HATTIESBURG, Miss – The 2016-17 Southern Miss Women’s Basketball saw a return to business-as-usual status. The Lady Eagles reached the Conference USA Championship game for the third time in four years, Coach Joye Lee-McNelis received Coach of the Year honors, Brittanny Dinkins was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, along with First Team and All-Defensive Team nods, Shonte Hailes made the All-Freshman team, the team won more than 20 games for the fifteenth time in program history and the Lady Eagles made the sixth WNIT appearance in program history.
The 2017-18 campaign looks to be no different as McNelis and her coaching staff, including the addition of assistant Victoria Crawford, have landed multiple recruits and transfers to continue the momentum from last season.
“We are excited about this 2017-18 team,” McNelis said. “There is a lot of excitement, energy and a little bit of anxiety that surrounds this team because of eight newcomers. Our staff enjoys the passion each teammate brings. Our summer workouts have been a blast and we are witnessing our retuning players develop leadership skills. The future lies in the continued leadership of our veterans and the adjustment of our newcomers to our Feisty Bunch play. Each day matters as we are teaching the basic fundamentals of the game while implementing our philosophy.
Senior Jayla King and redshirt junior Megan Brown bring the most experience along with senior Molly Brown and sophomores Respect Leaphart and Shonte Hailes. Redshirt sophomore Amber Landing will be eligible to play this year after transferring from Little Rock.
The eight newcomers come to Hattiesburg from various paths. Freshmen Kelsey Jones, Kennedy Gavin, Imani Carter and Allie Kennedy come to Southern Miss after finishing High School. Redshirt sophomore Hanah Lott and junior Kyle Felton played at Jones County Junior College last and sophomore Alarie Mayze joins the Feisty Bunch from New Mexico Junior College. Redshirt sophomore Camille Anderson will sit the 2017-18 campaign after transferring from NC State.