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October 17, 2012

Women's Basketball Profiles

By: Marc Mullen

#2 Kerry Sarver
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-5 | Hometown: Leesburg, Va.

Inside the numbers: In her first season as a walk-on, saw action in 11 games, playing a total of 23 minutes, including a season-high five at Wake Forest … Missed all 10 of her shot attempts, five from behind the 3-point arc and was also 0-for-1 at the free-throw line … Did pull down three rebounds and registered two assists.

Analyzing Sarver’s game: As she did last year, Sarver will provide much needed help in practice and with leadership as one of nine returners on the squad.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Kerry has been fabulous for the team chemistry. She works hard in practice, and you couldn’t ask for anything more. She adds a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people can appreciate.”

#3 Aerial Wilson
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-8 | Hometown: Cocoa, Fla.

Inside the numbers: Had a breakout season as the starting point guard, starting in 29 of 30 games played and leading the team in minutes played at 35.6 per game … Was second on the team in points (362, 12.1 ppg), shooting percentage (34.1) shots made (139), 3-point shots made (35), free throws made (49) and assists (87) … Also added 72 rebounds and 41 steals, which was third on the team.

Analyzing Wilson’s game: Wilson was one of three players, all guards, who averaged more than 34 minutes per game last year. With added depth in the Hokies’ backcourt, her overall numbers might see a small dip, but her shooting percentages (just 57.6 from the free-throw line) and turnovers (91) are numbers that should improve dramatically.

Coach Wolff’s take: “I think Aerial Wilson needs to continue to make the transition from scoring guard to point guard. She made big strides last year, and we need her to continue to grow into that role.”

#12 Rachel Nichols
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-10 | Hometown: Richmond, Va.

Inside the numbers: In her first season as a walk-on, played in 10 games and a total of 17 minutes … Was 1-for-3 in shooting, scoring her first collegiate basket against N.C. Central, and missed her only 3-point shot … Also pulled down three rebounds, one offensive.

Analyzing Nichols’ game: Nichols will also provide Hokies with depth needed in practice, and as one of nine returners on the squad, will add leadership.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Rachel Nichols has also been great for our team. Just like Kerry [Sarver], she works hard in practice and does a lot of things behind the scenes that make us better.”

#13 Alyssa Fenyn
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 6-0 | Hometown: Newark, N.Y.

Inside the numbers: Was the only Hokie to start all 30 games last year and was second on the team in minutes played (35.4 mpg) … Averaged 7.8 points per game on 34 percent shooting from the floor and 28.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc … Converted 62.5 percent of her free throws … Leads returners from last year with 52 offensive rebounds and 140 total, 88 assists and 49 steals … Also had seven blocks.

Analyzing Fenyn’s game: All of Fenyn’s shooting numbers were down last year, but again, with added minutes [more than seven per game from her sophomore campaign] come fatigued shots. She did post season bests in most other categories, including fewer turnovers, as her role on the team slightly shifted last year due to the lack of depth on the roster.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Alyssa Fenyn, I thought at the end of the year, played her best basketball. She has an improved sense on how we want her to play.”

#22 Porschia Hadley
Class: R-junior | Position: Forward/Center | Height: 6-3 | Hometown: Montezuma, Ga.

Inside the numbers: Another Hokie who enjoyed a breakout season with increased minutes, starting in 26 of 30 games played last year … Averaged 5.6 points per game, as she hit a team-best 37.6 percent of her shots and 67.5 percent of her free-throw attempts … Grabbed 117 rebounds and blocked a team-high 15 shots, while adding 21 steals and 10 assists.

Analyzing Hadley’s game: As the only low post presence who played significant minutes a year ago for the Hokies, Hadley will be looked upon to provide necessary leadership in the frontcourt with the new additions of three post players.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Porschia Hadley has gotten herself into better condition. I think we now have a better feel, as a coaching staff, for what her skills are and the things she can and cannot do, and we should see continued improvement from her.”

#14 Uju Ugoka
Class: Junior | Position: Forward | Height: 6-1 | Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Inside the numbers: Averaged 17 points, nine rebounds and almost two steals per game for Gulf Coast State, a junior college in Florida, last year while being named a finalist for the National JUCO Player of the Year award.

Analyzing Ugoka’s game: With her experience and her maturity, Ugoka should start right away in the frontcourt for the Hokies. She’s proven her scoring and rebounding abilities in the past, but only playing time will determine if that will translate into the ACC game.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Uju will be a frontline ACC player from the first minute she steps on the court. Her natural aggressiveness and her ability to play with the energy that we didn’t see here last year from our inside players has helped raise our level already.”

#20 Nia Evans
Class: Junior | Position: Forward | Height: 6-0 | Hometown: Decatur, Ga.

Inside the numbers: Limited to just 14 games, with two starts … Averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in her 215 minutes played … Shot 41.7 percent from the floor and 64.7 percent from the free-throw line … Managed 11 blocks and 10 steals to go with five assists.

Analyzing Evans’ game: Plagued by injury through the middle part of the season – she missed the first 13 games in the ACC – Evans never really got on track to play with any consistency. A healthy Evans scored 12 points and added four rebounds in the ACC Tournament game in the final game of the year, and she will bolster the Hokies’ frontcourt.

