Finding the right mix

The unexpected departure of Jia Perkins has left Texas Tech Lady Raiders Head Coach Marsha Sharp with the problem of finding a suitable replacement at the off-guard position. Chesley Dabbs was the initial replacement, but both Alesha Robertson and Brooke Baughman have seen significant time at the spot. Who will the replacement be?

When the news of Jia Perkins departure became public, the initial assumption was that Chesley Dabbs would step into her starting spot. So far this has been true, but things may have changed following the Lady Raiders' victory over Nebraska. Dabbs did start the game, but Robertson and Baughman played as the off-guards for much of the game, particularly in the second half. All three players bring something different to the table. Dabbs was the heir apparent to Perkins. The Texas Tech coaching staff had been grooming her to take over the spot next season. Robertson has shown her offensive ability, and despite her freshman status she has become a force on the offensive end. Baughman played at the two in high school, but has been transformed into a quality point guard at Texas Tech.

For the time being the job will probably go to whoever matches up best against a particular opponent. All three players bring a lot to the court, but none of them are the perfect fit. Robertson was already a player in need of more playing time, and this situation has created a great opportunity for her to see more court time. The biggest question for Robertson might be her ability to defend quicker guards. Dabbs brings a smooth style of play to the court that is at times almost a mirror image of Jia Perkins on the offensive end. Coach Sharp has called her the best perimeter defender on the team, something that has been seen by fans on a number of occasions. The only question for Dabbs is her ability to stretch a defense. Dabbs has shied away from the three-point shot, something that the other two players certainly won't do. Baughman is another player in search of playing time. Coach sharp has already indicated that Baughman is too good to be a backup to Erin Grant for three years. The only option for her is to get extra time as a two guard. In the end we will probably see a three headed monster at the two, much like we see at the five. If one player gets hot early, they could easily play most of the game, but the converse is also true. If someone comes out cold, especially Baughman or Dabbs, they could easily get lost in the shuffle and have their minutes limited.

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