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October 7, 2013

Women's Basketball Profiles

By: Marc Mullen

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

Inside the numbers: Started 18 games – the fourth-most on the team – and played in all 30 games … Averaged 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game … Was fifth on the squad in both offensive (29) and total rebounds (88) and was second in blocks shots (16) … Hit just 37 of 110 shot attempts and 8 of 16 free throws.

Analyzing Hadley’s game: Most of Hadley’s numbers dipped during the 2012-13 season mainly because of a reduction in playing time. To return to the numbers she put up the previous season – 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds a game – she will need to stay out of foul trouble, as she committed the third-most fouls on the team. She will be looked upon to provide needed depth in the frontcourt.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Porschia is a fabulous kid who’s already graduated. This will be her fifth year here, and I hope this will be her best year. She’s a good facing-the-basket shooter, but we’ll need her to play a little more physical out there.”

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

Inside the numbers: Started in 10 games and played in 17 contests … Led the team with 63 offensive rebounds and averaged a team-leading 8.5 rebounds per game (145 total) … Was second on the team in points (212), points per game (12.5), field-goal percentage (38.8 percent, 83 of 214) and average minutes played (28.9).

Analyzing Ugoka’s game: Ugoka’s game: After sitting out nine games to start the season, Ugoka showed flashes of her ability throughout the year, notching five double-doubles (four in the ACC). She will need to stay healthy – she missed four games after her debut – and will need to be patient on the offensive side to maximize her playing potential.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Uju had, unfortunately, a disjointed year, and it showed. At times, she was really good, and at times, she was a little bit too rushed. She had a fabulous year academically and could graduate sum cum laude or higher, far exceeding what we thought could happen academically. On the court, she’s in a good place, and because of that, she’ll play well.”

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

Inside the numbers: Played in 29 games, making a pair of starts … Was third on the team in field-goal percentage (37.7 percent, 40 of 106) … Finished fourth on the team with 90 rebounds and fifth on the team in scoring with 100 points … Averaged 3.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game … Added 10 blocks and 17 steals to her totals.

Analyzing Evans’ game: Evans returned to her freshman form after battling injuries throughout the 2011-12 season, but she needs to improve on those numbers as a senior. She needs to stay out of foul trouble, as she committed a team-high 70 fouls last year, to provide depth in the frontcourt.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Nia is a little bit undersized for her position, but plays with a high motor. I hope she can sustain that more. She has really good moments, and then she gets fatigued and then the bottom falls out. She’s in good shape after working hard over the summer, and some of the things we are working on offensively will help her out.”

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

Inside the numbers: Played in all 30 games and made 27 starts … Led the team in most offensive categories, including minutes played (980), points (396), field goals made (135), 3-pointers made (30), free throws made (96), defensive rebounds (114), total rebounds (167), assists (96) and steals (36) … Averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game … Shot 37.5 percent from the floor and team-bests 34.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 72.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Analyzing Tellier’s game: Tellier will end her Hokie career as arguably the best player Tech has put on the floor since joining the ACC and one of the top 10 all-time. Her versatility and ability will give her a chance to place her name in the school’s record book in 12 categories. The addition of four guards to the roster should free her up to focus more on scoring and rebounding.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Monet has improved each of the years that we have been here. The key factor in her having as good of a year as she can have is her staying grounded emotionally as best as she can. She’s had fewer and fewer games like that, but that’s the key. She’s improved her ball handling, but she’s not going to have to handle it as much. And because we aren’t going to be asking her to do everything, she’s going to have her best year.”

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

Inside the numbers: Played in 10 games … Scored four points, had a steal and a rebound in 25 minutes of action … Saw limited time because of nagging injuries.

Analyzing Conyers’ game: Conyers played 29 games as a walk-on two years ago and provided much-needed depth at the guard position. If healthy, she’ll be looked to continue in that role this season.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Kelsey has been an incredibly valuable member of the team in every way. She played a little bit more as a freshman than last year, due to some knee problems, but she’s healthy. As a student-athlete, she embodies everything that Virginia Tech is all about.”

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

Inside the numbers: Made 28 starts – tied for the most on the squad – and played in all 30 games … Averaged 4.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game … Was second on the team with 35 steals, while finishing fourth in points (140), assists (44) and blocks (11) … Hit 37.3 percent from the floor and converted 70.8 percent of her free-throw attempts.

Analyzing Evans’ game: As a freshman, Evans was thrust into the starting point guard role, earning it through hard work and dedication, and she held her own against some stiff competition. Her knowledge and experience from last year will be invaluable to the four new guards entering the program.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Lauren had a very good freshman year. We asked her to do a bunch of things that we never thought we would ask of a freshman, but she performed well in that role. She’s a proud, competitive kid. I would look for her to continue to contribute in the same way as last year.”

