Newcomers to watch in women's basketball

Updated: October 31, 2008, 2:48 PM ET
Associated Press

Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen, 6-foot-2 and 6-2, Tennessee

Johnson might have the best chance to help the Lady Vols overcome the loss of all five starters to graduation. The athletic combo guard-forward can get to the basket and is reminiscent of former Lady Vol Alexis Hornbuckle. Johnson is a low post player who can guard virtually any position on the court.

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt on Johnson:

"I'm very excited about the potential of her game. She reminds me of Tamika Catchings in just how hard she plays. Glory runs the floor, she's aggressive to the ball and the paint, and she makes people around her better. She is the type of player who recognizes that she has an opportunity to play a big role here as a hard-nosed player, scorer and rebounder."

Summitt on Stricklen:

"I wouldn't hesitate a moment to play Shekinna in any position on the perimeter. She has a great all-around game ... gets to the rim, is a great passer and has a knack for getting on the boards all of the time."

Whitney Hand, 6-1, Oklahoma

Hand finished as the second leading scorer in Texas history with 3,649 points and will be called upon to help the Sooners open up their offense. She hit 108 3-pointers last season and made 85 percent of her free throws. Hand was selected as the Big 12 preseason freshman of the year.

Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale on Hand:

"Whitney Hand's just an uncanny shooter. Maybe the most prepared player we've ever had in our program at the University of Oklahoma in terms of coming in ready to make an impact. She's really sharp. She understands the game. She learns quickly. She's a big, strong girl. She's capable of holding her own. She's in fantastic physical condition. And her skill set is something that's truly special."

Lynetta Kizer, 6-3, Maryland

Kizer will have an immediate impact for the Terrapins, filling the hole in the post vacated by first-round WNBA draft picks Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper. Kizer was selected as the ACC preseason rookie of the year.

Maryland coach Brenda Frese on Kizer:

"Probably the greatest surprise for us has been Lynetta Kizer. When we recruited her we knew she was going to be special, but just seeing how far ahead she is. She gives us a dominant low-post presence inside, she played with USA basketball in the summer and helped lead her team to the championship in Argentina. She gives us a solid low-post presence for us to secure inside."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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