Size shouldn’t be an issue for the Hawaii women’s basketball team in 2014-15.
Coach Laura Beeman capped a massive recruiting class (in both number of players and average player size) by adding USC transfer Deanna Calhoun over the weekend.
The signing period is long gone, but players may still be brought in with non-binding scholarship agreements. Calhoun represents the last of 15 Wahine basketball scholarships available to Beeman; check out Monday’s print edition for the coach’s thoughts on why Calhoun was a valuable late pickup.
With the 6-foot-3 Calhoun in the fold, five of UH’s seven new scholarship players for the upcoming year ply their trade in the frontcourt.
“We felt size was our priority,” Beeman said Sunday. “Losing Mia (Kamilah Jackson) with her rebounding, Pua (Kailiawa), even though she wasn’t a real physical post player, she still had to be guarded, she still had to get in and bang. We needed to replace those two players and I feel that we’ve done it pretty well.”
UH has also lost reserve center Kalei Adolpho, who will be volleyball-only for the coming season.
Here’s a breakdown of the new bigs. Keep in mind some of the height measurements may change once UH posts their specs on the 2014-15 roster.
>> Dalayna Sampton, 6-2 Fr. PF, Florin High (Sacramento, Calif.)
>> Rachel Morris, 6-4 Jr. C, Salt Lake Community College/Utah
>> Brianna Kennedy, 6-3 Jr. C, Loyola Marymount
>> Raja Moreno-Ross, 5-11 Jr. PF, Pima Community College (Ariz.)
>> Deanna Calhoun, 6-3 Jr. PF, USC
>> Shawlina Segovia#, 6-1 PF, Mount San Antonio College (Calif.)
>> Justice Toailoa*, 5-11 Fr. F, Salesian High (Hayward, Calif.)
#-2013-14 signee, now eligible
Kennedy will sit out the year as a transfer from LMU, but besides that Beeman should have plenty of options and combinations to play with. There’s also 6-1 sophomore center Angelina Smith, who played a handful of games as a freshman last season before going down with a season-ending knee injury.
Beeman gave an early teaser of what the frontcourt might look like.
“She (Calhoun) is a load,” she said. “In the Big West she’s going to play more 5 than anything for us. I don’t have any problem putting her and and (Morris) on the floor together, going 6-4, 6-3 at the 4 and the 5. If we have to play a zone defensively, we will.”
That could be something to see, especially because UH sometimes topped out in the post at 5-11 with Jackson last season, and struggled to match up with larger teams like Cal Poly.