The new season brings a drastic change in the roster for the USC Women’s Basketball team, changes that require a lot of diligent restraint by head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke.
“We have a lot of different dynamics working here,” said Cooper-Dyke. “We’re trying to demonstrate as much patience as possible to get all of those pieces working together.”
The roster includes five returning players. Junior guard Jordan Adams and senior guard Brianna Barrett note that they are using their experience to guide new players.
“The people that are new have a lot of learning to do, a lot of catching up to do,” said Adams. “If the returners come in and just do their job every day, it’s going to speed up the process.”
Barrett averaged 9.6 points per game and earned her first double-double last season. Adams averaged 7.3 points and hit a career high of 21 points during in a game against Stanford last January.
“We just need to make sure everyone is on the same page, just helping the new people with plays or defense, any questions they have, we’re here to help them,” said Barrett.
Four international players are on the roster this season; USC announced the signing of freshmen forward Dani Milisic of Austrailia and freshmen guard Khaedin Taito of New Zealand in May. Milisic graduated in high school in September and will join the Trojans in December, according to USC Athletics.
Both freshmen played for the under-16 and under-17 National Team for their respective countries.
Grad student forward Temi Fagbenle has one year of eligibility to play for USC, After earning her undergraduate degree at Harvard. Fegbrenle is a native of Ibadan, Nigeria and represented Great Britain for the 2012 Olympics, according to USC Athletics.
Freshmen guard Candela Abejon is a native of Gijon, Spain. Abejon averaged 16 points and 8.2 rebounds during her last season of playing club basketball Basketmar Gijon.
The season ended last year ended in the first round with a loss to Colorado, according to the Pacific 12 conference. The Trojans have an exhibition game against Cal State San Marcos on November 8 and the season opener will be held against Hope International is on November 13 at the Galen Center.