Looking for Leadership

The Texas Tech Lady Raiders have plenty of talent, but one thing is keeping them from reaching their ultimate goal of another national championship. With Plenette Pierson graduating, a leadership void has opened. The biggest question right now is who will fill the void and lead this team to victory?

"Somebody's got to step up and make the big plays, or handle adversity, or take charge of the game when it's crunch time. I think that's the biggest thing we've still got to find," said Head Coach Marsha Sharp. It's pretty easy to tell who she wants the leader to be. Jia Perkins would be the obvious choice because she is on the floor a lot, and has the skills to be the go-to scorer in critical situations. "She needs to be one," said Coach Sharp. Perkins knows what is expected of her as a senior. "It's just something you should know. I think every team should be led by their seniors because they have the experience," said Jia Perkins.

Erin Grant is the other individual who Coach Sharp would like to assume the leadership role. After an outstanding freshman year, Grant has proven her playmaking abilities. Now the sophomore must assume the other part of the point guard role. "I kind of figured out what it was all about last year being a freshman. This year I kind of know what it takes," said Erin Grant. Coach Sharp has talked with Grant about assuming the leadership role on this Texas Tech team. "I think I can be the leader of this team," said Grant.

If those players are unable to assume the role of leader for any reason, then the responsibility will probably fall on the rest of the seniors. Coach Sharp isn't sure if this senior class has developed the mentality necessary to win a championship. "They're going to have to step up and prove it," said Coach Sharp. Trying to become leaders has been a struggle for this group of players that has received so much attention. "I think the thing that has haunted them the most in their careers has been the ability to assume a big time role," said Coach Sharp. Despite the struggles, Coach Sharp is confident that this group will be able to make the necessary adjustments. They've also got a little extra motivation this year. "They're the first senior class since 1992 that hasn't gotten a ring," said Sharp. "This is their chance to get payoff."

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