AAC Preview: Get to Know the Players and Coaches Who Will Lead the League This Season

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Offensive and Defensive Intensity will be the Bearcats Calling Card

Cincinnati Head Coach Jamelle Elliott says intensity on both ends of the court will be a top priority for the team this season. “We’ve really spent a lot of time defensively to make it a half-court game and limit teams to one contested shot,” she said.  “On offense, we want to put as much pressure on the defense as possible while keeping high pace and making good decisions.”

Break Out Stars
Nikira Goings, a junior guard, is someone Elliott expects to have a breakout season.  “She really took the summer to work on her game and watch a lot of film.  I have really encouraged her to take the basketball to the basket more.  This has helped her become a multi-dimensional player.”

Another player Elliott has high expectations for is sophomore guard, Antoinette Miller.    She is 100% [healthy] and she has done a really good job of controlling our team when she is at the point guard spot.”

Among the freshmen class, IIMar’i Thomas is standing out. She turned 17 years old this week but she “reminds you of an old school player that really knows the game.  I would expect she will get some significant minutes early on,” Elliott said.

Two seniors, Shanice Johnson and Anna Owens are the players that Elliott says will “lead us on and off the court.”  Between these two athletes, they led the team in most major statistical categories last season

Players to Watch
Shanice Johnson — Forward, Senior, 9th in the league in scoring and 2nd in rebounding, blocked shots and steals last season

Anna Owens — Guard, Senior, Four year point guard, tied for 5th place in assists, 2nd in free throw percentage and 10th in minutes played

IIMar’i Thomas — Wing, Freshman, Entered high school at age 12, San Francisco Metro Player of the Year last season

First Regular Season Game: November 10 at East Tennessee State University