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By GOOSE LINDSAY
College coaches at any level are always looking to sign local talent.
Roane State women's basketball head coach Monica Boles is no different and she signed two players from Roane State's back yard this week as the Harriman duo of Shantel Boyd and Kiersten Douglass both signed with the Raiderettes.
"I'm excited," Boyd said after signing. "I've wanted to play college basketball all my life and now I'm getting the chance to do it close to home."
"I'm really excited," Douglass added. "I've always wanted to play and I love the fact that I'll only be five minutes from home. I'm not quite ready to move away."
Boles is also happy that she is signing the Lady Devil duo, but her reasons are strictly basketball related. Boles believes the 5'2" Boyd will add speed and athleticism to the Raiderettes roster while the 5'11" Douglass will give Roane State a presence in the paint.
"I lover her athleticism and her floor presence," Boles said of Boyd. "She's a really quick defender and she has great jumping ability. I think she will be a good defender and she can score as well. Anytime you get a player that can do it on both ends of the court it's an asset.
"Kiersten will give us a true presence in the post and that's something we need. We struggle getting players with size around here. She is a good rebounder. She keeps the ball high and that's good. She plays big."
While both players have the ability to play right away, both know they have things to work on in order to contribute as freshmen.
"I know I've got to get quicker on my feet and I'll have to get used to playing against people my own size," Douglass said. "In high school I didn't play against a lot of people as big as me and I could just shoot over them. Now I've got to use my post moves and put the ball on the floor."
"We'll have to work on Kiersten's outside game," Boles added. "I'm not big on post players putting it on the floor a lot, but we need her to be able to shoot from the free throw area as well as take it to the basket from the free throw line."
For Boyd, she knows she has the physical tools to be a good college player. However, she knows the mental part of her game needs some work.
"We all know my attitude has been my weakness," she said. "I just don't like to lose and that gets the best of me sometimes. I believe I'll mature more in college and I'll be able to hold my composure better."
Boles believes Boyd's attitude will not be a problem and she is more concerned with Boyd being a confident player.
"Right now she's not as confident shooting the basketball as she could be," Boles said. "We'll work with her on her mid range jump shot and her three-point shot to make her a better shooter and get her more confident in her shooting."
Douglass and Boyd will be two of eight new faces at Roane State this fall and Boles says there is no reason why the duo can't play a lot or even start as freshmen.
"I never tell a kid that they'll get X amount of minutes," she said. "It's all about how hard they work and who will give us the best chance to win."
Douglass and Boyd are hoping their past history as teammates, however, will give them a leg up on the competition this fall.
"I know I've got a lot of work to do and I'll have to be in shape, but it'll help that I have a friend to play with," Boyd said.
"We already have a friendship and a familiarity with each other on the court," Douglass added. "That will carry over and hopefully help us this fall."