By Ryan McCord
Even though you're reading the final 2006 installment of your favorite and most complete coverage of Hofstra women's basketball for the semester, it doesn't mean we can't look ahead. We will do our best to predict the future and give you an idea of just where the Pride will be stacked up in the CAA when the student body returns to the highly anticipated Spring '07 athletic season. So here are three issues to watch out for in the meantime:
Samantha Brigham's progression as the team's three-point specialist off the bench:
Despite her 1-for-4 shooting performance against Georgia State, the Simsbury, Ct., native has a sweet stroke and more importantly, wants the ball and shoots with a great deal of confidence for a freshman. A consistent threat off the bench from behind the arc is an easy role to seize, but a luxury a lot of teams do not have.
Getting used to playing on the road:
Even though the Pride officially kicked off its CAA schedule against GSU, the first slate of conference games don't even get under way until Jan. 4 at Delaware. Hofstra's most surprising win in school history can perhaps be topped by a Jan. 14 date at Old Dominion. Like the Michigan State shocker, Hofstra will once again be going up against a Goliath on the road, with stands lacking in a rowdy student body, due to ODU's own winter recess. And just in case the Pride feed off of bulletin board material, ODU didn't even list the game versus Hofstra as an event in the University's own online bulletin board/calendar of events. Whammy!
Will the NCAA expectations surrounding the team itself still be there?
The only logical answer is that time will tell. The month of January will give Pride fans a realistic grasp of what this team is capable of. With road tests at Delaware, Old Dominion and James Madison, the proof will be in the pudding. Win all three, and punch your NCAA ticket. Win one or two, you just might crack the top 25 and add to a sturdy foundation of wins. Lose all three, and you better pray for a CAA conference tournament title, because that would be the only way the program's first ever NCAA bid will be honored.