Lady Raiders Scrimmage Report

With the first game just a week away, the Lady Raiders held their only preseason scrimmage today. There was 40 minutes of hard basketball played as the team prepared for their season opener against Louisiana Tech. Read on for my thoughts from the scrimmage.

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Lady Raiders have been receiving lots of top-5 rankings in the preseason, and today the fans got to see why. Coach Marsha Sharp has put together a team with talented players at every position. They seem to be able to play either an up-tempo style of game, or a more methodical half court type game, depending on the situation. All of the players showed good intensity despite this being a scrimmage.

Team Overview

Offense is probably Texas Tech's greatest strength. The Lady Raiders' squad has so many scorers that it will be tough for anyone to stop. All of the players has shown good range on their shots. There are also a number of good passers. This should equate to a team that can score against any type of defense. While the Texas Tech team is capable of putting up lots of points in a hurry, they have also shown a willingness to work for the best shot. Because of this patience, the offense hardly ever takes a bad shot. The Lady Raiders' smart play on offense will be a great asset once the season starts. When the offense does miss a shot, they do a good job crashing the offensive boards. All of these factors should result in an offense that scores on a high percentage of its possessions.

While the offense is impressive, the defense also looks good this season. The first thing that stands out is how hard the Lady Raiders work on defense. They are always giving their maximum effort as they try to stop the offense. The Texas Tech defense looks like it could be very good at forcing turnovers. The guards have good defensive quickness, and the post players are always jumping into the passing lanes. The post players have also shown good shot blocking ability, which should allow the perimeter players to be somewhat more aggressive defensively. If the defense is successful in forcing turnovers, Texas Tech will be hard to beat. The Lady Raiders displayed a great fast break that will capitalize on any turnovers by their opponents.

The Players

With two new point guards you would usually be somewhat concerned. The good news is that both point guards appear to have a good grasp of what the team is trying to do offensively. Freshman Erin Grant is the prototypical point guard. Grant plays with a pass-first mentality, though she can score if the opportunity presents itself. Her excellent court awareness allows her to make some amazing passes, as she demonstrated several times during the scrimmage. Junior Miklannet Tennal is more of a scoring point guard. Tennal demonstrated a willingness to take the ball to the basket when she got the chance. She also demonstrated an excellent touch on her shots from behind the arc. Look for both of these point guards to get significant playing time throughout the season.

The rest of the team is loaded with scorers. Jia Perkins is back this year, and appears to be playing even better. Perkins does a good job recognizing and exploiting any weakness in the defense. Natalie Ritchie showed that she is still one of the better shooters around. If she gets a chance to set her feet, the ball is probably going in the basket. Newcomer Cayla Petree completes the guard lineup. Petree showed a nice touch on her jumper during the scrimmage.

The post players have also looked good so far. Cisti Greenwalt is the tallest healthy player on the team. Greenwalt is a good defender with excellent shot blocking ability. Plenette Pierson has been impressive in the preaseason. Pierson has shown great athleticism on both ends of the court. She might be the best inside scorer on the team. Jolee Ayers showed some good rebounding ability. Ayers also showed that she is an excellent passer from the low post. Casey Jackson had a good scrimmage as well. Jackson showed excellent intensity on the defensive end of the floor. She also demonstrated some nice range on her shot. Three first year forwards showed some great potential. Jametra Clark played hard and showed a nice shooting touch. Chesley Dabbs has great quickness and ballhandling for a forward. Latoya Davis has the potential to be a great scorer someday.

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