The Southern Oregon womenâ€™s basketball team and Corban University are predicted to finish in a tie for second in the Cascade Conference for the upcoming 2010-2011 season. The College of Idaho is predicted to finish first.
â€œWe got a good balance of experience and youth,â€ said head coach Lynn Kennedy. â€œWe have 13 players that can get in and play.â€
There are currently five seniors and four freshmen on the roster.
The Raiders plan is to initiate full-court pressure on defense and push up scoring on the offense.
All-American Jackie Speer graduated last year, which could mean teamâ€™s facing the Raiders could have a difficult time planning how to play the team.
â€œItâ€™s going to be a bit more difficult to plan for opponents, â€œ said Kennedy, â€œ[Last year] they focused on her.â€
Last year, Speer averaged 20.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game for the Raiders.Â On top of that, she set six career and single-season records including 1,358 career rebounds and 238 made free throws in a season.
How will the Raiders fill Speerâ€™s shoes? Kennedy says the team will have to up their tempo.
â€œThis year we have people to fill that middle void, as well as people who are good on the outside,â€ said Kennedy.
The team does have the experience to make up for any kind of void that might be presented.
Returning for the Raiders is Whitney Scott, who is coming back after missing last season with an ACL injury.Â Two years ago, Scott was an All-Conference player for the Raiders.Â Point guard Jamie Roupp is entering her second season with the Raiders after transferring from Portland State.
Southern also brought in Josi McDermott, who played with NCAA Divison 1 Utah last year, scoring 12 points and averaging 7.5 minutes a game in 20 games with the Utes.
The Raiders also have seniors Carly Wood, Krystal Smith and Lindsay Scheffler returning.Â All three have been part of the program for a few years now.
The Raiders first home game of the season will be November 21 against Simpson University.