Landers talks Lady Dawgs

ATHENS — After his Georgia women's basketball team came just two points shy of the Final Four last year, Andy Landers figures just a little more juice might get them over the top.

With that in mind, the Lady Dogs spent their offseason working on physical conditioning. Katrin Koch, a former NCAA champion in both the shot put and weightlifting, was hired to help Georgia improve its team speed and quickness.

"We've been for the most part very old school with regard to strength training the last 26 years," Landers said. "I think this has already benefited our players."

He'll have a better idea of that on Saturday when the Lady Bulldogs, who are a consensus top five pick in the early national polls, hold their first practice. They open the season at home Nov. 19 against Furman.

Several players will be limited due to injuries. Guard Janese Hardrick (knee) will dress out but won't participate for a few days. Guard Alexis Kendrick (knee) is at 80 percent but will practice. Forward Jessica Pierce (Achilles tendon) will practice but may be limited.

Ebony Felder has been forced to retire due to shoulder and knee injuries. She will stay with the team as a student coach.

Georgia also will have to replace center Christi Thomas, who graduated, and forward Kara Braxton, who was kicked off the team last season.

Forward Tasha Humphrey, who was considered the top prospect in the country last year by many analysts, should help make up for the loss of Thomas and Braxton.

Georgia struggled some during the regular season last year but played very well in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

"It took us all year to get to that point last year," Landers said. "We'd just like to get there a little sooner than we did last year."

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