Liberty Lady Flames
| MESSAGE BOARD
RECORD: 25 - 6
REGION: West SEED: 14
COACH: Kelly Greenberg CONFERENCE: Big South
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|PLAYER TO WATCH|
There's a reason Feenstra became the first Liberty player ever to be named a finalist for the 2004 Kodak All-America Team. All the 6-foot-8 junior center has done is rank in the top 10 in the country in field-goal percentage (first, 66.6), points (sixth, 21.6), rebounds (ninth, 11.2) and blocks per game (10th, 2.7). Is that any good?
ANALYSIS BY ESPN'S STACEY DALES-SCHUMAN
For two straight seasons, 6-foot-8 junior Katie Feenstra was named the Big South Player of the Year. And for eight straight years, Liberty has captured the Big South title.
Feenstra led the conference with a noteworthy 22 points and 11 rebounds -- yeah, a double-double average should do it every time. Coach Carey Green is no newcomer to March Madness, having traveled to 15 consecutive postseason events. The Lady Flames will no doubt carry a confidence derived from an undefeated conference season into the tournament.
Liberty's size at first glance can be intimidating to many. The Lady Flames present two bigs in Feenstra and senior forward Kristina Palaimaite, who is 6-3. With such imposing size, Feenstra has truly maximized her potential to shoot a blistering 67 percent from the floor to rank second nationally. Palaimaite knocks down almost 51 percent of her tosses, making the combination a nightmare to defend around the cylinder.
Despite an abundance of returning experience and mental toughness to boot, don't be surprised if the Lady Flames fork over a contest in this season's NCAA Tournament. As always, Green's team exhibits a strapping defense that uses athleticism and certainly size to hold challengers to a meager 56 points and a sad 28 percent from 3-point territory.
But the Lady Flames also shoot just 28 percent from downtown, allowing opponents to focus their attention on the Liberty interior game. The Lady Flames' biggest fault, however, might be the fact they average 14 assists to 18 turnovers -- something one wouldn't expect from a veteran ball club.
Perhaps Green is hoping that old saying, "rebounds win championships," rings true. Liberty grabs 44 boards per contest.