Basketball Preview: 5 Burning Questions (Women’s)

1.  Are the freshmen ready?

Coach Tonya Cardoza expects to start two, possibly three freshmen. Guard May Dayan and forward Sally Kabengano have been getting consistent first-team reps. Cardoza said freshman guard Erica Covile and freshman forward Jacquilyn Jackson have the potential to see significant minutes.

2.  How long until Natasha Thames is 100 percent?

Thames will see plenty of playing time in the first few games, but Cardoza hasn’t committed fully to her as the starter at the power forward position. The Owls need her at 100 percent as quickly as possible to add some size to their front court. Without her this team lacks height and experience.

3.  Can Cardoza win the A-10?

Cardoza is searching for her first A-10 title, something that’s eluded her the past four years. She believes the youth on the roster won’t hinder the Owls’ chances at making one last run. Cardoza said she’s working on minimizing mistakes from her young guards, allowing them to manage the game early in the season until they’re comfortable enough to take more responsibility.

4.   How will the team tackle depth?

The loss of forwards Brittany Lewis and Nikki Works will hurt the Owls. Lewis was a likely starter at the three-guard position and Works would have likely been the sixth woman. Merritt’s injury hurts Temple almost as much because she was the only one with any game experience at point guard.

5.   Can Victoria Macaulay live up to the preseason hype?

Cardoza expects a double-double from her star center every night. Macaulay wants to prove to everyone that she’s deserving of being named to the A-10 Preseason First Team and A-10 Preseason All-Defensive Team. Her performance down the stretch last season showed what she can do when she’s focused on her game.

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