Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Curry tinkers with starting lineup

During a head coach’s first year at an institution, it is commonplace to experiment with different starters and lineups.

Kristy Curry has been no exception in her first year as head coach of the Crimson Tide women’s basketball team.

At 14.6 points per game, Shafontaye Myers leads Alabama in scoring average and has for the majority of the season, earning her starts in the team’s first five Southeastern Conference games. On the road against then No. 10 Kentucky, however, Myers did not start or see any action against the Wildcats.

(See also “Crimson Tide tested in SEC road games“)

Alabama edged Kentucky for the upset, and Curry picked up her signature win. Over the next two games, Myers came off the bench and scored 16 points against Georgia and 21 against Florida to eclipse her points per game average.

However, Myers has started the last two games, which Curry said is all a part of adjusting lineups based on the previous week of practice and the characteristics of the upcoming opponent.

“I had felt like we hadn’t been getting off to very good starts as we needed to execution-wise, and I don’t think that’s any one person,” Curry said.

As a senior and the team’s leading scorer, Myers and her attitude concerning the lineup shuffling was praised by Curry.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Curry said. “It’s ‘whatever you need me to do, and I just want my team to win and be successful.’ And we did start her against Tennessee. She had worked that the past couple of days in practice and had earned that.”

(See also “Tide fades in 2nd half, loses to Vols“)

Myers held true to Curry’s observations with her take on the starting lineup changes.

“Not at all,” Myers said when asked if her role had changed. “I just come in and do the same thing as if I was starting.”

Myers started against Tennessee with fellow guards Sharin Rivers and Daisha Simmons, not to mention forwards Nikki Hegstetter and Ashley Williams. Curry kept the same lineup when the Crimson Tide most recently traveled to Missouri and picked up a 59-56 win.

In addition to Myers starting again after three games on the bench, forward Khadijah Carter did not start in the two most recent games after having started in every previous conference game. Since starting against Kentucky, Rivers has averaged exactly 10 points per game, which is well over her previous average of 3.7.

In the SEC, Alabama is 2-1 when Myers comes off the bench and 2-5 when she starts.

The tweaks, Curry said, have had at least a little to do with the makeup of the Crimson Tide’s current roster.

“Well, I think you have to use your quickness,” Curry said. “I don’t feel like we have much size on the perimeter, regardless of what lineup we go with. We’re not as big as you’d want to be normally, but it is what it is.”

There are no indications this most recent, smaller starting lineup with three guards and two forwards will be permanent. Curry did offer some clarification going forward, however.

“We’re going to start those who we feel are going to give us the best start,” she said.

(See also “Kristy Curry begins new era at UA supported by husband, children, other coaches“)


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