Each year under head coach Seth Goodman, the Monroe College Lady Mustangs have improved. Two years ago they won 13 games. In 2002-03 they won 19 games. And this year? A preseason #2 national ranking in NJCAA Division III will tell you that this team appears to be ready for some very big things.
"We've had a great recruiting class," said a cautiously-optimistic Coach Goodman. "If you take the raw talent of our new players and blend it with the talent and experience of our veterans, well, the logical conclusion is that it's our time now." On this team Coach Goodman would be smart to build around his returnees. The effervescent 5'6" guard Cherita Gray and solid 5'10" forward Ketshiga Fearon are back. Both were 2nd team allregion players last year. Fearon was the team scoring leader at 15.6ppg. She also grabbed a strong 7.6rpg.
Last year Gray caused opposing coaches to get gray hair whenever they gave her a little daylight. Her lighting jump shot was good for a 31.4% from the arc. But she also can go to the hoop. She averaged 12.6ppg last year. Other returnees are 5'10" forward Danielle Hankerson, the team leader with 11.2rpg, and 6'0"Lora Morton, who is big and strong but missed much of last year with an injury. But this year Morton is healthy and ready to bang.
The front court for Monroe looks strong and deep. Highly-touted Yonkers freshman Sha-kia Hart stands 6'3" and, believe it or not, she can shoot and run like a guard. Hart will team up front withOssining's 5'8" Randy Knight and Teaneck's 6'2" Mia O' Blenis to give Coach Goodman a number of effective combinations to work with. Mr. Vernon's Rhona Hall, a 5'9" freshman, who has played post but will move to the wing, and 6'2" center Marcenia Bellamy from St. Anthony's in NJ, are the kinds of strong front-court players who will provide crucial depth over the long season, especially for a team with high expectations.
Shavonne Richardson, a 5'5" guard from Brooklyn's Lincoln High School, will team in the backcourt with Academic All-American candidate 5'9" Fallon Wesley from Bridgeport, Ct. to give significant ball-handling know-how to the squad. Also, a trio of Wings Academy recruits will be flying for Monroe this year. Jennifer Griffin, a savvy 5'6" freshman guard and Telisha Moultre a 5'9" freshman power forward, will bring the city game to this year's Lady Mustangs.