0

Basketball preview: Wesleyan Wolves

Wesleyan's Brittany Stevens (5)

Wesleyan's Brittany Stevens (5)

Wesleyan Wolves

BOYS

Region: 5-A

Coach: Skip Matherly

2010-11 record: 25-5

Returning regulars:

Shane Smith, Sr., 6-3

Takim Williams, Sr., 6-0

Rodney Morris, Jr. 6-2

Hudson Price, Jr., 6-6

Others to watch:

Will Clifton, Jr., 6-3

Drew Ritter, Sr., 6-4

Outlook: The Wolves followed up a state championship with a 25-win season, but drew Whitefield Academy on the road in the state tournament and lost in a rematch of the title game a year earlier. Skip Matherly is 121-33 in five seasons as coach, with two state titles. Four of the top six players return, led by three-year starter Shane Smith. He was best in points (14.5) and rebounds (6.3) last season and second in assists (2.5). Smith is headed to West Point. Fellow senior Takim Williams also returns after leading the team with 3.7 assists per game a year ago.

Worth noting: Hudson Price has been hampered by knee issues, but he could be ready for a breakout season. The son of former Georgia Tech and NBA standout Mark Price averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds as a sophomore.

Roster

No. Name Ht. Class

1 Takim Williams 6-0 Sr.

2 Will Clifton 6-3 Jr.

3 Charles Mack 6-1 Jr.

4 Shane Smith 6-3 Sr.

10 Graham Deaton 5-10 Soph.

11 Drew Ritter 6-4 Sr.

12 Brandon Gilliam 6-1 Jr.

20 McAllister Ball 6-2 Sr.

21 Hudson Price 6-6 Jr.

22 Jaye Rochelle 6-1 Jr.

32 Brett Greensmith 6-2 Jr.

33 Rodney Morris 6-2 Jr.

GIRLS

Region: 5-A

Coach: Jan Azar

2010-11 record: 31-2

Returning regulars:

Holli Wilkins, Sr., 6-0

Jordan Frazier, Sr., 5-4

Katie Frerking, Jr., 6-1

Brittany Stevens, Jr., 5-4

Others to watch:

Kaelan Causwell, Sr., 6-4

Missy Byrd, Sr., 5-11

Joshlyn Belcher, Soph., 5-7

Nikki McDonald, Fr.., 6-0

Outlook: Wesleyan will be a heavy favorite to win its fifth straight state championship and ninth in 11 years after having just one senior last season. Grace Leah Baughn is at Pepperdine and four of this season's seniors will play college basketball. Holli Wilkins is headed to Furman, while Kaelyn Causwell is going to Georgia, Jordan Frazier to Wofford and Missy Byrd to Air Force. Causwell hasn't been a full-time starter for the Wolves, but is 6 foot 4 with a college upside. Wilkins averaged 12.2 points and 5.6 rebounds last season, while Frazier contributed 8.5 points, 4.0 assists and 5.1 steals.

Worth noting: The Wolves defeated Class AA state champion Buford last season and took Class AAAAA winner Norcross to overtime before losing by a point. Coach Jan Azar is 352-77 despite going 4-16 in 1997-98 during the school's start-up season. Four of Wesleyan's state titles have come in Class AA and four in Class A.

Roster

No. Name Ht. Class

3 Katie Frerking 6-1 Jr.

4 Lauren Frerking 5-11 Fr.

5 Brittany Stevens 5-4 Jr.

12 Jordan Frazier 5-4 Sr.

14 Hannah Hoskin 5-9 Soph.

15 Landyn Duley 5-8 Soph.

20 Nikki McDonald 6-0 Fr.

21 Joshlyn Belcher 5-7 Soph.

22 Kendra Talley 5-11 Jr.

23 Taylor Blackmon 5-5 Jr.

32 Holli Wilkins 6-0 Sr.

33 Keevana Edwards 6-0 Soph.

34 Missy Byrd 5-11 Sr.

44 Kaelyn Causwell 6-4 Sr.

55 Cara Mia Tsirigos 6-0 Jr.

SCHEDULE

Nov. 18 Greenfield at Christ Church, N.C. (boys)

Nov. 19 at Christ Church, N.C. (boys); Spain Park at Berkmar (girls)

Nov. 21-23 Wesleyan Tip-Off (girls)

Nov. 29 AIS (boys)

Dec. 3 Mill Creek

Dec. 6 at North Hall

Dec. 9 at Whitefield (boys)

Dec. 10 at Westminster

Dec. 17 Fellowship (boys)

Dec. 19-23 at Nike T of C (girls)

Dec. 27-29 at Westminster tourney (boys)

Jan. 3 at St. Pius

Jan. 6 King's Ridge (boys)

Jan. 7 Pace

Jan. 10 at Providence

Jan. 14 Oak Hill, Va. (girls)

Jan. 16 Dunwoody at Centennial (boys)

Jan. 17 Mt. Pisgah

Jan. 20 St. Francis

Jan. 21 Bob Jones, Ala. at Starr's Mill

Jan. 24 at Pinecrest

Jan. 27 Providence

Jan. 28 Buford

Jan. 31 Rockdale

Feb. 3 at Mt. Pisgah

Feb. 7 at St. Francis

Feb. 10 Pinecrest