Cougars look to build experience along the roster
As the Cougars prepare for the start of their season on Nov. 8, they will be looking to build off their disappointing 2014-15 season, where they finished with a overall record of 6-24.
The team seems optimistic, as they have five seniors returning who are expected to make major contributions.
The team begins practice Oct. 4, and each person on the 14-player roster will have the chance to compete for a starting position.
Here are some of the key players returning this season.
Senior guard Jessieka Palmer (6’1”): Palmer led Houston in scoring last year with 9.6 points per game.
As third on the team in assists, Palmer has shown progression every year and is poised to have a breakout senior season.
In last year’s season finale against Temple University, she earned a spot on the American Weekly Honor Roll for play against the Owls, when she scored 16 points and grabbed 9 boards.
Senior guard Alecia Smith (5’7”): Coming into her final season at UH, Smith has appeared in every game over the course of her last three seasons.
She will play a prominent role this upcoming season as a deadly spot-up shooter and a quality defender.
Smith led the club last year with 42 3-point field goals and 92 assists.
Senior guard Bianca Winslow (5’7”): After being handed the reigns to the team the floor general will provide much-needed experience that could prove beneficial.
Winslow appeared in 29 games as a junior and averaged around four points and two assists per game.
Senior forward Tyler Gilbert (6’2”): The senior from Missouri City, playing the center position, will be relied on heavily as the last line of defense.
Gilbert will need to build on her breakout junior season where she averaged 7.8 points per game and 6.2 rebounds. She also managed to swat 63 shots — which tied her for fifth-best season in Houston history.
Gilbert’s size and ability to protect the rim should improve the team’s overall defense.
Senior forward Marche’ Amerson (6’1”): Entering her final season, Amerson is on the cusp of 1,000 points.
Her durability and ability to stretch the floor from the power forward position will be essential during this upcoming season.
The senior from Bryan, Texas finished her junior season with 90 career starts and 2,839 minutes of court time.
Best of the rest Juniors Kierra Graves (5’7”) and Dionna Collins (5’5”) were junior college All-Americans last season and bring great scoring firepower to the club. The team is rounded out by sophomore Mariah Mitchell (5’9”), who is a hard-nosed scorer and freshmen Sharayla Brown (6’3”), Serithia Hawkins (5’11”) and Cenecia Newman (5’10”), who were all-state selections as high-school seniors.