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The Canyons Athletics

Cougars can go big, small, quick this season

Posted: November 12, 2008 10:27 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2008 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons women's basketball player Jasmine Crayon brings the ball up during practice drills Wednesday night at the Cougar Cage.

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There's no secret about the College of the Canyons women's basketball program.

Walk into the team's gymnasium and there are signs indicating how athletic the Cougars are on a regular basis ­- banners displaying how many times COC has led the state in scoring.

But 17-year COC head coach Greg Herrick said this season's team has something on all those others.

"This is definitely the most athletic team in my 17 years," Herrick said. "The depth of athletes is a lot better than it has ever been. We can go big, we can go small or we can go quick. We've got the talent."

This is great news when it comes to replacing COC star Andrea Bobic. Herrick describes the former COC star as a "lunch-pail player" whose rebounding prowess at 5-feet 7-inches tall and ability to score led her to All-State honors last season.

Returning starters Brittany Bradley - a Hart graduate - and Charity Smith lead a team that will try to improve upon last year's first-round playoff exit to Saddleback College.

Bradley averaged 13.3 points and seven assists per game last year in her first season as a point guard (she was a shooting guard at Hart). Smith scored 11.2 points and brought down 9.4 rebounds per game.

Herrick said he expects to lean on them until the freshmen gain more confidence.

Among the new additions is Jasmine Crayon, whose skill set allows the team to do some interesting things, Herrick said.

Naturally a point guard, Crayon will be used alongside Bradley as the shooting guard, giving him two ball-handlers that can create plays and take control of the offense.

Joining Smith in the low post as the starting power forward will by Canyon High product Lindsey Knox, who was the Cowboys' leading rebounder in the 2007-08 season with 5.9 rpg to go along with 1.4 blocks and 2.8 steals per game.

Herrick describes Knox as possessing a great mid-range jump shot from 10 to 15 feet.

Rounding out the starting five is Ashley Wakefield, whom Herrick calls "a rebounder-deluxe on both ends of the floor."

She is expected to start at small forward.

Off the bench, Samantha Cross gives the Cougars great range as their "preeminent 3-point shooter." She should allow COC to spread the floor and keep opponents from closing down on Smith and Knox.

COC adds plenty of height with the 5-foot 10-inch Ashley Mason and 6-foot 2-inch Janae Askew.

Also new to the team is Golden Valley High graduate Terra McKelvey, who was second in scoring and steals for the Grizzlies with 10.6 ppg and 2.4 spg.

However, the team may have already sustained a casualty in the young season.

Herrick fears freshman guard Porcha Davis may have torn her ACL and could be lost for the season.

"She was as good a defender that we've ever had," Herrick said.

COC's depth will be tested right off the bat as the Cougars prepare for their regular season opener with Pierce College at Woodland Hills today at 5:30 p.m.

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