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  • I have no idea how well the Lady Panthers will do this season after injuries and Covid cost them their best shot at a national championship the last 3 seasons. They lose a lot off of last season's team, including the national player of the year from two season's ago and 2 players who were a big part of FIVE conference championship teams.
    They do return 3 players who could conceivably land on the GLVC 1st team at season's end, and landed a transfer who was named to Conference USA's all freshman team 2 season's ago.

    They also have a couple of returning sophomores who are elite athletes at this level. Anna Hitt is possibly the fastest player in the league and had a fine freshman season. Hayley Mitchell was one of the many players hindered by injury after a promising start to the season. I saw her free a tightly wedged basketball from the rim during warm-ups using vertical on the first try. Not bad for 5'11".
    Freshman Reese Schaaf was a state champion last season and the class 3 player of the year. She will be an immediate contributor.
    Hopefully Mia Henderson can put together an elusive full season as her injury in the conference tournament (where she played very well) and ensuing absence hurt in the 5 point regional game loss against Grand Valley.
    Like Ashland, expectations are always high!

    Not up on all the GMAC but the GLVC will still be tough as Lewis returns almost everyone from last season's conference tournament runner up team and would appear to be the team in the best position to de-throne Drury. The Lady Panthers coasted to a 29 point win in that tournament championship game.

    After not having a good February and March, Truman appears to be on the upswing with some good recruits and a returning 5th year player to go with Weltha. Congratulations to them as It appears some money is being invested in improvements to their locker rooms.

    UMSL will be tough as they return the dominant Kiara Stewart and have good players around her.

    Illinois Springfield returns all their good players and last season was the latest GLVC team to beat a D1. (Bradley)

    SBU appears to have built a defensive team after having some key defections off of last season's team. They also will have the biggest team in the league as they have 6 players 6' or taller including a 6'5" and 6'6".

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    • Originally posted by unc4life View Post

      I think the Ashland coaching staff feels like they have a team this year that can go the distance, and I think the schedule reflects that. I have a lot of respect for Drury and the willingness they show to schedule anyone in the country. It pays off in the tournament for sure. I also wonder what the GMAC will be like this year. Several schools (Walsh, Cedarville) had top upper classmen transfer to D1 schools. Really the first time we have seen this in the new transfer world we are in. Looking forward to a great year of basketball!
      Ashland's roster looks formidable. Hopefully the injury bug doesn't bite them. Upon closer look, I don't see any GMAC team that can challenge them. I'm glad the Lady Panthers can schedule a team the caliber of Ashland in the regular season.
      I'm praying things can return to normal for this country so we can once again enjoy the things that have been taken for granted. Also hoping the obnoxious fan who CONSTANTLY and loudly berates
      the referees is held accountable this season, because that does not belong in what is otherwise one of the best d2 game game atmospheres in the country.

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      • A couple of quick notes: Drury men's and women's basketball fans have good reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season and next season is looking great as well! Drury hasn't posted names yet on their website, so I won't name them.

        The men have signed a 6'8" highly skilled athlete for 2023-2024 who is currently coached by the highly respected Rob Yanders. Mostly what I know about this player is word of mouth, so someone else can comment on him. Sounds like a GREAT get though.

        The women have an outstanding recruiting class for 2023-2024 with at least 3
        players that had multiple D1 offers and another with multiple D2 offers.

        They have a new radio station partner that has apparently purchased nice new equipment and has made Drury Basketball a priority. Also, the Panthers return one of the best broadcast teams in the country.
        First game in less than a month!

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        • Tonight, the rebuilding Panthers play #9 Creighton in an exhibition game. Hopefully this won't be as ugly as last year's exhibition against Drake. The Bluejays return a lot from last season, including a 7'1" player who was the defensive player of the year in the Big East.
          The Lady Panthers are number 6 on the NCAA.Com Preseason D2 Power Ranking list and have been picked as favorites to win the GLVC. I think they'll be good by season's end once the underclassmen get acclimated to the college game, as even the sophomores have little game experience due to injury last season.
          Also, Paige Robinson is still getting pub in Illinois:
          https://twitter.com/MarkPearsonTV/st...amuJEbBHA&s=19
          Last edited by crazznewt; 10-30-2022, 08:18 PM.

