Q&A With Former Mustang and WNBA Player Brittany Gilliam

May 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

Former SMU guard and senior Brittany Gilliam signed a WNBA contract last week with the Tulsa Shock. After the try-outs with 50 other players, Gilliam was one of the final five players picked for training camp. She got back Tuesday from the camp in Tulsa.

To make the team she will have to be one of the eleven players on the roster on May 15. Currently, there are 15 players in training camp; so four players will be cut.

Here are edited excerpts from our brief Q&A with Gilliam from Wednesday.

Recently you signed a WBNA contract update us on your status, what’s your basketball schedule with the Shock? And are you satisfied with your training camp performance?

Gilliam: I just got back from Tulsa. My performance was very well. I just learned a few things about the business side of basketball. The coaches explained to me how there are 5 of us he brought from tryouts, which is what I went through. They picked 5 to go to training camp…a total of 15 girls in training camp, which I didn’t know, he had to let some of the ones who tried out go, but he couldn’t cut the draft picks.

My game is there I can play at the next level. He just has to go through the steps. I got to play with some of the best players: Alexis Hornbuckle, who won three championships with Tennessee, Clanent Pearson of the Detroit shock, and Marion Jones.

My experience was fun. I got to see if I could really play at that level. And I can.

I am learning a different style of basketball. We wouldn’t press. I have another gear in me. I can play this hard and be effective throughout the whole game. I can take my game to another level.

How has your 4 years at SMU with Coach Rompola prepare you for professional league?

Gilliam: It helped me a lot. Coach Rompola was big on me with defense and wanted me to stay low. It actually helped me out playing with the Tulsa shock and playing with coach Richardson because his whole game is defense, defense, defense. It just has to do with the next level. When I left high school, I thought high school was hard but when I came to college I could do it same leaving college. At this next level, every player is good. It is a transition. Rhonda helped me with defense. There are some things I haven’t learned but for the next level that’s what she learned. Rhonda played a part in that by staying on me all the time.

[I’m] still working out, he has another cut by Friday, so a cut each week. I was excited he came to me and said don’t stop working out because there’s a possibility he can call me back and I’ll be back on the team. Right now, I’m trying to finish up with classes and continue to work if he calls me back. I have a few agents who are talking to teams, including [European teams]. I guess I’m just waiting on that phone call to see my next move with basketball.

Women’s Basketball Hands Out Season Awards

April 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

After leading the Mustangs to their third straight 20-win season, Rhonda Rompola presented the women’s basketball 2009-2010 season awards Monday.

Senior Alice Severin won the “Defense” and “Mustang” awards. She was an Academic All-Conference award winner after averaging 6.1 points, five rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

Brittany Gilliam, who recently signed a training camp contract with the Tulsa Shock, won the team’s “Offense” award. Gilliam averaged 14.7 points, 5 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game in 2009-2010. She also earned a first-team All C-USA honor.

Rompola awarded junior Haley Day the “Hustle” award. Day will be an instrumental part of next year’s team as she will be the only starting senior. She scored 9.6 points per game and averaged 6.5 rebounds.

The only underclassman to win an award was sophomore Christine Elliott who earned the “Rebounding” award after pulling down over eight rebounds per game while averaging eleven points per game.

Sports Blog: SMU Women’s Basketball Signs New Recruit

April 15, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Kristin Kimball

The women’s basketball team has added a point guard to their roster.

Krystal Johnson of Neeman Forest High School in Garland, Texas has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Mustangs beginning with the 2010-11 season.

Johnson was selected MVP of District 10-5A and a member of the 5A All-Region team. She averaged 17.4 points and four assists per game.

The women’s team is graduating three of its starters this spring: Jillian Samuels, Brittany Gilliam, and Alice Severin.

“Yes we did lose three important people on our team, but we also have a lot of great talent coming from a transfer who had to sit this past year [Kristin Hernandez], two seniors who did not play this past year [Delisha Wills and Raquel Christian],” guard Alisha Filmore said.

The Mustangs just finished the 2009-10 season with a 20-11 record. The team also made its third consecutive WNIT appearance.

