Daily 49er

Women’s basketball power forward and center breakdown

LBSU’s young backcourt looks to impress with its versatility.

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There are a lot of new faces in the Long Beach women’s basketball program, including head coach Jeff Cammon. With seven freshmen joining the squad, Long Beach is looking for a return to the NCAA Tournament after exiting the first round last season and developing its talent for the years to come. Here is a breakdown of the frontcourt at the Beach this season.

Power Forwards:

#44 Darshana Ta’afua (Senior, 6’2’’): Ta’afua did not get a lot of play time last season due to a knee injury and recent surgery in the offseason. She has not been cleared to play yet this season, but is hoping to make a speedy return. Ta’afua averaged 2.3 points and 0.8 rebounds per game in limited minutes, seeing just 15 games of action. The senior likes to spread the floor and take shots rather than doing work in the post. While her impact may not be felt much on the court this season, she will help develop the young frontcourt as much as possible.

 

 

#25 Alzena Henry (Sophomore, 6’1’’): Henry played all 33 games last season as a freshman averaging 8.4 minutes. In her limited action she posted 1.4 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. With multiple injuries at the “four” position Henry will see a lot more minutes this season and showcase her skills. Henry has the experience that the 49ers need to start the season and will likely share minutes with Aaryon Green.

 

 

 

#32 Aaryon Green (Sophomore, 6’1’’): Green will finally make her debut as a 49er after redshirting her freshman year and sitting out last year with an injury. She played in her junior year at Eisenhower High School and averaged 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Health will be the biggest factor for Green this season, who will play limited minutes to ensure her longevity.

 

 

 

#42 Naomi Hunt (Freshman, 6’1’’): Hunt is a versatile “four” who is a skilled shooter from beyond the arc, a good passer and has a high basketball IQ. She averaged 16.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in her senior season at Troy High School in Fullerton. Head coach Cammon has already stated that Hunt will be playing a lot of minutes this season due to her ability to play in every situation. As a freshman, she will have pressure to play well in big minutes, but we can expect good things from Hunt in her first season.

 

 

 

Centers:

#20 Chloe Gaynor (Freshman, 6’2’’): Gaynor flew from South Normanton, England to join the Beach. She played for the England U18 squad in 2016 and averaged 7.9 points,12.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game to rank second in the European Championships. She is a solid rebounder, who can block the ball well and shoot the three. With her international experience she will bring a new perspective to the team.

 

 

 

#54 Emma Merriweather (Freshman, 6’5’’): Merriweather is a force down low who averaged 10.0 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game her senior year at Lakeside High School. Unlike many of the players on the team, she started basketball late but quickly picked up the sport. She uses her size to her advantage by overpowering opponents and has developed post skills to complement her strength. Merriweather will have to get used to the 49ers fast-paced style of play, but once she is able to keep up with the team, will be a dominant force. The freshman will provide great protection at the rim with her height, but will need to focus on lateral movement and recovery.

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