Saturday, November 13, 2010

SPORTS>>Scribner takes career forward as new Trojan

By todd traub
Leader sports editor

It is likely that Lonoke standout Asiah Scribner won’t get a lot of playing time at UALR this season.

But that’s a good thing — for Scribner and the Trojans.
UALR opened the year with a home game against Davidson on Friday trying to build on a landmark 2009-10 season that saw the Trojans win their third consecutive Sun Belt Conference West Division championship and reach the NCAA Tournament for the program’s first time.

UALR (27-7, 17-1 last season) upset Georgia Tech in the first round before falling to Oklahoma and returns four players who started last year, including preseason conference player of the year Chastity Reed.

The lone departed starter is Cabot guard Kim Sitzmann, playing professionally overseas after graduating, so that probably means Scribner will be biding her time behind the veterans.

“She’s done well,” UALR coach Joe Foley said. “It’s hard to evaluate right now because there are six freshmen and she’s playing with five other freshmen and seven upperclassmen.

“And of those upperclassmen there are four starters coming back. They’re playing against a darn good basketball team every day.”

Scribner made three 4A state finals appearances with Lonoke and helped the Lady Jackrabbits to the semifinals last season. She averaged 16.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals a game and was selected The Leader player of the year.

She signed with UALR a year ago during the early NCAA signing period.

“Asiah has got a lot of athletic ability,” Foley said. “She’s a good-sized kid. Long arms, a long kid. That’s her attributes. She’s a very good athlete, a very smart kid. She’s catching on quick.”

Foley finds himself where most successful coaches would like to be, in charge of a program with overlapping classes of veteran returnees and talented newcomers. That gives him the option of letting the young players practice and learn while the upperclassmen carry the show.

“That’s exactly it,” Foley said. “For years we’ve been having to bring kids in every year and they have to come in and start immediately. We kind of had to grow them and we’re not having to do that this year for the first time.”

Foley said Scribner, 6-1, who already knows how to play close to the basket and projects as a No. 4 player, could use the extra time to work on her outside shot.

“She gets that down it will open up a lot for her,” Foley said.

And Scribner, like most recruits out of high school, must adapt to UALR’s motion offense, something Foley has favored since his days at NCAA Division II Arkansas Tech.

“The hardest thing is being able to play all over the floor,” Foley said. “Asiah’s played inside her whole high school career. Just like most kids she’s been assigned a spot and now all of a sudden they have freedom to play all over the floor.

“You’ve got o keep great spacing and know who to screen for. That’s very hard for a kid.”

But Foley expects Scribner to grow into her role and grow within the Trojans’ offense and the college game.

“I think she has a chance to be a very good college player,” Foley said. “She’s an extremely good worker, an extremely good kid and we’re tickled to death to have her.”