Oct. 31, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Less than two weeks away from the start of the 2013-14 basketball season, AuburnTigers.com is taking a position-by-position preview of the Tigers' squad. This week, we look at Auburn's wings.
The wing position is where Auburn has seen the biggest influx of new players. Junior Hasina Muhammad (Memphis, Tenn.) returns from last year and is joined by freshmen Khady Dieng (Dakar, Senegal), Keonna Farmer (Birmingham, Ala.), Katie Frerking (Johns Creek, Ga.) and Brandy Montgomery (Port St. Lucie, Fla.).
With the addition of so many players at the guard positions, head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy made the decision to move Tyrese Tanner to the post. But, fans can still expect to see Tanner moving up to help out when the Tigers are in need.
Muhammad was Auburn's No. 2 scorer a year ago, totaling 14.0 points per game along with 5.1 rebounds per game. Named to the All-SEC Second Team, she scored a career-high 27 points against Western Kentucky in the WNIT and notched her first career double-double at George Washington with 21 points and 10 rebounds, along with nine steals. Her 82 steals last season also rank second all-time at Auburn in single-season steals.
"Hasina had a great year last year, but her conditioning and having the ability to play more minutes is going to be crucial for us this year," said Williams-Flournoy. "With so many new wings, she will be able to get a little more rest time. However, in crucial situations, you're going to feel more comfortable having your more experienced wing out there."
With those newcomers, Auburn should be able to get some relief in the scoring column. The two standouts so far in preseason practice have been Frerking and Montgomery.
Frerking comes to Auburn from the Wesleyan School outside of Atlanta. She was the NCSAA National Player of the Year and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution AA Player of the Year. As a senior, she averaged 2.04 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
Montgomery joins the Tigers from Lincoln Park Academy in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Ranked as one of the top 100 guards in the country, she averaged 31.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game last year.
"Both Brandy and Katie have probably stood out the most for us as far as practice and preseason conditioning," said Williams-Flournoy. "I thought they worked extremely hard. They are both outside shooters, but they just really can flat-out score, they can put the ball on the floor, they can attack the basket and both of them do a really good job of rebounding. They are long so they help us in our press."
Farmer and Dieng round out the Group. Farmer, from Center Point High School in Birmingham, was one of the top in-state prospects. Ranked as a top-100 player, she averaged 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game as a senior. Dieng comes to The Plains from Senegal by way of the Gatewood School in Georgia. A natural athlete, Dieng excelled in several sports and put together averages of 15.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.4 steals and 4.1 assists per game last season.
"Keonna and Khady have struggled a little bit conditioning, as most freshman do," said Williams-Flournoy. "They will be fine, though. They are great athletes and are getting better every day. We are excited to see what they can do."
The Tigers return three starters and five letterwinners from last season's team that went 19-15 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women's NIT in Williams-Flournoy's first season as head coach. Auburn welcomes eight newcomers for the 2013-14 season.
The Tigers will open the season on Saturday, Nov. 9 as Auburn hosts Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. CT, at Auburn Arena. The Tigers will play a 14-game home schedule this year with games against Tulane, St. John's, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Georgia and in-state rival Alabama.
Season tickets are on sale now with packages starting as low as $50. New for the season, fans can purchase the Auburn Women's Basketball Flex Pack. The Flex Pack offers fans the opportunity to purchase six games of their choice for $24. Flex Packs went on sale on Oct. 21 and single-game tickets will go on sale on Nov. 4. For more information on tickets, go to AUBTix.com or call 1-855-282-2010.