RICHMOND, Ind. — The Earlham College women's basketball squad had two team members included in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Players to Watch list as Liana Coutts enters her seventh year with the Quakers.
"Our juniors and sophomores have been doing a quality job," Coutts said. "We believe in them and the job that they have been doing. All of our returning players have an understanding of our philosophies and program expectations."
Darrett was the team's leading scorer a year ago with an 11.8 average. Darrett was also the top rebounder at 5.4 per contest. She led Earlham in steals with 2.0 per game.
Long is the second-leading scorer returning this season with an average of 5.8 PPG, while ending 2009-10 as the second-leading rebounder on the team with 5.0 rebounds a contest. She led the Quakers in offensive rebounds at 2.2 a game.
Princess Darnell (Greenwood, IN, Bishop Chatard) and Kate Franks (Hopewell, OH, West Muskingum ) are the other juniors on the team, while Natasha Norman (St. Louis, MO, Vashon), Karmell Brown (Columbus, OH, Columbus School for Girls) and Amelia Frazier (New Madison, OH, Tri-Village) are the sophomores.
There are eight first-years in the program. "We will have a mix of players making contributions and we have more versatility than in the past," Coutts said. "Our expectations are the same through out the season. We need to come ready to compete everyday in practice, so that we are prepared for games."
Brittany Combs (Columbus, OH, Bishop Hartley), Christyan Cooksey (Evansville, IN, Bosse), Alison Snyder (Ann Arbor, MI, Community), Bria Sneed (Indianapolis, IN, University), Jazmynne Cunningham (Springfield, OH, North), Danielle Altman (Carthage, IN, Knightstown), Desire Hough (Bethlehem, PA, Saucon Valley) and Lauren Jackson (Upper Marlboro, MD, Thomas Sprigg Wootton) are preparing to compete at the college level.
"The first-years have been adjusting to our philosophies and strategies very well," Coutts said. "They have welcomed the newness of Earlham women's basketball. They are eager to learn and contribute to the program in any way they can."
"Practices have been going well," Coutts added. "The returning players have been showing good leadership and the first-years have been catching on quickly. This has enabled us to teach at a faster pace. There also seems to be good chemistry on the court with all of our personnel."
Earlham begins the 2010-11 season at home against Goshen College on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The Quakers ended last season at 3-22 overall with a 2-14 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference before officially joining the HCAC this year. Earlham went 1-4 against HCAC teams last winter, beating Manchester College 67-62 in overtime at home.