Prescription for success

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 21, 2005

OXFORD — In a few years Carletta Brown plans to be fillingprescriptions at a pharmacy. The Ole Miss senior point guardalready knows the prescription for basketball success.

Brown and the Lady Rebels have made the Big Dance and they playGeorge Washington University tonight at 8:30 on ESPN2 in the NCAARegional Tournament at Chapel Hill, N.C.

A biology major, Brown plans to begin pharmacy school at OleMiss after she graduates this spring. A native of Roxie in ruralFranklin County, Brown stirs the Ole Miss offense and effectivelydistributes the basketball to her talented teammates.

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Brown’s role has definitely changed since her high school careerwhen she was the offensive show at Franklin County, leading theLady Bulldogs in scoring. Her skills earned her The DAILY LEADER’sArea Player of the Year accolades in 2001.

“I try to run the team,” said Brown, a hustling 5-foot-4playmaker. “I can score if needed. I try to set up my teammates sothey can score. You have to play your role when you get tocollege.”

Brown is averaging 8.7 points per game. She has 135 assists and51 steals to her credit this season. The daughter of Carlton andLola Brown has the best free throw shooting percentage on the team,making 79 percent from the charity line.

Ole Miss carries a 19-10 record against the Colonials who arebased in Washington D.C. The Lady Rebels finished 8-6 in theSoutheastern Conference.

“We’ve had a pretty good year,” said Brown. “When I first gothere, it was tough.” She played two years for former Ole Miss coachRon Aldy.

After Aldy was fired, former Ole Miss guard and Florida coachCarol Ross took over. The Lady Rebels have made 2 straight NCAAappearances under her direction.

“We have turned it around the past two years,” said Brown.”Coach Ross pushes us hard every day in practice. She motivates usto give a great effort.”

Playing basketball in the super-strong SEC is a demanding task.Brown and the Lady Rebels battled national powerhouses like LSU andTennessee.

“All the SEC teams are tough,” said Brown. “Anybody can beatanybody. Tennessee is tough and LSU is the No. 1 team in thenation.”

Brown said she has steadily improved as a point guard. “I feel alot better about handling the ball. I had a stretch where I wasn’tshooting the ball very well, but right now everything is prettygood.”

Ross said she appreciates Brown’s contributions to the team.”Carletta is everything that you would want in a player. She bringsto me personally a lot of pride in how she represents Ole Miss as aplayer and a student. That’s a combination in what we lookfor.”

Ross said Brown is the consummate point guard. “She’s unselfish.Carletta will do whatever we ask her to do. She cares more aboutthe team than she does herself. She has the respect of her coachesand her teammates.

“We have a lot of confidence in her. She has the ability to leadthe team on the floor like all great quarterbacks do.”

Offensively, the Lady Rebels are led by 5-9 sophomore ArmintiePrice of Myrtle. Recognized as the SEC’s Defensive Player of theYear, Price averages 17 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

Amber Watts, a 6-3 senior from Utica (Hinds AHS) averaged 11.8points and 6 rebounds for Ole Miss. Also in the starting lineup are5-8 senior guard Elizabeth Cansdale of Boulder City, Nev. and 6-1freshman forward Jada Mincy of Memphis.

Brown said Price is a great player. “Armintie works hard everyday in practice. She’s a great rebounder and she’s everywheredefensively.”

Asked about Ole Miss’ chances against George Washington, Brownsaid the Lady Rebels must slow down 6-foot-1 center Anna Montanana.A product of Spain, Montanana was a finalist for the KodakAll-America team.

“George Washington is a pretty good team,” said Brown. “Theirpost player (Montanana) is unbelievable. She can handle the ball,pass it and shoot.

What is Brown’s prescription for an Ole Miss victory?

“I think we’ll use a man defense to slow (Montanana) down,”answered Brown. “We’ll try to keep her from getting the ball.”