The Wolfpacker

November 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 77 of 139

T By Brian Rapp he names will be familiar, but the places those names will occupy on the floor will be new to NC State followers of the women's basketball team the past three years. The biggest difference, of course, will be the absence of No. 23. Marissa Kastanek, the last player recruited by Kay Yow and the most public face of the program since 2009, is now putting up long-range bombs in Sweden after four straight years of AllACC honors and the most games played (133) by anyone to ever wear a Wolfpack uniform. Ba ketball Preview 2013-14 "She was a big part of our defensive plans [while Hill was with the Yellow Jackets], and I wish we still had her," Hill admitted. "That's a big hole to fill, not only on the court but off — you can tell the effect she's had on the program. We'll have to do it by committee." Despite the departure of Kastanek, Hill will have a deep group of nine players to fill the Pack's guard spots, including returning starters Myisha Goodwin-Coleman, Krystal Barrett and Len'Nique Brown — though at least one of that trio will be playing a different position this winter. "We're going to move Myisha from the tempo attack for a second year — but she may not be a full-time starter. "To be honest, that position is a pretty heated battle right now," Hill said. "Miah Spencer is playing pretty well, so we feel we have two very good point guards pushing each other." While Brown gives NC State a proven penetrator with blazing speed and athleticism, Spencer — a 5-8 freshman from Decatur, Ga. —brings four extra inches and a two-time state high school championship legacy to the mix. In addition, she scored 18.7 points per game her senior year. "I kept kicking myself for letting her get A Different Look Myisha Goodwin-Coleman's Move To Shooting Guard Keys Change In Pack's Guard Group The task confronting first-year assistant coach Gene Hill, who will work primarily with the Pack guards under new head coach Wes Moore, is finding the consistency in ball handling, shooting and defense that all too often was lacking the past three years … and which led directly to three losing ACC regular seasons and an absence from the NCAA Tournament. "We're all learning something new," the former Georgia Tech assistant remarked during a break in October practices. "We keep reminding ourselves that we basically have 14 freshmen — if you include the coaches, it's 18. We're all trying to make sure we fit on the same page of what Coach Moore wants in his system." The "system" that Moore brings with him from his 15-year tenure at TennesseeChattanooga will be familiar to Pack fans: the so-called "four-out" offense that both Yow and former head coach Kellie Harper (herself an assistant to Moore for three years) utilized in recent years to overcome a lack of size in the post and take advantage of players with quickness and athleticism. "This system allows you some versatility with guards where, if you have one that's a little more athletic and shows some toughness, you can maybe sneak in some minutes with that player matching up against another team's four [power forward] — if that player is more perimeter-oriented," Hill noted. Kastanek's scoring average of 12.5 points per game will be missed, as will her 36-percent three-point accuracy and the leadership she provided as a four-year starter. point [where the 5-5 senior has started the past two seasons] to the two guard," Hill said. "This will allow her to get down the floor and be more of a shooting threat [she has been the team's top three-point shooter the past two years and made a team-high 38.3 percent last season]. We also think the move will help her be a more consistent shooter and take better shots, something we've stressed with her. "And she's going to have to play tough defense, give us some effort and leadership at that end." Barrett, a 5-9 junior who started 31 of the Pack's 34 games a year ago as the "three" position, is another player the new coaching staff is looking to for improvement in performance consistency, particularly in the ACC portion of the schedule. "She can put it on the floor, she's improved her three-point shooting [Barrett has been a 26.9-percent shooter from the arc through her first two years] and she can make a big difference for us if she plays up to her ability," Hill said. "But again, shot selection, being smart about when to put it on the floor and eliminating turnovers [she had the second most on the team last year, with 79] are what we need her to work on." A Heated Battle Brown, the 5-5 redshirt junior who saw her first action last year after transferring from Southern California in 2010, started the final 12 games at the point, and averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 assists per contest over that span. Though her team-leading 81 turnovers was a concern, Brown is expected to be back running the Pack's up- out of state, because I thought we [Georgia Tech] might regret it," Hill admitted. "Fortunately, I don't have to play against her the next four years. She's shown the ability to knock down the three, make good passes and be a team leader." Senior Breezy Williams has been the Pack's "instant offense" the past three years, a player that is more than willing to put up the rock from just about anywhere on the floor, but whose penchant for turnovers and spotty defense have kept her from major minutes. "We need a no-quit attitude, making good decisions, and using her athletic ability to do what she can do well," Hill said of the 5-11 senior. "With her size and athleticism, she can be someone we count on to come in and defend a great guard if they get hot. She has all the tools for the three position — it's just a matter of being willing to do the little things to get there." Valuable Contributors Sophomore Ashley Eli, at 5-11, was one of the primary subs last season, usually one of the first off the bench for Kastanek or Barrett. Averaging 15 minutes over 31 appearances, Eli provided the Pack with one of the team's best individual defenders on the perimeter — a quality that will be in greater demand now that Moore plans on using an aggressive "push" defense in which every player will put pressure on the ball. Goodwin-Coleman ranked third in the ACC in three-point shooting (38.3 percent) and fifth in three-pointers made per game (2.1) last year. photo by ken martin 76  ■  the wolfpacker 76-78.Women's Backcourt.indd 76 10/22/13 2:46 PM

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