LADY COUGARS OFF TO STRONG START

Collin College vs. Murray State

Collin College’s Women’s basketball season is off to a strong start with a 12-4 record going into its conference play. Coach Jeff Allen said all of his players are contributing so far this season.

“We are pretty deep,” Allen said, referring to his bench. “We have good post play and good guards on the perimeter who defend. We complement each other that way.”

Guard Taylor Jackson and Micayla Buckner, who plays post, are the team’s scoring leaders with about 14 points a game, but they are just the start for the team’s offense, which spreads the scoring around.

Zhanae Whitney pulls down a rebound in the Lady Cougars' game against Murray State.

Zhanae Whitney pulls down a rebound in the Lady Cougars’ game against Murray State.

“We’ve got six or seven more players that are close to 8 points a game, so we are pretty balanced when it comes to our scoring,” Allen said. “I think that makes us tough for competitors.”

He said that so far when teams have tried to shut down their scoring by going after select players, the other Lady Cougars have stepped up.

“It’s not just one or two players. Scoring is done by committee,” Allen said.

Allen believes that trait is one of the team’s strengths, and that it continues into the team leadership. When asked who his team leaders are, he said that no one player has stepped up as an undisputed leader on the team.

“I think this year has been a special group,” he said. “I mentioned (Micayla and Taylor) because they are leading in scoring, but it really is a group effort. We don’t have just one leader.”

That might be surprising for a team with just three players returning from a squad that won its conference in 2014-15, but Allen believes the players are working well as a unit and that the new players believe they have as much of a stake in the college’s success as the returners.

“I thought that we did a really good job in our recruiting this last year,” he said. “So far everybody has come in and contributed the way that we hoped that they would. It’s been a nice surprise that they are all stepping up, filling out their roles.”

Allen said the team’s goal this year is the same as any year, to win the conference championship and move on to regionals, where they would like to improve on their performance from last year. The team has made it into regionals for the last three years, so that is definitely a possibility.

Hill College has performed the best in its pre-conference schedule and may give the Lady Cougars a run for it when the teams return from break, but Allen said the team is taking their season game by game.

“I think that (improving on last year) is one of the goals for our returners, but as a team, we are striving to win everything in front of us,” he said. “We are trying to improve on ourselves. I don’t care who we are playing.”

See the Lady Cougars’ remaining schedule here.

2015-16 ROSTER
# Name Class Height Hometown/Previous School
1 Arielle Brown FR 5’10 Dallas, TX / Lake Highlands HS
2 Dierra Ely SO 5’9  Arlington, TX/ Grambling
3 Bobbi Bullitt SO 5’10 El Paso, TX / Western New Mexico
5 Jaileen Thomas RS-FR 5’6 Richardson, TX/ UNT and Murray st.
10 Daija Stanford FR 5’3 Midland, TX / Robert E. Lee HS
12 Tree Brooks FR 5’5 Tyler, TX / Robert E. Lee HS
14 Alexis Johnson SO 5’9 Garland, TX / Naaman Forest HS
20 Alyssa Powers FR 5’7 Las Vegas, NV / Bonanza HS
22 Taylor Jackson SO 5’5 Frisco, TX / Frisco Heritage HS
23 Billie Marlow SO 6’3 Copenhagen, Denmark
30 Micayla Buckner RS-FR 6’3 Garland, TX / Baylor University
32 Zhanae Whitney FR 6′ Queens, NY /Colleyville Heritage HS
Head Coach:  Jeff Allen
Assistant Coach: Larry Carter 

                              Ray Scott

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