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          • Props to Paige Robinson on the Illinois State season outlook page:
            ".......At the forefront of that group of added talent is 2021 Division II National Player of the Year Paige Robinson. Robinson comes to the Redbirds as a grad transfer after a remarkable four-year career at Drury University in which she led the Panthers to two Final Fours and an undefeated season in 2019-20.

            While Redmond's impact was historic and will be irreplaceable, many in the program believe the 5-foot-10 Robinson is capable of immediately stepping into an alpha role on offense. "She's a three-level scorer," says fifth-year guard Mary Crompton. "She has the height and athleticism to be able to score even over good defenders."

            Illinois State's top defensive stopper, junior forward Kate Bullman, has gotten a firsthand look at that ability in practice. "I close out in her face and she just hits it on me every time," Bullman says. "She's got pretty much every shot in her bag."

            Bullman credits Robinson's work ethic, adding that Robinson is "literally the definition of married to the game – she's in the gym every single day for hours."

            Gillespie compares Robinson's range to that of Crompton, who has made over 200 threes in her career, but also loves the rest of Robinson's offensive skill set. "She is a really gifted passer," Gillespie says. "She knows where to get the ball … She can go left and right."

            This was a nice mention for Paige, but was a bit misleading because two of those teams were led by Diestlekamp and Bernard. That being said, last season could have been more of a success if Paige was uninjured and without the brace on the shooting hand for the last month or so.
            Its safe to say she has several hundred fans back in Springfield who are excited for her.

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            • Drury alum Paige Robinson scored 27 points and had 7 rebounds in Illinois State's exhibition win against Indianapolis in front of 435 fans Tuesday evening.

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              • The Lady Panthers scored a surprisingly easy revenge win yesterday against Kentucky Wesleyan, who returned most of their lineup from last season. I was surprised Wesleyan pressured the whole game because Drury had little trouble scoring 95 points. The play got a little sloppy in the fourth quarter as Amy was able to rotate the bench players in.
                Some observations:

                Hopefully Anna Hitt returns to the lineup soon as her length and athleticism is needed on this team.

                A pleasant surprise is the shooting skill of transfer Caitlynn Daniels. She stays on top of her shot very well with her high release and follow through. She will likely have some big games this season.
                I thought Bella Sparaco played well. She has a combination of speed and strength that can prove invaluable as the season progresses.
                I met more of you last night who know of this site but don't post. Please sign up and post your thoughts.

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                • It was an interesting second day of games Saturday in Bolivar as the Lady Panthers almost overplayed their way into a huge upset loss. Kaylee DaMitz, who showed why she should be on everyone's pre-season All American list, and Terrion Moore's incredible athleticism on defense and drives to the basket, were huge in this game. I still believe the Lady Panthers will be "Lady Panther" good by season's end, but they obviously need to get and keep everyone healthy.

                  After watching Drury struggle with Trevecca, and Drury win big over Kentucky Wesleyan the night before, Southwest Baptist was feeling confident going into the game against the other Lady Panthers. (All Coaches should temper their post game comments unless they are absolutely sure of what they are declaring IMO.) KWC's athletism was way too much for SBU and Coach Niemann started clearing his bench when his team was up by 32 early in the fourth.

                  The GMAC and GLVC sports networks, plus my fast forward and rewind buttons, allowed me to watch some other games this weekend. I observed officials allow big forwards five seconds (no exaggeration) in the lane several times in these televised games. That should be an easy call with three officiating. Speaking of officials, they do their best and need tolerance. You know it's bad when the home team players look back to see the one guy who is ruining the experience for others. What do prospective parents think about this?

                  Drury Men scored a couple of good wins over the weekend. This team has a lot of athletic shooters and will be fun to watch as the season progresses. I agree with the coaches that this group will win championships.

                  Former Lady Panther signee Katie Scott, a true junior, has signed with her fifth school, and is playing for NCAA Division II, Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California.

                  Former Panther Clay Gayman, who signed to play at Grandview (his third school), has left to enter the transfer portal.
                  The NCAA should look into tightening the transfer rules a little.



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                  • The Panthers play at Roger's State tonight. If this wasn't on a Wednesday, I would take this easy trip down I-44. I appreciate the GLVC and GMAC not charging for game streaming as the MIAA Network charges $10 per game.

                    The Lady Panther/Emporia State game this Saturday is going to be epic. These two teams will have had an entire week to prepare for this.

                    Unsurprisingly, DaMitz won the GLVC player of the week award, the second of her Drury career.

