UCF Women's Basketball Summer Prospectus


July 7, 2014

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By Jenna Marina
UCFKnights.com

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - With four starters returning and a slew of newcomers, the UCF women's basketball team is gearing up for another year in the American Athletic Conference. Not only will the Knights host reigning NCAA champion UConn once again, but they will be reunited with some familiar foes in new league members Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina - their former Conference USA rivals.

Led by head coach Joi Williams, who is about to embark on her eighth year at UCF, and a new staff, the Black and Gold are looking forward to the challenge ahead.

UCF Summer Notebook

COACHING CHANGE-UP
Joi Williams announced a new coaching staff in May 2014.
Ken Griffin will serve as associate head coach and has spent time as an assistant at N.C. State, UNC Charlotte, South Carolina and most recently, West Virginia. In his lone year with the Mountaineers, the team compiled a program-record 30 wins during the year - a 13-game improvement from the year prior - and climbed as high as a school-record No. 5 in the national rankings.
Tamisha Augustin will serve as UCF's recruiting coordinator and is an eight-year coaching veteran, most recently serving on VCU's sideline for the 2013-14 season.
Joe Silvestri will embark on his coaching career after being promoted from director of program development to assistant coach. The UCF alum is set to serve his fourth year with the team.

ROUND TWO
• UCF rising sophomore Zykira Lewis returns as UCF's leading scorer from a year ago at 12.6 ppg.
• She was a unanimous selection to the 2013-14 American Athletic Conference All-Freshman Team.
• The guard was one of three rookies in the league who averaged double digits, ranking 11th overall in the American with 12.6 ppg in 2013-14.
• Lewis paced the Knights in scoring in a team-best 12 games throughout the year.

STEP UP
• UCF will benefit from a boost in a couple of JUCO additions to the roster this year.
• Kariel Hutt started 31 of 32 games for Johnson County Community College last season, who finished the year ranked No. 2 in the final NJCAA D-II Poll and won its third-straight conference championship.
• Erica Juarbe was an integral part of two ASA Avenger squads that went on to win back-to-back Region XV and District C titles, and earned first-round wins at the NJCAA National Championships.

KEEPING IT FRESH
• Three freshmen will make their collegiate debuts for the Knights in 2014-15.
• Aliyah Gregory hit the 2,000-point milestone during her successful career at Strawberry Crest in Tampa. The 5-foot-10 guard was an all-state standout and scored more points and tallied more double-doubles than any player - male or female - in school history. She also was an all-conference selection for Strawberry Crest's track and field team in the high jump (school-record holder) and 200 meters.
• Nyala Shuler is a local product out of Edgewater High School and was the Orlando Sentinel's pick for All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year in 2014. The 6-foot forward led her team to three-straight state championship titles and has been recognized as the Class 6A District 11 Player of the Year, an all-state selection and an Orlando Sentinel All-Orange County Basketball First Team honoree. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Junior Achievement Shining Stars.
• Ndeye "Fifi" Ndour originally hails from Dakar, Senegal, and moved to the United States in 2012. She helped Montverde Academy to an 18-1 record in 2012-13.

READY FOR ACTION
Makenzi Reasor will suit up for her first season with the Knights after transferring from Indiana State last year.
Bryeasha Blair, who has sat out the last two years due to injury, will return to the court this year.
• As a freshman in 2012, Blair wasted no time gaining experience after appearing in 26 contests.

WE MEET AGAIN
• Gearing up for another year in the American Athletic Conference, UCF will meet some familiar foes after the league added some new programs during the off-season.
• The Knights will pick up where they left off with East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa -- all former members of Conference USA.
• UCF and Tulsa last tangoed in the C-USA Tournament Championship in 2013 in Oklahoma.

 

 

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