Georgia planned to slap a snarling woman-to-woman press and a 1-3-1 half-court trap on USC. Both tactics had worked at Texas, where the Longhorns had led by 12 in the second half before the Lady Dogs began throwing bodies at them. "They're so awesome physically and have so much depth," says Texas Coach Jody Conradt. "It was the first time I've gone into a game hoping another team's starters wouldn't get in foul trouble. I really feared the people on their bench were better."
But the Women of Troy had seen nothing but presses in their first six games, and Windham's and Cooper's understudies—freshman Amy Alkek and senior Juliette Robinson, respectively—have developed poise in the face of extended-court defenses. What's more, Miller has learned to circle back to help bring the ball up, and no one is quick enough to stay with her. "My role as a ball handler has created more offense for me," she says. "I can do pretty much what I want in the open court." Whenever Georgia tried a press, USC would sputter for a possession or two, but never stall. Said Landers, "Our pressure was good—until Miller got the basketball."
Some wonder how Miller, who weighs but 150 pounds, can get any better. "First her outside shot needed improvement, but she did that this summer," says Sharp. "What concerns me now is, she's got all that jumping ability and quickness, but when she goes into a crowd, she doesn't maintain her balance coming down. I'd like to see her concentrate on that—for her own safety."
And she might pay more attention to her diet. "Sometimes I just don't have the desire to eat," Miller says. "I suppose that would be a blessing for other people." She beat Georgia on Japanese noodles and root beer.
Good news for USC is that Cooper is due back this week, but Windham, Miller's roommate, won't be suiting up at all this season. Still, there's no reason why she can't make a valuable contribution. "Rhonda," Miller reports, "can really cook."