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2011-12 Delaware Blue Hens Outlook

Oct 17, 2011, 10:17 PM EST

: Tina Martin

Last year:
20-14, 10-8 CAA

Who’s missing: Guard Eva Riddick (2.3 rpg). The top eight scorers from last season return, with reinforcements.

What’s new: Two transfer guards – Trumae Lucas from Florida and Akeema Richards from West Virginia, 6-4 freshman Stephanie Leon and 6-0 first-year guard Nina Deal, an intriguing addition from Corcelles en Beaujolais, France.

The headliner: Junior guard/forward Elena Delle Donne, the second-fastest player to reach 1,000 points in NCAA Division I history and the leading scorer and rebounder for Team USA’s gold medal-winning entry at this summer’s World University Games in China.

Would like to see more from: Junior guard Lauren Carra, a third-team All-CAA pick who was especially effective when Delle Donne missed time with injury.

Welcome back: Junior guard Kayla Miller, who sat out the entire season to finally address lingering back issues. The NCAA has granted Miller a hardship waiver so she has two years of eligibility remaining.

The challenge: To settle into the appropriate roles and allow Delle Donne to do for Delaware what Larry Bird did for Indiana State men’s team in the late 1970s – elevate a mid-major into the national picture.

We like their chances if: Delle Donne can operate at or near peak efficiency the entire season.

Sexy non-conference matchup: Penn State, Nov. 17. The Nittany Lions are getting a lot of preseason buzz so this is an early chance for the Blue Hens to get folks’ attention.

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