Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Memphis Girls Basketball Players College Preseason All-Conference Team members

Submitted Article

It's time for NCAA Division I college basketball preseason polls and 5 Memphis area players were chosen for their conference's All-Conference teams. Four of the 5 players are point guards suggesting that the Memphis area develops top players with basketball intelligence. The high school class of 2009 is well represented with 3 of the 5 ladies graduating that year. Jasmine James (Bartlett High School) and Sarah Watkins (Houston High School) were selected to the SEC All-Conference team while Kaitlin "Yo Yo" Murphy (White Station High School) was chosen for the Southern Conference team. All three ladies also played for the Memphis Elite AAU club. Along with these juniors is a sophomore and a senior. Jasmine Newsome, a Millington High School alum (also of the Memphis Elite), graduated in 2010 and was honored by the Ohio Valley Conference while Andrea Holmes from Mitchell High School, a 2008 graduate, begins her final season in the America East Conference.

James was the starting point guard for the University of Georgia. She was named a 2011-2012 preseason 3rd team All-America by Sporting News. She led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio, steals and minutes played a year ago. She earned a spot on ESPN's Top-10 plays and national notoriety after scoring on a putback with 2.9 seconds left against No. 15 Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to give UGA a 61-59 win. She led Georgia offensively a team-best 14 times, including 11 of the last 23 contests.

Playing for the University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks, Watkins emerged as a solid post player and premier shot-blocker as a sophomore in 2010-11. She finished her second season of college ball second on the team with 13.5 ppg and 5.6 rpg. She led the team with 58 blocks, bettering her freshman record of 40 from the previous year. She had 28 games in double-figure scoring, six with double-digit rebounds and six double-doubles. As a shot-blocker, Watkins finished the year ranked eighth in the Arkansas career record books, third in the SEC in both all game and league game single season numbers and 64th in the nation as a sophomore.

Murphy had an outstanding sophomore season for the Furman Lady Paladins. At point guard, she led the team in scoring, 13.2 ppg and garnered a team co-MVP award. She was ranked 2nd in the SOCON for free throw percentage at 83%. Her 122 assists for the 2010-2011 season placed her as the 5th most productive assists leader for a season in Furman women's basketball history. In the conference she ranked in the top 10 statistical leaders in scoring, assists per game, assist to turnover ratio, free throw percentage, and minutes played (34.6 per game). She started all 30 games.

As a freshman, Newsome burned up the Ohio Valley Conference with her performance and helped lead University of Tennessee - Martin to a 21 win season and the conference championship. She started 32 of 32 games and was the conference's 3rd leading scorer at 17.6 ppg. She averaged 33.5 minutes a game and shot 35% from the arc. Leading her team in total assists, she was also 7th in the conference for assists to turnover ratio. With the 2nd most steals in the conference, she earned Defensive Player of the Year.

Holmes, a point guard, enters her final season with the Binghamton University Bearcats. Holmes was named first-team all-conference as a junior. She ranked fourth in the America East with 14.3 points per game and was named the conference’s Player of the Week twice during the season. Entering her senior season, Holmes is ranked 10th all time in program history with 1,109 career points. In each of her first three seasons, Holmes was been named all-conference. As a sophomore, she earned second-team all-conference accolades and as a freshman, she was both third-team all-conference as well as the America East Rookie of the Year. She joins Rachel Laws (2002-06) as the only Bearcat player ever to be named preseason all-conference twice during her career.

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