By Yera Nanan |Staff Writer|
With less than a month until the first game of the season, the women’s basketball team is getting ready to deliver a great performance.
Last season the team had a great run, going 14-13 overall and 10-10 in the CCAA.
The team is looking to go above and beyond this season, hoping to reach the CCAA Tournament semifinals for a third consecutive season, with the chance of winning the championship.
“We want to win a championship but that can’t happen without doing things day-to-day,” said assistant coach Tulyah Gains.
The women’s team has never won a CCAA title but have made six NCAA appearances, their last being in 2011.
“We have the big picture, but the smaller picture is getting after it every day,” continued Gains.
The coaching staff works hard to educate their players on how the little things can win or lose a game.
Both Gains and head coach Susan Crebbin are firm believers in basketball fundamentals and how these fundamentals can win games for the team.
“It has been a process to learn but the main thing is just learning everyday, so we have made great progress,” added Gains.
A hard-working environment where players with constant conditioning is necessary to prepare for games.
“It’s not bad since the classes are easy but practice is tiring and I work as well,” said Courtney Coleman.
“We definitely have to be more attentive and coachable,” continued Coleman
There are new drills constantly being taught with old drills being repeated over and over again.
Some interesting drills that looked effective in practice were intricate layup lines, “Long Beach-Short”, which involves full court passing and shooting and five vs five.
There is definitely a great conditioning system in place with the ladies doing suicides periodically between drills and five vs zero, a full court chemistry drill.
Though these may be good drills there is an interesting situation the coaching staff finds themselves in.
There has been a large addition of new players being both transfers and a handful of first-year players.
The process of learning the drills and plays may have been difficult at first, but the team has made great progress.
“We actually only brought back four players from last season, so the majority of our team is actually newcomers,” continued Gains.
Though there are only a small number of returners on the team, the veterans have taken up the responsibility to show new players the system.
When teaching the drills and plays the coaches will use the returning players as a visual aid since they have everything memorized.
They stress the importance of everyone getting along and building good team chemistry as the newcomers must learn through trial and error.
“Last year we had a core group where most of them were returners,” said Gains.
“It wasn’t as difficult to get to know each other and go through that process,” added Gains.
Attendance at the games was a major problem the team faced last year and are looking to change that this season.
“One thing that we’re hoping and excited for this season is to get more people out to the games,” continued Gains.
Last season the team only averaged 460 people in attendance for their 11 home games.
“More attendance at the games will help us in getting more wins,” said veteran player Eleeza Owens.
High attendance will aid the team tremendously when playing teams like UC San Diego and Cal Poly Pomona, which have high rankings before each season.
“There is a lot of talent in this conference and each game we’re going to have to bring it,” said Gains.
With the team having a championship on their mind, a great season is upon them.