By Grace Miserocchi
The women’s basketball team is less than a month away from the beginning of the season and has been picked to finish third by the SoCon preseason coach’s poll.
Sophomore guard and sports administration major Hannah Nichols and redshirt junior forward Taylor Reece were chosen for the preseason all-conference team by the SoCon poll.
“One of the challenges we have is our numbers, we do not have a huge team, but it is also a strength because everyone on our team has an awesome work ethic and is doing everything they can to get better,” Reece, a nursing major, said.
Redshirt sophomore point guard Lydia McGee said that Head Coach Mike Morris has placed an emphasis on preseason conditioning and details.
“We are definitely in a lot better shape than last year and I think that will give us an edge from a mental standpoint on our opponents,” McGee, a health science major, said. “Coach Morris has put more of an emphasis on details as far as footwork and offense and guarding.”
The team will face some big out of conference opponents such as UCLA, Kansas and Kansas State. Reece says that playing big teams makes Samford tougher for conference play. Chattanooga is expected to be a challenging SoCon team along with newcomer Mercer.
Newcomers to the team are freshman forward and history major Destiney Elliot and redshirt freshman forward elementary education major Hailey Pierson.
“We have a good nucleus of Taylor Reece, Keke Fletcher, Krista Stricklin and Amara Mayers as juniors. We are excited about starting. Our new freshman, Destiney Elliott is picking things up well, and we will count on her to be able to help us pretty quickly,” Head Coach Mike Morris said.
Reece will play again after coming off of an injury that benched her all last season.
“I am really excited to play again because I was hurt last year. All the girls on the team are my best friends and encouraged me through that process,” Reece said.
“The coaches look out for you as a person and not just a player, which is kind of rare in college athletics. They challenge you to be good not only on the court but off the court. It is a healthy environment to grow as an individual,“ McGee said.
The season opener is scheduled an exhibition game against Montevallo on Nov. 10 at in the Pete Hanna Center. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.