“I believe we have great team chemistry that will really help us in the long run and a lot of really passionate players who are working hard for next year. I expect us to surpass the things we did this year and make it to the NCAA tournament. It’s not so much of us wanting her [Johnson] to come in and fill JB’s [Samuels] spot it’s a matter of her coming in and getting accumulated to the system and then find her role on this team,” Filmore said.

Kristin Kimball is a senior Journalism major working in the Athletics Department.

Mustangs Sign Top Local Player

April 14, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

The SMU women’s basketball team added an incoming freshmen to their roster Wednesday after Krystal Johnson signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Mustangs.

Johnson, a senior at Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas, was selected MVP of District 10-5A and was a member of the 5A All-Region team, after averaging 17.4 points per game her senior season.

The 5-3 point guard will take over at the point guard position left open by graduating senior Jillian Samuels.

“Krystal was one of the top scorers in the Metroplex, and is a true point-guard with quickness and vision we need,” said SMU Head Coach Rhonda Rompola, who led the Mustangs to a 20-11 record last season.

The team also loses senior scoring leader Brittany Gilliam, who played in two NITs and one NCAA tournament in her time on the Hilltop.

SMU Women Fall In First Round of WNIT

March 18, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie
rgillespie@smu.edu

The SMU women’s basketball team lost their second consecutive postseason game, 66-51, Wednesday to New Mexico in the first round of the WNIT in Albuquerque, NM, after shooting 28 percent from the field.

The Mustangs trailed by only five at halftime but were outscored 34-24 in the second half.

New Mexico (19-12, 9-7 Mountain West) finished sixth in their final conference standings, while SMU finished third in the C-USA final regular season standings.

After receiving a bye in the first round of the C-USA tournament, SMU (20-11, 10-6 C-USA) lost to UAB in the semi-finals, 64-55. The Mustangs were riding a four game win streak to finish the regular season with 20 wins for the third consecutive year, but that winning play discontinued in their next two games.

The loss marks the final game for SMU’s senior leader Brittany Gilliam, who led the Mustangs in scoring with 14.7 points per game. She scored 14 in the loss to New Mexico.

Sophomore Christine Elliot, who sat the last regular season game with an injury, earned her sixth double-double of the season with eleven points and eleven rebounds. Haley Day added 12 points and Jillian Samuels scored eleven.

The Lobos shot over 48 percent in the second half to secure the win as the Mustangs only made 35 percent of their shots in the second period. New Mexico used its hot shooting to open up a ten point lead in the first three minutes of the second half. SMU shot a near season low 28 percent for the game.

The Mustangs, who often rely on their three point shooting, finished a season worst 0-17 from behind the arc. New Mexico was knocked down eight of its 17 three-point attempts.

AUDIO: SMU Women’s Basketball vs. Tulsa

March 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Click here to listen to the SMU women’s basketball from Wednesday night. The Mustangs beat Tulsa 71-52 to earn their third straight season with at least 20 wins. Alan H. Rose, Robby Gillespie and sideline reporter Nicole Jacobsen were at Moody Coliseum to bring you the call. Wednesday’s game was the last home game for seniors Brittany Gilliam, Jillian Samuels, and Alice Severin.

BLOG: SMU Women Defeat Tulsa, 71-52

March 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Check out the transcript of Sports Writer Nate Regan’s live blog during the women’s basketball game.

VIDEO: Mustang Minute, Friday Feb. 26

February 26, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Read more

VIDEO: Mustang Minute, Wednesday Feb. 24

February 24, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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Women’s Basketball Opens Season Friday

November 10, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Taylor St. Eve
tsteve@smu.edu

The SMU women’s basketball team opens their season at home this Friday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. against Loyola Marymount in Moody Coliseum. The team, which recently received votes for a top 35 ranking in the first USA/ESPN Coaches’ poll for the 2009-2010 season, won their exhibition game against Abilene Christian Monday night in Moody Coliseum 74-47.

The Mustangs open their season at home for the eighth straight year.

This will be the first time the two schools meet. The Mustangs will be lead this year by four starting seniors, which include 2009 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Brittany Gilliam. Gilliam was also named to the Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference USA team this year.

Also returning to the line-up this year are seniors Jillian Samuels, Alice Severin and Delisha Wills.

The women have eight non-conference home games this season, which include the annual SMU tournament the week after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27-28. Check out SMUMustangs.com for more details.

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