|Michelle Smith - 44
Smith is expected to be a top performer for the Lady Blazers this season ... her leadership on the court will be invaluable to the Blazers in 2002-03 ... she can be a dominating force in the middle ... combined with teammate Natasha Thomas to help UAB finish fifth in the country in rebounding margin (+11.5).
JUNIOR YEAR: Recorded seven double-doubles last season, all seven coming against C-USA opponents ... placed 12th in the league in rebounding with 7.2 per game ... was named Conference USA Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 4, averaging 22.5 points and 11.5 rebounds, while shooting 50 percent from the field ... posted back to back double-doubles vs. Houston and TCU ... recorded four straight double-figure scoring performances in games against South Florida, DePaul, Marquette and Tulane ... shot 50 percent or better from the field a total of 17 times for the season ... ended season ranked first in conference in offensive rebounds (4.15 per game), third in rebounding (8.8 per game), 14th in scoring (13.2 per game), eighth in field goal percentage (51.5) and 11th in defensive rebounds (4.62 per game).
SOPHOMORE YEAR: Missed the first 12 games of the season, recovering from surgery on a stress fracture in her left leg ? scored a season-high 18 points in the regular season finale against Houston (2/25), making 7-of-8 shots from the field ? scored 13 at Memphis (1/14), hitting all five of her shots from the field ? had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Tulane (2/18) in a season high 25 minutes ? pulled down 13 rebounds in first game against Houston (1/28) ? shot 57 percent from the field for the season ? averaged 15.7 minutes per game for the season, averaged 19 minutes over last nine games of the season.
FRESHMAN YEAR: For her work during the 1999-2000 season, she was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year ... she played in 32 games and started in 29 ... among C-USA freshmen, she was fourth in scoring with 8.3 ppg and first in rebounding with 7.5 rpg ... her rebounds were second most on the Lady Blazers? squad ... she scored in double figures 13 times ... she had four double-doubles ... she led UAB with 22 points and 14 rebounds in the school-record, 28-point deficit come-from-behind victory over Houston (1/13) ... followed that performance with 12 points and a career-high 17 rebounds (11 offensive) vs. South Florida (1/15) ... she had 15 points and 12 rebounds vs. Samford (12/18) ... she had 10 points and 16 rebounds (12 offensive) vs. Southern Miss (3/5) ... she scored 18 points vs Akron (11/26) and 10 points at George Mason (11/27) to be named to the all-tournament team at the Patriot Thanksgiving Classic in Fairfax, Va. ... she scored 17 points to help lead UAB past Mississippi State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament (3/19) ... she finished the year with a team leading 57.4 field goal percentage (109-of-190).
HIGH SCHOOL: Led Brainerd High School to state class 2A semifinals ... named Miss Tennessee for basketball in class 2A ... averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game ... named MVP of district tournament ... named to News Free-Press Super All-Star Team ... named to the Chattanooga Times All-Star Team ... scored over 1,800 points for her high school career ... named MVP of District 3 League.
PERSONAL: Full name is Michelle Denise Smith ? born, Dec. 2, 1980 ? parents are Easterling and Sandra Smith ? lists her favorite sports team as the Houston Comets ... favorite athletes are Cynthia Cooper and Michael Jordan ... ten years from now would like to be a successful basketball coach.