 junior is a superb shot blocker and rebounder.

Final Projection:
Holmes is one of the best players in the country and the pieces are there to build around her. Coach Carey went out and picked up players who could help this team win right now and they will do plenty of winning during the 2014-2015 campaign. If the newcomers live up to their potential, this is a team that can compete with Baylor for the Big 12 title. However, winning in March will be more important. Improving on last year’s disappointing loss in the second round should be the long term goal for this group. Last year this team won quite a few close games, especially on the road, and they will need to continue to make those clutch plays late in the game if they are going to be a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament again.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Linda Stepney, Senior, Guard, 5.1 points per game
Bria Holmes, Junior, Guard, 15.2 points per game
Abigail Asoro, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Averee Fields, Senior, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Crystal Leary, Senior, Forward, 2.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (54th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.0 (28, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.8 (67, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.1 (18, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (110, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.4 (123, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.8 (159, 7)
Rebound Margin: 5.5 (45, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (128, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (70, 4)

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#72 Kristina King


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