With a roster that boasts four returning starters and a core group of eight letterwinners, the BYU women’s basketball team is poised to continue its winning tradition heading into the 2010-11 campaign, by seeking a conference title and advancing in the NCAA tournament.
The Cougars 23-10 overall record last year was the fourth 20-plus season for coach Judkins and ranks third best during his nine-year tenure.
Among the starters back is the team’s leading scorer Mindy Bonham (11.1), leading rebounder Kristen Riley (5.7), and the top assist (4.1) and steals (2.3) leader in Haley Hall. Guard Jazmine Foreman, the fourth starter, was second in steals (1.8), third in points (9.7) and in assists (3.7).
Back for her final season is Coriann Wood Fraughton, who was named the 2010 MWC Sixth Player of the Year. Fraughton came off the bench averaging 24 minutes of playing time and ranked second on the team in points (10.1) and rebounds grabbing (5.2) boards per game.
Sophomore forward Alexis Kaufusi enters the year with the team’s best field goal percentage (.485, 94-194). Letterwinners Dani Peterson, a 6-1 junior forward from Salt Lake City’s Skyline HS and senior guard Marie Beck who hails from Oxnard, CA return with solid playing experience. Freshman Kim Parker is back in action after suffering a season ending foot injury. Canadian freshman Stephanie Vermunt will begin her college career in 2010-11 after redshirting last season.
Utahn’s Jennifer Hamson, from Lindon and Pleasant Grove HS, and Morgan Bailey from Orem and Timpanogos HS, are two of the three incoming freshmen that will debut in 2010-11. Stephanie Rovetti, a 5-6 guard from Reno, Nevada and Reno High School will also be on this year’s squad. Hamson is a dual-sport athlete who also plays on the women’s volleyball squad.
The team looks forward to continuing its success on its home court in 2010-11. Last season BYU compiled an 11-2 overall home record, going 7-1 in league play.
Cougar fans will have an opportunity to see five nonconference opponents at the Marriott Center this year beginning with Pac-10 foe Washington who hasn’t visited Provo since the 1998 season. The matchup with the Huskies is on Nov. 20, the team’s home opener. Instate rivals Utah State and Weber State are also slated to play in the Marriott Center on Nov. 23 and Dec. 11, respectively. Portland State battles the Cougars on Dec. 18 before a game with Montana State on Dec. 30 to round out the home schedule prior to Mountain West Conference play.
This October the conference announced its preseason coaches/media poll where the Cougars were picked to finish third in the MWC regular season race behind TCU and SDSU. Last year the team finished second with an 11-5 record after being selected to finish fifth.
UNLV will be the first league opponent to play in the Marriott Center on Jan. 5. Instate rival Utah makes an appearance on Jan.12. The Rams of CSU will play in Provo on Jan. 22 with New Mexico and Wyoming taking on the Cougars in the Marriott Center on Jan. 29 and Feb. 2, respectively. On Feb. 9 Air Force plays on BYU’s home court with SDSU being the final league foe to play in Provo on Feb. 26.
During the 2009-10 league race BYU swept the series against the Air Force Academy, CSU, UNLV, and Utah. They split the series with Wyoming, TCU and San Diego State and were only swept by New Mexico.
As the automatic qualifier from the MWC to the 2010 postseason WNIT, the team had an impressive showing advancing to the quarterfinal round (Elite Eight). After a 62-58 home victory over Pepperdine, BYU embarked on a six-day, three game schedule. In that span, they grabbed a victory over ASU, and league foe Wyoming before falling to eventual champion California.
The team opens the year playing two exhibition games. On Nov. 4 they host Ft. Lewis College followed by Mesa State College on Nov. 9. Both tip off at 7 p.m., in the Marriott Center.