Sun Belt: Jennings, Sheild Building Success at UALR

By Jean Neuberger - October 24, 2006

Rashad Jones-Jennings is the nation's leading returning rebounder, and with such a powerful weapon on his side, Steve Shields has high hopes for his UALR Trojans.

"Rashad is our hardest worker," said Shields. "His leadership and work ethic are contagious to the team. He's in the best shape of his career. Usually, with JUCO guys, you expect one and a half years of play from them, given the other half year is spent on the transition to the program. We never had that problem with Rashad. I'm excited to see what kind of season he can have this year."

What's the key to Jennings, a small forward, being such a great rebounder?

"The key is Rashad assumes every shot will be a miss," said Shields. "And I mean EVERY shot. That's not something I taught him. I can't take the credit for that. That's just a natural talent that he has. He's the first one to dive on the floor or fight his way inside for the ball."

As for his team, Shields believes that the perimeter shooting of the Trojans should help his team be strong this year.

"Our weakness has been our perimeter shooting," said Shields. "However, with Cory Johnson, Terrance Akins, and Stevie Moore, who's from Little Rock, will help us out in our perimeter game, as well as our defense."

Shields also expressed the help of the new Stephens Center to his program.

"With the extra amenities, weight room, locker rooms, academic centers...everything we have now is first class," said Shields. "It helps greatly in recruiting. Take Rashad for example. He visited us, then he visited Oregon, a major Pac-10 school. When he picked us, he said the Stephens Center was one of the main reasons."

Posted by Jean Neuberger at 02:09 PM on October 24, 2006

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