When the Wolves (1-0) host Point (1-4) to start a four-game homestand they will be doing so coming off one of the best offensive showings in recent history. Mone' People's led the way with 21 points while junior college transfer Taylor Turgeon added 16 points.
Overall seven Wolves scored at least five points in the win as UWG shot 45 percent from the floor, but were 11-of-30 from the three-point line.
"It was definitely a good win for us. I thought we played well. In fact, that was probably the best, offensively, we've played since I've been here, especially in the first game. Real comfortable shooting the ball and showed good decision making within the offense which is always a question mark this time of year," UWG coach Scott Groninger said.
Last year the UWG offense was led by Shunice Hardy who averaged over 14 points a game and was the only player to average double figures. This year the Wolves should be more balanced with more scoring options.
"That's the one thing that was very highly noticeable [against GCSU], we have a lot more scoring options. It just happened to be Mone' on Saturday, but I think you're going to see a lot more kids able to score the ball. That may be one of our strengths is having those scoring options and not just depending on one person like we did last year," Groninger said.
This year the Wolves bring back five players who got cour time last year in Peoples, Shakiyla McLin, Nicole Fasick, Angela Davis and Breonna Mosely. Peoples is the top returning scorer as she averaged 9.7 points per game and McLin led the offense at the point position for most of the season.
"We have five returning players and it's a tough recipe for chemistry because you have five returning players and 10 new players. The new players are good in their own right, but I'm pleased with the work the returning players put in," Groninger said. "Nicole has improved a lot and is going to be a factor for us, Angie same thing, Mone' has gotten off to a great start. Shakiyla has really done a nice job leading the team at the point guard spot."
The Wolves also bring back a pair of players that were on last year's roster, but didn't see time due to injuries. JaDechia Hill and Kierra Dennis will be added to the mix this year.
"Both of them have come in and worked really hard. We're pleased with them so far," Groninger said.
Then you have the true new players that will be suiting up in the UWG blue and red for the first time.
"Jerlisa Taylor is a transfer from Georgia State that played at Douglas County brings a lot of maturity and a proven point guard as she started half her games at Georgia State over three years. Brittany Johnson, another transfer from Georgia State, coming in as a sophomore from Indiana. High energy, I don't know that I've coached a kid with as much energy as she has and she does a bit of everything," Groninger said.
"Then Taylor Turgeon, junior college player who played for her father at Iowa Western. She can really shoot it, as evidenced by 16 points in her first game for us. Great 3-point shooter."
Freshmen Tiffany Jenkins and Tanisha Jackson are learning the offense and will be expected to get some time later in their UWG careers.
Along with a balanced offense the other thing the Wolves will have this year that they lacked last year is an inside presence. With Hill back from her injury and Kalyn Breeding hopefully coming back from injury along with Davis and Jenkins the Wolves will be bigger inside this year.
"It's just depth everywhere. We have great depth at the guards, got people who can score the ball. That's a big difference when we bring kids off the bench. Turgeon had 16 off the bench, Hill had nine off the bench. Those two probably combined for more points than what we usually got from our entire bench [last year]," Groninger said.
Now, with a win under their belts already, the Wolves will come home to The Coliseum for their next four games starting tonight against Point.
"We're looking forward to play [tonight] and Thursday and [next] Tuesday and Saturday. I think four straight home games is great. Hopefully we can get off to a good start and figure this thing out. I was real pleased with our effort on the road and if we can bring that same energy home we should be in good shape," Groninger said.