As the 2020-21 season draws near, it’s time to take a deep dive into the players set to return to the FGCU Women’s basketball team. If you missed our article highlighting the many newcomers to the squad, you can check that out below!
After losing virtually every main contributor from last year’s team, the progression from this cast of returning players will be a huge factor in how this squad performs. Each of these 6 returning athletes have the potential and opportunity to break out in a big way this year. Below are the individuals as well as a brief description of what they could bring to the table for Coach Smesko, including some commentary from Coach himself.
Emma is one of the more experienced of the returning players. The 5’10” guard from Colorado is set to enter her redshirt junior season and is poised for a leadership role on the team. Last year (her 1st active year at FGCU), she played in 25 games and made 1 start for the Eagles. Much of Emma’s success last season came late in the year against conference opponents. This could bode well for her as she looks for a fast start to the season.
“I expect Emma to have a great season. She makes a lot of plays and has really improved her shooting. On top of that, she is smart with the ball and is a very good passer.”Karl Smesko
Kierra “Kiki” Adams
Kiki returns to the squad as a redshirt freshman after sitting out her first year. The 6’0″ guard from Georgia offers size that Coach Smesko has only seldom had to work with in the past. Prior to FGCU, she had a stellar high school career, amassing 1000 career points and posting a 15 PPG average over her 4 years. How much Kiki will develop and contribute over her 1st eligible season is unknown to coaches and fans alike but she will surely get the opportunity to showcase what she can do.
“Kiki is a versatile player with good size. She is a good ball handler who can even play some point guard. I am interested to see how much her game develops this year.”Karl Smesko
Tyra Cox is one of the most key pieces to this year’s squad. The 5’8″ redshirt junior guard out of Orlando has shown the ability to play on both ends of the floor. Over the course of her 2 active seasons, she has played in 56 games and made 5 starts. Tyra’s accolades include an ASUN All-Freahman team selection. As one of the more experienced returners, she will be leaned on heavily this year.
“We need Tyra to take a big step forward this year. She is a very good three-point shooter, is smart and understands how to create good shots, and she’s a good defender.”Karl Smesko
Tanner is another individual who is primed to take a big jump entering her junior year. The 5’11” guard/forward from Ohio possesses plenty of versatility. Over the course of her 2 years on the team, she has shown herself to be a well-rounded player. Tanner has not started any games during her tenure but has played in 56 games. After an off-season of work, she projects to be a big contributor for the team.
“Tanner is a high energy player. She has put in a lot of effort improving her 3-point shot. She is also good at attacking the rim.”Karl Smesko
Sheahen returns to the Eagles as 1 of only 2 seniors. The 5’7″ guard out of Chicago has played a ton of minutes off the bench over the first 3 years of the her career. She has increased her shooting percentages significantly during her tenure as an Eagle. Entering her senior season, Sheahen will look to continue her hot shooting and expand into a leadership role.
“Sheahen is a smart player. She understands our style of play and she is a very good three-point shooter.”Karl Smesko
Alyssa rounds out the list of returning players as the final senior on the team. Starting out as a walk-on, she has risen through the ranks over her 3 years as an Eagle. Over her career, Alyssa has played in 87 games, making 5 starts. The 5’11” senior guard will absolutely have a chance to be a leader on this team.
“Alyssa is a high-level shooter. She also has good length and makes a lot of defensive plays.”Karl Smesko