@GTWBB Holds First Practice

Oct. 4, 2015

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team kicked off the 2015-16 season Sunday morning, holding its first practice of the season.

The 2015-16 season marks the 13th under the direction of head coach MaChelle Joseph and the 42nd season of Georgia Tech women’s basketball. The Yellow Jackets return eight letterwinners and four starters from last year’s squad that went 19-15 overall, 7-9 in the ACC and made it to the second round of the WNIT. Coach Joseph welcomes five freshmen and two transfers to this year’s team.

Joseph became the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech women’s basketball history last year and has a career record of 232-149 and the highest winning percentage in Yellow Jacket history at 60.9 percent.

Approaching Milestones
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside is set up to become the 29th Yellow Jacket to score 1,000 career points. The Memphis, Tenn., native currently has 936 career points. Fellow senior Roddreka Rogers is on pace to crack into the top 10 of Georgia Tech’s all-time leading rebounder. Rogers has accumulated 709 boards in her three seasons so far. She needs just 52 rebounds to surpass Sasha Goodlett for 10th place on Georgia Tech’s career list. In order to become GT’s all-time leading rebounder, Rogers needs 331 boards this season. She tallied 335 in her junior year.

All Over the World
Georgia Tech’s roster boasts players from seven different states and six different countries. Junior Katarina Vuckovic (Smederevo, Serbia), junior Elo Edeferioka (Warri, Nigeria), sophomore Simina Avram (Brasov, Romania), freshman Chelsea Guimarares (Almada, Portugal), graduate student Irene Gari (Oliva, Spain) and sophomore Antonia Peresson (Pordenone, Italy) are Georgia Tech’s six international student-athletes.

This past summer, Peresson represented her home country at the U20 European Championship in Lanzarote, Spain. Edeferioka competed with the Nigerian National Team during the end of September, beginning of October in the Afrobasket for a chance to qualify for the Olympics. The Nigerian national team took third place which secured them a spot in the Olympic Qualifying tournament next year. Vuckovic, Avram, Guimarares, Gari and Peresson all have had previous playing experience representing their home countries in FIBA European Championships.

2015-16 Schedule Highlights
Seventeen home games and 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams from last season highlight the 2015-16 Georgia Tech women’s basketball schedule. The Yellow Jackets will play a total of 29 regular season games and one exhibition game during head coach MaChelle Joseph’s 13th season on the Flats. The ACC portion of the Yellow Jackets’ schedule includes home-and-home series with national champion runners up Notre Dame and Clemson. Georgia Tech will also host conference foes Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia, Boston College, Miami and Wake Forest this season.

Louisville, along with Notre Dame, Florida State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Miami, Duke, Pittsburgh and non-conference opponents St. Francis Brooklyn and Alabama State, are the Yellow Jackets’ 10 opponents that all made the NCAA Tournament last season.

The Yellow Jackets start the 2015-16 season off by hosting West Georgia in an exhibition game on Monday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

Returning to the Flats
Joseph, who is the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech women’s basketball history, is at the helm of the Yellow Jackets for her 13th season.  Georgia Tech will be led this season by rising seniors  and  who both had outstanding junior campaigns. Rogers was a force on the boards last season, leading the Jackets with a 9.9 rebounds per game average and tallying 12 double-doubles. Whiteside moved into a starting role her third season for the Jackets, averaging 13.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game.

Junior  and sophomore  have the Jackets’ 3-point shooting needs covered while sophomore  adds strength in the paint. During her rookie season, O’Neil averaged 11.3 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game.   and  will add to Tech’s depth in the front court while  is back to run Tech’s offense at the point.

Newcomers
Georgia Tech welcomes seven new faces to this year’s roster — point guard  (Philadelphia, Pa.), forward  (Hofstra/Warri, Nigeria), forward  (Philadelphia, Pa.), guard/forward  (UTEP/Oliva, Spain), forward  (Almada, Portugal) and guard/forward  (Orangeburg, S.C.) and walk-on Lilliann Andrews (Tallahassee, Fla.). Cryor, Fortune and Howard were ranked as the number #14 recruiting class in the nation by Blue Star Basketball. 

Follow the Jackets
For an inside look at the program, follow Georgia Tech women’s basketball on Twitter, @GTWBB, Instagram, GTWBB, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball.

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