Women’s Basketball Season Preview: Talladega Lady Tornadoes
By GCAC Sports Information Director
TALLADEGA, Ala. –
2019 Record: 28-5 (14-0 GCAC)
2019 Finish: First Place (Lost GCAC Championship / #3 Seed in NAIA Tournament)
Head Coach: Kevin Herod (Seventh Season / 134-53 Overall, 65-16 GCAC)
Tyeisha Juhan (Sr, G, Atlanta, Ga.)
Anna Radenkova (Sr, F, Sofia, Bulgaria)
Jordan Dubose (Sr, F, Acworth, Ga.)
Key Players Lost:
Diamond Jolly (All-GCAC First Team / GCAC All-Defensive Team / fifth in NAIA in double-doubles / sixth in NAIA in rebounds / ninth in NAIA in rebounds per game / third in GCAC in free throw percentage / fourth in GCAC in blocks per game / fifth in GCAC in blocks / eighth in GCAC in points scored / tenth in GCAC in points per game)
Brijanee Moore (GCAC Defensive Player of the Year / All-GCAC First Team / GCAC All-Defensive Team / led NAIA in steals and steals per game / third in NAIA in assists / fourth in NAIA in assists per game / was one of only 14 players in NAIA to record a triple-double / fifth in GCAC in assist-to-turnover ratio / seventh in GCAC in points scored and double-doubles / eighth in GCAC in free-throw percentage / ninth in GCAC in points per game)
Courtnee Williams (Top-15 in GCAC in steals / top-20 in GCAC in steals per game and assists)
India Searls (Jr, C, Jacksonville, Fla.)
Kenetria Redfern (Sr, G, Buffalo, N.Y.)
Dominique Caldwell (Jr, G, Vicksburg, Miss.)
The 19th-ranked Talladega College women’s basketball program has the best winning percentage among all women’s basketball programs in Alabama over the past decade (69%) and is riding a 17-game GCAC winning streak heading into the 2020-21 season.
Coach Herod has yet to have a losing record entering his seventh year at the helm, winning over 80-percent of conference contests and just under 72-percent including non-conference tilts. Under his watch, the light blue and dark red have been to four NAIA Tournaments, have had four 20-plus win campaigns and made three conference championship game appearances, winning one.
The Lady Tornadoes ended the 2019-20 season third in the NAIA for both steals (518) and steals per game (15.70), seventh for points scored (2750) and turnover margin (7.33), tenth in points per game (83.33) and among the top-15 in scoring margin (17.67).
The Dega will have superstar senior Tyeisha Juhan back in Tornado Alley along with senior role players Anna Radenkova and Jordan Dubose in the fray to continue the program’s recent run of success.
Juhan landed on the All-GCAC First Team and GCAC All-Tournament Team following her junior campaign, placing in the top-20 nationwide for steals (89) and steals a night (2.78). She was the most effective three-point shooter in the league at .368 percent, finished third in the conference in points scored (479) and field-goal percentage, drained the fifth-most triples (60) and averaged the sixth-highest points (14.97) and three-pointers (1.88) per contest.
Radenkova was lethal in her own right behind the arc, making 38 three balls at a clip of 1.19 per game to rank in the GCAC’s top-15.
Dubose was a reliable shot blocker, claiming a spot among the top-15 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference with 0.50 blocks a game and 14 in total.
Talladega will have transfers from many different levels breaking in the new on-campus arena as Kenetria Redfern comes from a division one HBCU, India Searls makes an intra-conference switch and Dominique Caldwell makes the jump from the JUCO ranks.
Searls spent the past two seasons at GCAC rival Edward Waters and was the sixth-most prolific shot blocker in the country for 2019-2020, swatting 70 blocks for an average of 2.41 per game. She was a rebounding force as well for the Lady Tigers, placing ninth in the conference for rebounds per contest (6.79) and total boards (197).
Redfern will make the long journey from the MEAC’s University of Maryland at Eastern Shore where she played in 27 games with seven starts in her lone season on The Shore. She averaged 3.9 points and rebounds, swiped 23 steals, dished out 14 assists, logged a double-double in a win at Morgan State and ended the campaign third on the Hawks in boards (104).
Caldwell was a well-rounded contributor for Northeast Mississippi Community College a year ago, averaging 8.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists to go with 51 steals in just 19 appearances for the Lady Tigers.
The dark red and light blue will participate in a whooping 12 non-conference matchups including ranked games versus #14 Bethel and a road showdown at Freed-Hardeman who is receiving votes in the initial top-25 preseason poll.