Kilburn-Steveskey can’t say enough about Evans. “To watch her develop, after sitting in her living room recruiting her four years ago, has been amazing,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “We told her that she’d have the opportunity to accomplish a lot here, and she’s become one of the country’s top players. Shante could be a first-round WNBA selection.”
Forward Candace Bond doesn’t put up gaudy offensive numbers, but she’s as valuable as any player in the conference. The 5-foot-10 senior is considered by many to be the top defender in the CAA. Bond led the conference in steals for the second straight season and pulled down 5.4 rebounds per game. Her career-high 18 points in the loss to Harvard showed that she’s a threat on both ends of the floor. Senior Deven Green, junior Anma Onyeuku, and freshmen Dee Thomas-Palmer and Ruth Sherrill will contribute at forward.
Sophomore Andreana Thomas, who showed some scoring prowess in her first year with the Pride, is great at reading defenses and can shoot the three. Freshman Asia Jackson is a lightning quick guard who can play point guard, shooting guard, and even small forward. Payton will play a far bigger role after two seasons as a key reserve. Freshmen Sydni Epps and Alexis Carter are expected to contribute immediately.
Hofstra will face Auburn, Mississippi, Marist, St. Joseph’s, Princeton, and Northwestern before beginning CAA play. The Pride was picked third behind Delaware and James Madison in the CAA preseason poll.