Knights add signees, shuffle coaching staff
Published: Monday, June 4, 2012
Updated: Monday, June 4, 2012 09:06
Following a season that fell short of the program’s standards, the UCF women’s basketball team is not standing by idly.
Coach Joi Williams has added a few new faces to bolster an already experienced roster and the program has also made some adjustments to its coaching staff in hopes of cultivating a resurgent 2012-2013 campaign, starting this fall.
Guard Kiana Morton from Miami Dade College, forward Sara Djassi from Chipola College and Brittni Montgomery, a 6-foot-3 forward from Virginia Tech, have all signed with UCF and will join the team in the fall.
The Knights struggled mightily during stretches of last season to get any kind of scoring opportunity. Morton is the kind of guard who, when playing next to someone like Gevenia Carter, could provide that spark.
“Kiana Morton is and will be a strong difference maker for UCF and coach Williams,” Miami Dade head coach Susan Summons said in a release. “She is a tremendous athlete, person with character and a scoring machine.”
Djassi, a native of Lisbon, Portugal, has been a member of two of Portugal’s FIBA European Championship teams in 2006-2007 and 2008-2009.
“Sara is a versatile player who can score in a variety of ways,” said David Lane, former Chipola College head coach. "She creates a lot of matchup problems with her ability to play both inside and outside.”
Montgomery, a Fort Pierce native, shows much promise although she won’t be eligible to participate until the 2013-2014 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Montgomery will be of extreme value in the post, and she brings Division I experience from a highly competitive conference in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Star guard Aisha Patrick played her last game with UCF this past season and is the biggest loss the Knights will experience this offseason. The absence of her scoring and versatility represents an obvious concern, but with the addition of three seasoned players, UCF has the potential to improve.
The changes in personnel haven’t been limited to those on the court, either.
With former assistant coach Bob Starkey headed to Texas A&M and former associate head coach Greg Brown named head coach of women’s basketball at Lipscomb University, UCF has added two familiar names to its coaching roster.
Courtney Locke returns to the UCF women’s basketball program to reclaim her role as an assistant coach after a one-year stint at UC Santa Barbara. The 2012-2013 campaign will mark her first season back with the team and her fourth overall.
Khalilah Mitchell was promoted to assistant coach after her third year as a member of the UCF women’s basketball program. Mitchell worked with the team as a graduate assistant from 2009-2011 while simultaneously completing a master’s degree in sports leadership and coaching.