Bearcat freshmen bring unique attributes to this year's squad

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The Bearcats have been relying on solid recruiting to improve their win, loss record and finish higher in the Big East. Head Coach Jamelle Elliott and the women's basketball squad has three freshmen that bring different attributes to floor, but share the same common goal: build a winning program.

Chelsea Jamison, Alyesha Lovett, and Talequia Hamilton are new to the team this season and are poised to help out in any way, shape and form. Each may play a different role this season, but they will always remain a unit that sticks together through adversity and triumph.

"Everybody is playing a role right now," Elliott said. "I think some of the freshmen's roles are bigger than others."

Lets meet the freshmen one by one featuring their specific skills that will aid the team's success this season.

The Shooter:

Alyesha Lovett comes from Newark, N.J. and was ranked as the no. 71 player in the nation by ESPN Hoopgirlz. She is a proven winner. She was a key member of three straight state championship teams while in high school and was also named Lady Bulldog of the Year during one of her four seasons. She was Cincinnati's top recruit this offseason as she chose UC over other Big East programs such as PIttsburgh and Syracuse among others.

"I came here because I liked the team and the program that is building up," Lovett said. " That's what I wanted to do, help build up a program."

Lovett says that her strongest attribute is her shooting. A hopeful scorer off the bench this season, Lovett will be called on to use her shooting expertise in pivotal situations.

"I like to shoot," Lovett said. "I always look to drive and shoot and make a good play basically."

Elliott said that Lovett has been the most impressive freshman in practice thus far and will be playing a key role during this season. She has been able to grasp the system quicker than the other two girls according to Elliott.

"I think Aleysha Lovett is the one that has shown the most promise," Elliott said. "Just her natural, raw ability, talent and instincts."

The Rebounder:

Chelsea Jamison is from close by Indianapolis, Indiana and was a three-year varsity starter at her high school. One of her greatest achievements was scoring a school record 43 points. She also averaged a staggering 10.5 rebounds per game and that is the attribute she said she loves the most and hopes to bring to the floor for the Bearcats.

"My best attribute on the floor is I like to rebound," Jamison said. "In order to leave a legacy I think I would have to go game speed all the time and work harder to learn the system."

Jamison who has been improving in practices according to Elliott has just taken a step back. She is currently suffering from a concussion and is limited in workouts because of it. There is no time table for her return to full participation, but with weeks left on the calender before the start of the season there is ample time for her to regain her health and join her teammates in workouts.

"Chelsea was making some really good progress, but she just got a concussion about three or four days ago," Elliott said. "That has kind of set her back a little bit."

The Shot Blocker:

Talequia Hamilton reigns from Huntingon, W.Va. where she played at the same program as NBA star O.J. Mayo. She reached conference player of the year status her senior year and was named to first-team all state during the same season. Hamilton stressed that her shot blocking skills have always been a part of her game that was stellar. Not to mention her aspirations to be the next Candace Parker or Brittney Griner and dunk a basketball during her career.

"I think my biggest attribute would be shot blocking because I've always been good at that," Hamilton said. "I've always wanted to dunk as well, I'm a little ways off, but I think if I keep working hard it will happen."

Hamilton also gained high praise from her head coach. Elliott likes Hamilton's intensity in practice and believes that her play in practice makes everyone else on the team better. While she shows promise, Elliott did stress that she has a ways to go and has not made the starting rotation yet in practice.

"She's probably one of our best, if not our best practice player," Elliott said. "It's really hard to score against her and she's really hard to guard when she's playing on that other team in practice."

The team opens exhibition play a week from Saturday when the Bearcats take on Northern Kentucky at Fifth Third Arena.

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