The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

June 18, 2013

Alabama, Auburn women's programs might be on rise

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn and Alabama women's basketball teams are now led by energetic recruiters with winning track records hoping to lead a return to the halcyon days when both were NCAA tournament regulars.

The Crimson Tide hired Kristy Curry from Texas Tech in May to revive a program that hasn't cracked the NCAA field since 1999. She embraces the rebuilding challenge.

"We've got to get better in every aspect of the program," Curry said. "I always say you either accept it or you correct it. We're here to correct it and not accept where we're at, but to get better. We're looking forward to that challenge.

"We're going to correct it and do all that we can and move forward. That starts with the kids in place and secondly with recruiting at the highest level."

Equally ambitious is Auburn's Terri Williams-Flournoy, who has a year's head start on her Alabama counterpart.

The former Georgetown coach led the Tigers to a 19-15 record, including three victories in the Women's NIT, in her first season. Now, Williams-Flournoy will have seven newcomers in her first full year of recruiting to join three returning starters led by second-team All-Southeastern Conference pick Hasina Muhammad at guard.

The last year hasn't dampened her belief the program that made three straight national title games under Hall of Fame coach Joe Ciampi can once again become a regular in the NCAA tournament.

"I don't know if it gives you more confidence," Williams-Flournoy said. "I'm a very confident person either way. I think that the depth gives us the chance to ability to do a little bit more and press a little bit more."

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