College hoops tips off with past Suffolk stars

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

Most college basketball squads throughout NCAA Division I get going this weekend. Past Suffolk standouts will be in action from Norfolk, where Old Dominion hosts No. 21 Georgetown Friday evening at a sold-out Ted Constant Center, to points such as Muncie, Ind. and Washington, D.C.

Georgetown’s women’s basketball team enters the season ranked No. 13 in the nation in both major polls.

Sophomore TaShauna Rodgers (King’s Fork) was a unanimous choice to the All-Big East Preseason Team. Rodgers was the first Lady Hoya to be an AP All-American (Honorable Mention) and earn First Team All-Big East honors as a freshman.

All-Big East: King’s Fork alum TaShauna Rodgers was named First Team All-Big East heading into her sophomore season for Georgetown. Rodgers was the conference’s Freshman of the Year and an Honorable Mention All-American last season as the Lady Hoyas went 26-7 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Email newsletter signup

Rodgers, a 5-foot-11 guard, led GU with 17.6 points per game. She averaged 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals a game while making 33.3 percent of her three-point shots. She was the Big East Freshman of the Year and set the Lady Hoya single-season record for three-pointers made.

Georgetown was 26-7 overall and 13-3 in conference last season in reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Lady Hoyas tip off this campaign hosting Augusta State Sunday at 2 p.m.

Terika Lunsford, Lakeland’s all-time leading scorer, transferred from Albany to Liberty last school year and is now a redshirt-freshman for the Lady Flames.

Liberty opens playing Friday and Saturday in an invitational tournament in Raleigh, N.C. Liberty faces Creighton Friday at 2 p.m.

Lunsford, a 5-foot-9 guard, joins the defending Big South champions. Liberty went 27-6 last year, finishing with an 83-77 loss to Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Old Dominion hosts the Hoyas Friday at 7 p.m. The Monarchs, the defending season and tournament champs of the Colonial Athletic Association, will go for their third win out of the last four meetings against Georgetown. ODU won 61-57 last season in Washington.

Redshirt-sophomore forward Nick Wright (Nansemond River) played in 30 games last year for ODU.

ODU was 27-9 overall last season, beating Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to 3-seed Baylor.

The Monarchs host High Point Monday at 7 p.m. in a game with tickets still available.

Wright’s former Warrior running mate, Andre Jones, is a junior guard for Winthrop, the defending Big South champions.

The Eagles won the Big South tourney for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons last year. Winthrop finished 19-14 and with a loss in the play-in game of the NCAA Tournament.

Jones averaged 5.9 points and 1.8 assists per game last season.

Winthrop hosts Div. II Queens Saturday afternoon. The Eagles are in the Preseason NIT, starting Monday night against Virginia Commonwealth in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Norfolk State starts Friday night with a trip to Long Island University.

Redshirt-sophomore Kris Brown (Lakeland) was a walk-on for the Spartans last season, playing in 10 games. Brown, a 6-foot-3 guard, was a basketball and football standout for the Cavaliers, graduating in 2008.

NSU was 11-19 a season ago. The Spartans have their home opener Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Jacksonville State.

Freshman Davante Gardner (King’s Fork) could debut for Marquette Friday night as the Golden Eagles host Prairie View A&M.

Gardner, a 6-foot-8, 290-pound center, played seven minutes and scored three points in an exhibition win, 86-56, against St. John’s (MN).

Marquette went 22-12 overall and 11-7 in the Big East last season, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Marquette hosts Bucknell Sunday afternoon and starts with four straight home games.

Gardner’s Bulldog mate Jay Copeland could debut with Ball State Sunday as Eastern Illinois visits Muncie, Ind.

Copeland, a 6-foot-7 forward, is one of five true freshmen on the Cardinal roster. Ball State went 15-15 overall and 8-8 in the Mid American last year.

Cincinnati and sophomore Jaquon Parker (King’s Fork) open hosting Mount St. Mary’s Monday at 7 p.m.

In two exhibition games, Parker, a 6-foot-3 guard, averaged 5.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game. As a freshman, Parker started eight games and averaged 4.3 points per game.

The Bearcats were 19-16 overall and 7-11 in the Big East last season.

Jamar Wertz (King’s Fork) is in his second season with Maryland-Baltimore County, but is a redshirt-freshman this season after having knee surgery last November.

The Retrievers went 4-26 last season and lost in the first round of their conference tournament, the American East, for the first time since 2004.

The Retrievers host Virginia Military Sunday at 3 p.m.