The 2011-2012 women’s basketball season will be starting with their match-up against Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) this Saturday in Pullman.
“It’s been a long summer,” Head Coach June Daugherty said. “We’ve worked really hard as a coaching staff, and more importantly I think the players have. So we’re looking forward to a huge season.”
The women’s basketball team had an overall record of 8-23 for the 2010-2011 season, with a Pac-10 record of 6-12.
The first recruiting class is made up of seniors that have been improving each year, Daugherty said. The team’s goal is to hang a banner is Beasley Coliseum before they graduate this year, she said.
“We’ve got a lot of talent, we’ve got a lot of great leadership in the program and finally some really solid experience with the system,” she said.
The exhibition this Saturday will be huge for the team, she said. They have to be ready to play because they will not know what to expect from their opponent, she said.
“What’s most important to me, as a coach, is to make sure we have prepared our players as best as possible, to preform at a high level,” Daugherty said. “We want to go out there and show what we’re made of … and be able to execute at a very, very high level no matter who the opponent is.”
In practice, the team has figured out that they need to start hard and end hard, said freshman redshirt forward/center Shalie Dheensaw. The long-term individual goals of the team are to get stronger, compete more and get more physical, she said.
The goal in practice has been ensuring that the new members of the team are mentally prepared for the upcoming competition, making sure they know the plays and to make them more comfortable, said senior redshirt guard Jazmine Perkins.
The focus in practice has been both offensive and defensive discipline, said Daugherty. The team has been learning systems on both sides of the basketball, with focus going towards settling down and improving things like footwork, containment and the rules on both offense and defense, she said.
“(The team) is just doing a better job in general in being disciplined about everything that (they) do on the basketball court,” she said.
The team is stronger in the front line than they have been in years, she said. The team’s passing skills have gotten better and the guards are shooting the ball pretty well, she said.
“We need to take advantage of our quickness and our athleticism this year,” Daugherty said.