Hannah Phillips, from Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn.; Kaitie Fritts from Central Hardin High School in Cecilia, Ky.; Chelsea McMeans, from La Vernia High School in La Vernia, Texas; and Morgan Faulkner from Madison Academic Magnet in Jackson, Tenn., are expected to bring more athleticism and speed to the Lady Bisons.
Last year’s freshman class made a big impact on the team. Bennett is taking a wait-and-see attitude with this group.
“The potential is there,” said Bennett. “But you never know until you get them all together on the practice floor. “I like a lot of things about this group. I think we filled some of our needs. All of them are going to have to adjust to playing on the NCAA Division I level.”
Phillips and Faulkner, both 5-foot-10, will play on the wing.
Phillips was an All-Region selection in basketball in 2009. She was also an All-District 11-AAA in basketball in 2008 and 2009. She was All-Region in basketball in 2007. She lettered four years in basketball and three years in soccer.
“Hannah is a long wing player and good defender,” said Bennett. “She is developing into a good 3-point shooter. She is very mobile. She can run all day.”
Faulkner was a three-time All-State selection in 2006, 2007 and 2009. She was also All-Region in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and All-District in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She was also the Most Valuable Player in both the region and the district in 2008 and 2009. She is all-time leading scorer for Madison Academic with 2,440 points. She is also the leading rebounder (835) and shot blocker (260). She is a versatile athlete with four letters in basketball, three in volleyball and one each in track and field and cross country.
“Morgan had a really good state tournament,” said Bennett. “Her team was runner-up in Class A. She scored 70 points in three games in the tournament.
“She is used to being a scorer. She is good at slashing to the basket. She shoots the ball well. She can post up well. She also has good vision with the dribble.”
Fritts, 6-1, was the captain of her high school team her senior season. She was named All-State Honorable Mention. She was a member of the All-District Team her senior season and a member of the East-West All-Star team as both a junior and senior.
“I think Kaitie gives us a chance to have a low post player who can score some,” Bennett said. “She could give us a low post threat which has been a weakness of our team in the past.”
McMeans was a standout athlete at La Vernia High School in La Vernia, Texas. She lettered in basketball, volleyball, track and tennis. She finished her senior season in basketball with 581 points (17.6 per game), 435 rebounds (13.2 per game) and 143 blocked shots (4.3 per game). She has also been active with TeamXpress, one of the top club teams in the state.
“Chelsea is a mobile player,” said Bennett. “She can play inside and out. She gives us some flexibility at the post.”
The offseason is the time for individual improvement. Once again, the Lady Bisons will be a young team, but Bennett thinks it will be a team intent on getting back on the winning track.
“I think they will come in sort of hungry, and really wanting to work hard and be dedicated towards having a great year,” said Bennett. “Our overall team speed is better. We are a little more athletic. We have some good skill players.
“We are going to tweak our style. We are going to try to be more of an up tempo team. We aren’t going to be afraid to take a quick, good shot. Hopefully, it will be an exciting style of play.”