In his third season at the helm, Paine women’s coach Willie Adams is excited about his team’s chances.
“This is definitely,” he said, “the most talented team I’ve had.”
The Lady Lions open their home slate at 2 p.m. today against Johnson C. Smith. Paine dropped its first two games last weekend on the road against Virginia State and Elizabeth City State. But Adams said he scheduled tough non-conference opponents this season to prepare his team – seven of the 11 players are underclassmen – for Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
“We’re kind of young,” Adams said. “We’re still learning each other right now.”
Adams, whose Lady Lions went 6-21 last season, boosted the team’s offensive play when he landed former Butler star point guard Ashley Watts, who transferred from Lander after her freshman season. Watts ended her high school career with more than 2,000 career points, helping the Lady Bulldogs win a pair of state playoff games her senior year.
“She’s pretty good,” Adams said. “She’s got to work harder on her ball-handling, but her scoring is there. She’ll definitely add scoring.”
Kiara Farley and all-conference guard Ariel Brown are expected to help shore up the backcourt. In the frontcourt, Paine added 6-foot-2 freshman center Kiara Johnson and 6-foot freshman forward Destani Burton.