DePaul Women's Basketball Preview

DePaul is coming off its best postseason effort in school history and returns 10 players and four starters from the record-setting team. The Blue Demons went 27-7 overall and 11-5 in BIG EAST play, finishing tied for third in the league standings.

The Blue Demons are looking to make the program's fifth straight NCAA Championship appearance and post its fifth consecutive season with at least 20 wins. Last season saw DPU reach the NCAA Regional Semifinals, a first-time feat for the school.

DePaul will have to replace three-time All-American Khara Smith. She finished her career ranked in the top six all-time at DePaul in 12 statistical categories. The forward ended her career with 77 double-doubles and career records of 131 games played, a 59.2 percent field goal percentage and 1,369 rebounds.

Head coach Doug Bruno enters his 21st season at his alma mater. He needs 25 wins to reach the 400-victory plateau.

The returnees accounted for 68 percent of the scoring last season, while three of the top four scorers are back for the 2006-07 campaign. Leading the charge are All-BIG EAST Second Team members junior Allie Quigley and senior Jenna Rubino. Allie Quigley averaged 15.0 points and Rubino scored 12.3 points per game. The sharp-shooting guards combined for 113 3-pointers last season.

DePaul also welcomes two back part-time starters, juniors Erin Carney and Caprice Smith. Carnie started the first 21 games of the season, while Smith started four games, including the final three of the season.

Rachael Carney, sister of Erin, enters her senior season. The guard played in 25 games last season, averaging 16.2 minutes per game and was fifth on the team in assists. She is expected to push for the starting guard spot vacated by graduated Claudette Towers. Also joining her sister for the first time at the collegiate level will be freshman Samantha Quigley.

Senior forward Erin Cattell started in the final seven games of the regular season in 2005-06. As a starter in nine games overall, she averaged 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. Sophomore guard Holly Medley played 14.5 minutes per game in the final 11 contests of her freshman season, while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from 3-point range.

DePaul welcomes four newcomers for the 2006-07 season, including freshmen Felicia Chester, Kayla Guidry, China Threatt and Samantha Quigley. Chester stands at 6-2 and her size will help fill a void that Khara Smith has left. The forward led Incarnate Word Academy in St. Louis to its first Missouri State title since 1995. Both Guidry and Threatt will seek time at the guard position. Guidry picked up All-District honors while leading Peabody High School deep in the Louisiana state playoffs, while Threatt finished third in voting for Michigan Miss Basketball. Samantha Quigley earned all-state honors from both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.

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