The CSU women’s basketball team will start off next season with just one senior, down from the originally planned three as it was discovered Thursday that junior Alison Cheney has left the team, just one day after the team announced the release of junior Juanise Cornell.
Devran Tanacan, a 6-foot-4 center, will be the only senior left on the squad.
Cheney, a 5-foot-8 guard from Kersey, announced her departure from the team prior to Cornell’s release.
“It was a peaceful conversation, and it wasn’t a thing of where she did not like being a part of the team,” head coach Kristen Holt said.
With one year of NCAA eligibility left in her college basketball career, Cheney has decided to pursue other options for her senior year in the hope of more playing time.
“She put forth a lot of effort, but it was a playing time issue. I don’t know for sure what she is going to do. I know she mentioned going somewhere where she could finish out her one year of eligibility and play,” Holt said.
Cheney wore number 21 for the Rams as a walk-on from Western Nebraska Community College, where she earned an associates degree in accounting while leading her team to the Regional IX championship in 2008.
In her first season donning the green and gold, Cheney started five games, appeared in 25 and averaged 8.7 minutes per game, more than three other Ram players.
Under Cheney’s starts were teammates Tanacan, who appeared in 24 games with no starts; freshman Natalie Van Den Adel, who severed a 27-game NCAA suspension and played in the final four games; and freshman walk-on Morgan Ackley, who saw action four times.
Cheney managed to score 39 points for the season along with a field goal average of 32 percent.
“Walk-ons are in a tough position. Alison came from a junior college where she played a lot and was a star in high school,” Holt said. “I think it came down to she did not get the playing time she wanted.”
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at email@example.com.