Senior Jasmine James has started 88 of 91 games she played for UGA.
Nov. 9, 2012
ATHENS --- Slowed by an injury last season that forced her to miss seven games, Georgia Lady Bulldogs guard Jasmine James is ready to make up for lost time this season.
The senior from Memphis, Tenn., believes that health and a rigorous preseason training regime have her prepared for her final season at Georgia.
"I feel great; I'm 100 percent and had a great summer of training," James said. "I was able to stay healthy and I'm just looking forward to having a great, healthy season."
James is one of six seniors on this year's team along with Jasmine Hassell, Anne Marie Armstrong, Ebony Jones, Tamika Willis and Danielle Bennett. Five of the six have played together since their freshman season, with Bennett coming to Georgia from junior college last year.
Being able to keep this group together and building bonds with them is something that James appreciates ahead of their last year together.
"It's a great feeling to have. We've been together for quite a while and I just feel like, over the past few years, we've developed a great chemistry from working together as freshmen all the way through now," James said "We know what the other person is capable of and that's going to help us a lot on the court when we're playing."
The large group of senior players is one reason, among many, that James is excited about the 2012-13 edition of the Lady Bulldogs.
"I'm excited. I think we have a lot of experience and a lot of young players that are very talented. They've caught on with everything very well," she said. "I think that over the past three years we've done a lot of work that we'll be able to translate into a lot of wins and we'll go far in the tournament."
Head coach Andy Landers has lavished praise on the five freshmen joining the Lady Bulldogs this year and James backed up her coach's observations.
"They've just been really receptive of the information that they've taken in on a daily basis. They come in every day and they're focused and you can just tell that they're ready to learn and they're willing to learn," James said. "Because of that, they've been able to pick up on a lot quickly. They are just a talented group of kids and I'm just really excited to get on the court and be able to play with them."
As a senior, James said she has tried to help her younger teammates adjust to playing for Georgia. She has concentrated on trying to build the same consistency she has enjoyed at the university.
"As upperclassman we've been able to give them tips on things that are new to them but things that we've been doing consistently over the past few years," she said. "We've been able to talk to them about things that are going to come up as the season goes along as well. I'm just constantly trying to talk to them and keep them focused on what we're trying to do and help make sure that they know what we're trying to do."
The combination of talented youth with the proven experience already present on the Georgia team has James excited. She said that this year's Lady Bulldogs should be an exciting team to watch.
"I think we'll be really athletic, we'll have a lot more depth than we have while we've been here and we have a lot of talent," James said. "I think the team will be looking to keep up our high tempo defense as well as turn that into some quick offense."
James and the other five seniors begin their final season when the Lady Bulldogs welcome Rutgers to Stegeman Coliseum this Sunday with tip-off set for 2:00 p.m.