The BIG Picture
Former Connecticut assistant Jamelle Elliott enters her second season with the Bearcats, after having spent 12 years on UConn’s staff. She directed the Bearcats to a win in the BIG EAST Championship in her first season. Elliott also is the only current BIG EAST women’s basketball head coach that also played in the BIG EAST. The Bearcats will celebrate their 40th season of women’s basketball in 2010-11.
Senior point guard Shareese Ulis is the Bearcats’ leading returning scoring, having posted 11.4 points per game, good for 26th in the BIG EAST. She also ranked in the top 15 in assists (3.2, 14th), free throw percentage (.797, 11th), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0, 14th), and minutes (34.7, 8th). UC also welcomes back former All-BIG EAST Rookie Team member Shelly Bellman, who missed the 2009-10 season due to injury. Bellman, who has averaged 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds during her career, has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.
The Bearcats will seek to fill the void left by two of the most accomplished players in school history in guard Kahla Roudebush and forward Michelle Jones. Roudebush was in UC’s top 10 in career scoring and several other categories, and Jones posted over 1,000 career points and 600 career rebounds.
Freshman guard Kayla Cook, an ESPN Top 100 recruit, will look to help immediately, as will Vanderbilt transfer Chanel Chisholm, who sat out the 2009-10 season due to NCAA transfer guidelines. In addition junior college transfer Bjonee Reaves is expected to contribute right away. Elliott’s mentor, Hall of Fame head coach Geno Auriemma, posted 12 wins in his first season at Connecticut. His second season saw the Huskies improve to 14-13, the first of 22 consecutive winning seasons.