Kiberd joins women's basketball Panthers, expected to make big impact

Jason Malloy
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The biggest addition for the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team in 2014-15 might be someone who practiced with them all last season.

Anne Kiberd sat out 2013-14 after transferring from St. F.X.

“I think she’s going to fit in great. I think her game is really suited for our style,” coach Greg Gould said.

“We feel like we have a great player coming into our program, one who is really going to contribute right away.”

Kiberd was known for her outside shooting while playing at X.

“When she first came, that’s what I thought she brought to table,” Gould said. “She’s not only a great three-point shooter, she’s a great slasher, too.”

Kiberd, a Halifax native, is also a good passer and defender, who anticipates plays well.

The Panthers play a five-out system with a point guard and a lot of interchangeable position players on the offensive end of the court.

It is still looking for a big post player to help its inside game.

“We’re looking for that one special player,” Gould said.  “We want a good low-post player” who can defend and rebound.

The problem is they are hard to find and many universities are trying to attract them.

Gould said he is still talking to five bigs who would all be able to make an impact in 2014-15.

It also has Elysia Drost, a six-foot-two post from Hammonds Plains, N.S., coming back for her second season. Gould said she came a long way in her first season with UPEI after not playing for two seasons.

“If she continues to improve like she has, I think she has a legitimate chance of being that kind of low-post player,” he said.

If the Panthers are unable to land another post, Gould said he is confident in the team he can dress next season. The entire cast from the 2013-14, which lost in overtime in the conference semifinal, is returning.

Gould said he thinks the team will be more experienced, confident and hungry. Those qualities will be important as UPEI plays five of its first seven games on the road.

“The players coming back, I think, still feel the sting of losing the semifinal game. They want to work hard to win it all,” he said. “In saying that, I am sure every other team in the conference feels the same way.”

Competition to wear the uniform next season could be fierce. It already has 16 players on its roster and only 12 can dress for each game.

“Everybody is going to be battling for playing time,” Gould said.

The team is hoping for continued improvement in its players and better health than the past season.

It received good years from point guard Danielle MacDonald and Amy Gough while other players stepped up at different stages of the season.

“We have to win as a team. We don’t have the star players,” Gould said. “We had nobody on the all-star team, we had nobody on the all-rookie team, but we were within a point from going to the final.”

MacDonald, Gough and Jenna Jones are going into their fifth season of eligibility while five other players will be entering their fourth. It could create a large graduating class after 2014-15 and it is something Gould is aware of and planning for.

“Because I am not announcing any recruits doesn’t mean I haven’t been recruiting,” Gould said.

He is keeping an eye on players currently in Grade 10 and 11 who could join the team in a year or two. He will be going to Ontario in late May and Quebec in June scouting players.

 

 

Geographic location: Halifax, Hammonds Plains, Ontario Quebec

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