2005/06 Converse All-Star Basketball Season Outlook
On November 15th the Converse College All-Stars Basketball team will begin their season at home against Belmont Abbey with first-year Head Coach Brett Phillips at the helm. Phillips brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to a Converse program that has secured only four wins in the last two years and is searching for a new identity that has been molded from the first day he walked on campus.
Head Basketball Coach Brett Phillips on:
Expectations for the season: “I’m looking for our experienced returners to provide immediate leadership to the freshmen and junior college transfers because a positive start is going to be imperative to our success this season. With the skill and passion on this team, we have a chance to make an impact early and cause other teams to be extremely wary of underestimating us this year.
Coming to Converse: “I felt the time was right to make a move into a head coaching position after years of learning and honing my skills with numerous talented players and coaches in well developed programs. When the Converse position became available, I saw a program that had fantastic potential with outstanding facilities and immense support from the administration and community. It is now my chance to maximize the potential on the court and ensure that our student-athletes are a source of pride for the entire Converse community both on and off the court.”
Schedule: “We start the season with five of our six opponents being from the CVAC Conference which will give us a good idea of the competition we hope to face on a regular basis within the next year or so. It is a tough schedule with only ten home games and the quality of our opponents is very high and the mental toughness of our team will have to come to the fore during such a grueling season.
Post Players: “With returning Team MVP Lauren Mueller (Foley, AL), we have a player with a wealth of experience and ability who we will look to control the middle and provide opportunities for our outside shooters. Our newcomers Erika Kelly (Spartanburg, SC) and freshman Ruth Byrd (Nicholasville, KY) will add a nice combination of size and strength in the paint and the experience of Lydia Bardin (Wilson, NC) will give us some much needed depth.
Two of our most athletic players Mendy Dillard (Enoree, SC) and freshman Betsy Ruppert (Wapokoneta, OH) will give us energy in transition and a desire for rebounds that every good team needs especially when a game comes down to the wire.
Perimeter players: “We have excellent depth at all positions and our experience at the one and two will be invaluable. Lillian Frazier (Miami, FL) will be crucial to our leadership on the floor and Sydney Brown (Myrtle Beach, SC) brings a lethal outside shooting threat that will open up the floor for the rest of the team.
In Brandi Crsicitiello (Maysville, NC), we have a great combination of physical strength and a mid-range game that will provide a great one-two punch with the experienced scoring ability of junior-college transfer Carla Kantara (London, England). Alyson Kieler (Stanley, NC) is a freshman who brings a great work-ethic and passion for the game to a team that is in great need of a spark and she will contribute every day in practices and games.
We will have depth with our outside shooters Blake Hallman (York, SC), Myra Hendley (Rock Hill, SC) and Sarah Watson (Inman, SC) who will be battling to be go-to-players late in games. With Shana Bryant (Miami, FL) we have added a nice scoring punch that we will look to for production. Olivia Freda (Hilton Head, SC) is a returner that we hope will create opportunities for our strong outside shooters.
Goals for the season: “The players that we have here have the potential to put Converse Basketball back on the map and if we are able to come together as a team and show a competitive hunger, we will make some