New Season Taking Shape

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Yes, I know we're heading into the summer months and one of the few times that, at least periodically, college basketball coaches can take a break and get some R and R in. But the latest release from the UC women's basketball program shows that the hard work that Coach Jamelle Elliott and her staff have been putting in since the end of the season, is paying off.


This last group of recruits includes LaShay Banks from Philly, Bjonee Reaves from California and the player a lot of Cincinnati-area fans will be watching with interest, Dayeesha Hollins.


Dayeesha is coming home from an outstanding freshman season at Michigan. I had the chance to watch her Wolverine team when Michigan visited Xavier this past season and defeated the Top 10-ranked Musketeers on their home floor. Dayeesha had a posse of family and friends cheering her on, and she didn't disappoint, scoring 22 points in front of the home crowd, including a layup with 17 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Wolverines.


In fact she averaged 12 points a game for Michigan and got a spot on the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. But she wanted to come home, so she's decided to transfer--and she's found a new home at UC.


Now, every coach knows how important it is to mine local talent. UC has been one of the best at it, from men's basketball, to football, to soccer and volleyball and beyond. And it's mainly because the Greater Cincinnati area is blessed with incredibly good high school sports programs.


But let's face it, a number of the very best girls' basketball players from this area have gone somewhere else to play: Tennessee, Ohio State, UConn, Vandy and, yes, Michigan. Dayeesha's decision to come home to play could just be the signing that Coach Elliott needs to show that yes, you can play in the highest levels, on the biggest stages, of college basketball, and do it right at home.


Dayeesha will sit out a year because of transfer rules, but that'll give her a year to learn the Coach Elliott system. In the meantime, we look forward to having the Winton Woods fans be part of Bearcat Nation. And it'll be fun to watch, once Dayeesha and the rest of the new recruiting class get on the court.

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