Landers still concerned - even with stacked team

ATHENS -- He has four returning starters from a team that was two points from Final Four last season, and he's added probably the nation's top freshman to the roster.

Still, Andy Landers is worried. Georgia's women's basketball coach sees a team with a ton of individual talent that has failed to transfer that into team skill during a month of preseason practice.

"On one hand, I look at the components of this basketball team, and I think we could be better than we were a year ago," Landers said. "On the other hand, I look at our lack of focus and our lack of intent the last eight or nine practices and I worry that we don't have the leadership, that we don't have the cohesion, that we're just not team-driven. It's concerning."

The Lady Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 5 in both major preseason polls, start their season Friday against Furman in Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m. That's only a warmup, though, for their Sunday game against Texas, which is ranked No. 2 by the Associated Press and No. 3 by the coaches.

"I have concerns," Landers said. "I'm not going to lie to you."

After the Lady Bulldogs' last exhibition game on Nov. 10, Landers called out his players for a poor week of practice. He was shocked, and disappointed, he said, when the practices got no better after that.

"That's what bothers me," he said. "You would think that would be a wakeup call but, no, they stayed the same."

In the most recent exhibition, Landers pulled his five starters after they opened the game with 0-for-7 shooting on quick shots.

"They're not mindful of how the team is performing," he said.

The team's practice habits will change, he promised.

"It'll either get worse or it'll get better," he said. "We're not going to do it this way."

Georgia is trying to work freshman Tasha Humphrey into the starting lineup and has replaced regular starter Janese Hardrick with Cori Chambers because Hardrick has been slowed by a knee injury. (Hardrick is available to play but probably won't be 100 percent until January.)

"I hope we're just getting all the kinks out now so we don't have to do it again," forward Rebecca Rowsey said.


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