PHOTOS BY GLENN NELSON
COLLINS HILL EAGLES
Hometown: Suwanee, Ga.
Head Coach: Tracey Tipton
Last Year: 31-1, Georgia State champs, national runners up
First-Round Matchup: Winter Haven, Dec. 27, 1 p.m.
Led by the incomparable Maya Moore, Collins Hill would be considered candidates for a national championship repeat, if not for an errorenous call at the 2005 Nike Tournament of Champions. Collins Hill is riding high after a victory in this year's Nike TOC and has to be considered the overwhelming favorite in Seattle.
Though Tipton and staff do a great job of x's and o's, Collins Hill is best in transition, where Moore can do her thing and the Eagles shooters, particularly Jordan Jones, can pick their spots. This is a team that can put up big numbers in a hurry because of its excellent defense, which includes pressure packages that extend fullcourt and retreat to halfcourt situations as well. The Eagles are extremely well-drilled in man-defensive help situations, but will throw changeups in the form of aggressive zones. At the offensive end, they get good spacing with their shooters and UConn-bound Moore or Taylor Dalrymple on the blocks, and will run high pick and rolls to get the ball into the post. For a high-school team, Collins Hill also is excellent at getting the ball inside the paint against zone defenses. If pressured, the Eagles will use Moore to bring the ball upcourt.
Maya Moore, 6-0 senior: Nationally, there is none better on the high-school level. Moore has size, athleticism, balance, wingspan, competitiveness galore and the heart of a champion. As good as she can be offensively, she may be even better on defense and her presence alone allows Collins Hill to do things other teams could not conceive.
Taylor Dalrymple, 6-1 junior: She really came on at the TOC, showing ballhandling and range on her jumper, in addition to a punishing inside presence.
Jordan Jones, 5-8 senior: This Texas Tech signee has as much range on her shot as any shooter in the country.
Shakeda Richie, 5-8 senior: Does a little bit of everything, including defending players much bigger.
Nikki Urbizo, 5-6 junior: New to the starting lineup this year, she handles the ball, can hit the three and is reliable from the foul line in crunchtime.
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Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the editor-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and coached
the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girl's basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The Seattle
Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing, 2002). He
can be reached at email@example.com.