Coach Wolff’s take: “To me, I think last year with Nia Evans was a wash because of recurring injury situations. She’s in very good shape and has played extremely hard in the preseason.”

#31 Monet Tellier
Class: Junior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-11 | Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Inside the numbers: Played in 30 games while making 28 starts and averaged more than 34 minutes per game … Led the team in scoring at 13.7 points per game, while shooting 33 percent from the floor, 28.9 percent from behind the 3-point arc and 69 percent from the free-throw line … Led the team in field goals made (141), 3-pointers made (43) and free throws made (87) … Added 135 rebounds, 73 assists, 46 steals and 12 blocks to her totals.

Analyzing Tellier’s game: Without doubt, she is the Hokies’ best all-around player on the court, but she needs two things. First, she needs a break – and the Hokies’ improved depth should provide her with that. Second, she needs help in the scoring department, which sometimes leads her to poor shot selection and turnovers [a team-high 117].

Coach Wolff’s take: “Monet Tellier has worked on her ball handling. She loves basketball and is extremely competitive. If we can get her a little more rest, then she can stay focused without having ups and downs. She should have her best year.”

#23 Larryqua Hall
Class: Sophomore | Position: Guard | Height: 5-10 | Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

Inside the numbers: Made two starts and played in 26 games, averaging 15 minutes per game … Despite playing 10 minutes less or more compared to her teammates, she still managed 77 rebounds, including 44 offensive (third among returners) and 32 steals, fourth on the team … Averaged 2.7 points per game … Shot 32.5 percent from the floor, 23.8 percent behind the 3-point arc and 50 percent from the free-throw line … Had 11 assists and five blocks.

Analyzing Hall’s game: Hall is raw talent who showed improvement as the season wore on. Her speed and quickness on the court are assets for her role coming off the bench, but sometimes she needs to slow down to make better decisions.

Coach Wolff’s take: “She has worked hard for us. We’ll probably have her assume a very similar role as last year in regards to energy and being a defensive presence off the bench.”

#33 Kelsey Conyers
Class: Sophomore | Position: Guard | Height: 5-9 | Hometown: Chesterfield, Va.

Inside the numbers: Played in 29 games and made two starts, averaging 11 minutes per game as a walk-on … Made seven of her 37 shots from the floor, including three 3-point baskets and four free throws for 21 points … Added 32 rebounds, 12 assists, 14 steals and one block to her totals.

Analyzing Conyer’s game: As a walk-on last year, Conyers was thrust into the Hokies’ rotation to provide needed depth at the guard position. With a season under her belt, Conyers should make more strides in being able to play at the Division I level in the ACC.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Kelsey Conyers was a tremendous surprise last year as an invited walk-on and has improved her shot, has changed her game a little bit and will continue to contribute to the team.”

#10 Lauren Evans
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 6-0 | Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.

Notes on Evans: She was listed as a four-star recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz and was ranked the No. 40 guard in the country. Evans was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Hamilton High School and was named the player of the year in 2012, while earning defensive player of the year honors in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Wolff’s take: “Lauren Evans is an extremely competitive kid who can play either guard spot and will give us depth that we did not have last year.”

#21 Alex Kiss-Rusk
Class: Freshman | Position: Forward | Height: 6-4 | Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Notes on Kiss-Rusk: She was listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz while earning three letters at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Kiss-Rusk played for the U17 Canadian National Team at the FIBA World Championships in France, and later, she was selected for the Canada Senior Women’s Basketball team that competed at the 2011 Pan-Am Games.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Alex Kiss-Rusk has good offensive skills. I think she needs to get a sense of the physicality and the pace of the game in the ACC, but I think she has a lot of potential and size that we didn’t have last year.”

#24 Taijah Campbell
Class: Freshman | Position: Forward | Height: 6-3 | Hometown: Ajax, Ontario, Canada

Notes on Campbell: ESPN HoopGurlz listed Campbell as a three-star recruit while playing for Pickering High School. She led the team to three association championships and was named a defensive and league all-star. She competed for the Canadian National Team during the 2011 Pan-Am Games and won a national title with the U17 Team Ontario squad.

Wolff’s Take: “Taijah Campbell is a terrific athlete. She’s long. She can run. She needs to work to get a little bit better sense of what you need to do at this level offensively, but I think she’s ready to rebound and play defense immediately.”

#32 Alexis Lloyd
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 5-9 | Hometown: Chicago, Ill.

Notes on Lloyd: She was a four star, top-100 recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz and was ranked No. 81 overall and the No. 31 guard. Lloyd was a three-year letterwinner at Whitney Young High School and helped the team to a No. 3 ranking in the country last season. The Dolphins posted an undefeated season and won the 4A state title, while Lloyd earned all-state honorable mention honors.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Alexis Lloyd comes from a great high school program. She wasn’t able to be here during the summer, so she’s kind of a bit behind the curve, but she has come on strong in the preseason. She has the ability to make outside shots, she’s fearless and she will add a dimension on the perimeter we didn’t have last year."