The Mizzou women’s basketball team takes another step toward rebuilding.
|Cancun Challenge||in Cancun, Mexico|
|11/22||vs. Wichita State|
|11/23||vs. Green Bay|
|01/20||at Ole Miss|
|01/27||at Texas A&M|
in Duluth, Ga.
With two children younger than 5 and a bevy of basketball recruits set to join MU, Mizzou women’s Coach Robin Pingeton is used to ushering in youth.
Pingeton enters her third season in 2012–13 with an inexperienced Tiger squad transitioning to the Southeastern Conference. Nine of 13 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores, and last season’s top two scorers — Christine Flores and BreAnna Brock — have graduated. Of late, the SEC might appear slightly less challenging than the Big 12, home of the undefeated defending champion Baylor Bears (40-0). It’s all relative, of course.
“For us, because of where we are with our program, both conferences are big challenges,” Pingeton says.
The Tigers are deep at the perimeter, starting with senior guards Sydney Crafton (Jefferson City, Mo.) and Liene Priede (Riga, Latvia). Pingeton predicts that freshman Lianna Doty (St. Louis) will quickly become a fan favorite with her speedy style of play, and sophomore Bree Fowler (Kansas City, Mo.) saw significant minutes in 2011–12. High school stars and twin freshmen guards Morgan and Maddie Stock (Town and Country, Mo.) join the team with lofty expectations, and sophomore Morgan Eye (Montrose, Mo.) led Mizzou in 3-pointers with 63 last season.
Senior center Liz Smith (Overland Park, Kan.) played few minutes as Flores’ backup, but her role will increase in 2012–13. Forward Bri Kulas (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), the team’s only junior, began her career at Kansas State University and transferred to Mizzou from Johnson County (Kansas) Community College.
“Our four focus points are going to be on transition defense, rebounding, taking care of the basketball and knocking down open shots,” Pingeton says. “If we can do those things, we’ll put ourselves in a good position to win.”