                    Paige Robinson had 23 points, 5 assists and no turnovers for Illinois State last night. ONE of Drury's best players from last season has become ISU's best offensive weapon this season. The next game could be the toughest of her career as they play Wisconsin.

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                    • Paige Robinson scored 37 points today on 14 of 19 field goals, 7 of 7 from 3, and 6 rebounds against the University Of Wisconsin in front of a Lady Panther size crowd of 1108 at Redbird Arena.
                      Terrion Moore recorded the third triple double in Lady Panther history yesterday in a huge dominating win against Emporia State in front of 1119 fans at the O'Reilly Center.
                      Last edited by crazznewt; 11-21-2022, 12:18 AM.

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                      • Wednesday's game between Ashland and the Lady Panthers was the biggest game in D2 so far this season. It was a highly competitive game and congratulations to Ashland on the one point overtime win. This rival is a great school and program, but like the Lady Panthers, have shown they are beatable.
                        Like I have alluded to in earlier posts, Drury has some maturing to do as young key players gain
                        experience and players recover from injury. This includes getting Anna Hitt back off of the DL.

                        This comment is for no one in particular: Haven't all athletes experienced playing a great game, then afterwards celebrated and gloated about that game, verbally, and in their own thoughts, too much and too long? Very often the following game is a stinker by the individual and/or the team.
                        Like the Proverb says: "Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor."

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by crazznewt View Post
                          Wednesday's game between Ashland and the Lady Panthers was the biggest game in D2 so far this season. It was a highly competitive game and congratulations to Ashland on the one point overtime win. This rival is a great school and program, but like the Lady Panthers, have shown they are beatable.
                          Like I have alluded to in earlier posts, Drury has some maturing to do as young key players gain
                          experience and players recover from injury. This includes getting Anna Hitt back off of the DL.

                          This comment is for no one in particular: Haven't all athletes experienced playing a great game, then afterwards celebrated and gloated about that game, verbally, and in their own thoughts, too much and too long? Very often the following game is a stinker by the individual and/or the team.
                          Like the Proverb says: "Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor."
                          Feels like you're alluding to Paige Robinson.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by panthersclawz1 View Post

                            Feels like you're alluding to Paige Robinson.
                            No one in particular in mind.

                            Comment


                            • The Lady Panther's opponent tonight is the S and T Lady Miners. Among S and T's games were close losses in exhibitions with a couple of below average D1 teams, and a dominating win at SBU Saturday in Bolivar. S and T led by 34 at one time, prompting the SBU play by play guy to predict a close game in Springfield tonight.

                              Kiera Stewart is back in the Lineup for UMSL after missing a couple games (losses). She was probably the best player on the floor in their close exhibition loss to D1 SIUE. The Lady Panthers play on the road in St Louis on Thursday.

                              Who knows what to expect from the rebuilding (men) Panthers tonight.
                              That's a lot of new young players to teach. They will be good soon. It will be a tough atmosphere Thursday in St Louis.

                              I've been trying to figure out how to compliment referees on their hard work without sounding facetious or insincere. Try it from your seat sometime.

                              Last edited by crazznewt; 11-28-2022, 02:19 PM.

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                              • What an odd night of basketball:
                                * The Lady Panthers commited 22 fouls, sending S and T to the line 28 times. Drury fouled a lot early last season also, eventually finishing with one of the best defending teams in the nation.
                                * S and T shot 8 of 51 from the field for 15.7%, an example of the potential of this Drury team.

                                * Rockhurst received a technical foul before their game against Maryville for a malfunction of the red LED backboard lights.
                                * In the same game, an inadvertent whistle was blown, resulting in Maryville losing control of the ball to an alternating possession call.

                                Some impressive things I witnessed Monday night:
                                * Drury's Anna Hitt showed her incredible athleticism by sprinting about 60 feet to run down a well over thrown pass out running the defense.
                                * Anna also made an exciting athletic defensive play after she got beat off of the dribble by S and T's quick point guard at well above the top of the key. Anna caught up to her player deep in the lane and cleanly blocked the shot back toward the free throw line. These plays you had to see to appreciate.

                                *UMSL's Kiara Stewart was obviously hobbled in the game against SBU as it looked like she was hesitant to jump to finish her shot on offense. Although, she was able to use her strength to position (often camping) herself around the lane to grab 16 rebounds, 7 offensive, while never jumping off of the floor.
                                Last edited by crazznewt; 11-29-2022, 10:44 PM.

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