ODU women: Three takeaways from VCU

Ashley Betz-White showcased what an athlete should be. At 5-foot-4, Betz-White is chronically undersized. She makes up for it with effort, including that breath-stealing theft during the VCU game when she anticipated a screen, started sprinting toward the other side of it and met the ballhandler there, taking the ball and sprinting off for a breakaway layup. More impressive was Betz-White’s performance at the end of the game when, at the start of the ODU alma mater, she went into the crowd, took the hand of a mentally handicapped child and brought the child onto the floor. If there’s anything of major importance to take away from ODU’s effort against VCU, it should be that moment.
Myeisha Hall’s shot is better – I noted this during the preseason as well, but Hall’s shot looks much, much smoother. You can tell she put in time during the offseason. Hall still takes some 3s from a little too deep and can still get a little too out of control on her drives for my taste, but she’s becoming a better offensive weapon. Hall shot 29.9 percent last year and averaged 5.3 points. She’s at 29.2 percent and 5.7 points this year, but I’m willing to bet that number increases.
The Lady Monarchs can survive foul trouble – Last year if any of a select group Lady Monarchs found themselves in foul trouble, ODU’s chances would have been over. Against VCU, Shae Kelley picked up two quick fouls in three minutes. Her skill set, along with Jackie Cook’s, is probably the most unique and versatile on the Lady Monarch team and she is one of two players averaging double-digit points through three games. Old Dominion still thrived even with Kelley on the bench. As opponents get tougher, I think she and Cook will be the two players who need to avoid foul trouble the most, but the Lady Monarchs are much deeper and better able to withstand any issues this season.

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