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September 30/October 7

Friday, March 17, 2017

Memphis area prospects in the NCAA women's tournament

From Commercial Appeal

The NCAA women’s basketball tournament begins on Friday and the Memphis area will have several rooting interests even though none of its college teams are involved this year. Here’s a rundown of the local prospects from the surrounding area that could pop up on your television screen in the coming weeks.

F Nina Davis, Baylor, Sr. — This 5-foot-11 post player, who was a Parade all-American and Tennessee’s Gatorade Player of the Year while starring at Central High School, is only the fifth player in Baylor history to register more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Though she averaged career-lows of 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season due to an influx of talent for the Bears, she is nonetheless a major cog in their quest to make the Final Four for the first time in five years. Davis earned Big 12 player of the year and second team all-American honors last season, when Baylor lost in the Elite Eight for the third straight season.

F Jasmine Joyner, Chattanooga, Sr. — The 6-foot-2 Southaven, Miss. native was the only player in the Southern Conference to average a double-double this season and earned first team all-conference and conference defensive player of the year honors as a result. She had eight double-doubles over the final nine games of the season. She averaged 13.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and nearly four blocks per game.

G Jaida Roper, Kentucky, Fr. — The former Houston High star was a late addition to Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class and became a useful contributor right away for the Wildcats as this season progressed. She started twice in December and has played at least 10 minutes in 13 of the past 17 games. Roper is averaging 2.8 points and 1.2 assists per game.

G Olivia Cunningham, Toledo, So. — The Horn Lake, Miss. native began her college career at Murray State and has become a crucial reserve in her first season playing at Toledo. The combo guard is averaging 5.6 points per game and scored a season-best 20 points when the Rockets beat Northern Illinois to win the Mid-American Conference tournament championship game.

C Raquel Logan, Central Arkansas, Sr. — This West Memphis, Ark., native is starting for the Southland Conference champions and averaging six points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game this year.

F Tieraney Paylor, Central Arkansas, So. — The former Ridgeway standout is redshirting this year due to an achilles injury.

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