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

Inside the numbers: Started 15 of the 17 games she played in as a freshman … Shot a team-best 42.2 percent from the floor and blocked a team-high 23 shots … Scored 80 points and grabbed 77 boards in her limited action a season ago … Averaged 4.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Analyzing Campbell’ game: Staying healthy will be the key for Campbell to keep getting better in both practices and in games. She got her feet wet playing in eight ACC games a year ago and showed great ability on both ends of the court. A full season should help her talents progress further.

Coach Wolff’s take: “We hope she can stay healthy this year. When healthy, she’s proven that she can compete with any of the post players in the league, and she’s a good defender. She’s got size, can run the floor and can rebound out of her space. Unfortunately, the injuries slowed her down, but if she can stay healthy, that will certainly impact the type of season we can have.”

#4 Hannah Young
Class: Sophomore | Position: Forward | Height: 6-1 | Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Inside the numbers: Did not enroll until the spring semester … Played in 21 games and made four starts … Scored 27 points and pulled down 61 rebounds, while adding 21 assists and 15 steals to her totals.

Analyzing Young’s game: Young had to adapt very quickly to Tech basketball last year, missing the entire first semester (practices included) while working out eligibility issues with the NCAA. She had to learn everything on the fly, which may have hindered her performances last season.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Hannah is one of the most talented players on the team, and I don’t think anyone really saw that last year. She gave us some glimpses, where she rebounded well at times or shot the 3 well. I think she’ll be able to give us a little bit more consistency because she should feel more comfortable and settled in. And she is a good defender that can guard every position other than the point.”

#25 Samantha Hill
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 5-10 | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Notes on Hill: Hill was a member of the Canadian U-19 national team that competed in the 2013 FIBA World Championships. As a member of North Toronto club team, Hill helped the team win gold at the U-19 provincial championship in 2012. She earned all-defensive team and all-star honors. In 2008, Hill won the provincial gold medal. She was an MVP for three years and competed in the All-Canada Classic All-Star game.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Sammy is an extremely good athlete – maybe the best athlete on the team. She’s really fast. She’s active. She’s long. She’s still trying to morph into her comfort zone on offense. She’s got good skills. She’s just got to package it, but she’s a good defender.”

#3 Serafina Maulupe
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 5-8 | Murrieta, Calif.

Notes on Maulupe: Maulupe is a combo guard from Vista Murrieta High School and finished her career with 1,617 points to finish second all-time in her school’s record book. She set the record for the number of 3-pointers made in her four years as a starter at Vista. During her senior season, Maulupe averaged 21 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Serafina is an extremely competitive player whom everyone should fall in love with because of her personality. She’s going to have to make a conversion from a 2-guard to the point – she has to in this league. She’s a strong, tough kid, and she can shoot.”

#35 Tara Nahodil
Class: Freshman | Position: Center | Height: 6-4 | Pine Grove, Pa.

Notes on Nahodil: Nahodil was the 20th-ranked post player in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz. She earned all-state honors three times and was an all-area honoree all four years. During her senior campaign at Tri-Valley High School, Nahodil helped the team to the Pennsylvania state title. Nahodil finished her career with more than 1,700 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Tara came to us later due to a coaching change at another school. Tara is a bigger girl who has good potential. She’s just going to have to get used to the pace of the play in the ACC.”

#5 Vanessa Panousis
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 5-7 | Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Notes on Panousis: Panousis competed on the international stage as a member of the Australian U-19 national team that won bronze at the 2013 FIBA World Championships. She was also on the U-17 World Championship team that finished fifth in the FIBA 2012 event. Panousis attended Brigidine College Randwick and competed for the Sydney Comets.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Vanessa has a lot of international experience. She’s been the starting point guard on the Australian national team (U-19). She’s a very mature girl who really understands basketball. She can shoot and can be a threat from the outside and can be very clever with the ball.”

#15 Maddison Penn
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 6-0 | Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia

Notes on Penn: Penn was a member of the Australian U-19 national team that won a bronze medal at the 2013 FIBA World Championships and a gold medal in 2012 at the FIBA Oceania Championships. In addition, she was selected to represent Australia in the 2013 Tour of China and Tour of France. Penn also competed for Pymble Ladies College, where she helped the team capture the national title in 2011 and helped the team to a second-place finish in 2010.

Coach Wolff’s take: “Maddison is kind of an ‘old-school’ player. She’s a very good, deep 3-point shooter. She releases it easy and shoots it as much like a guy as any of us have ever seen on the women’s side. She knows how to play and really wants to be a good basketball player.”