By Kelly Todd
This year’s women’s basketball team is already doing better than last year, according to head coach Sandie Pothier.
Despite the absence of last year’s most valuable player and team captain, Teaka Grizzle, Pothier believes the team will be just as competitive.
“Teaka’s presence will obviously be missed but we have a very athletic team,” she said. “Each player brings a different weapon to the floor.”
Stephanie Hart already misses her teammate Teaka Grizzle.
“Teaka was one of our leaders and it feels odd that she’s not here helping run our offence,” said Hart.
This season will be Hart’s third and final year with the Rams and she hopes to leave on a good note. She is one of three veteran players who will be leaving next year.
Pothier feels that there are no superstars on the team this year; everyone is on the same level.
She says last year the devide between veteran rookie players ruined the season.
Pothier and her coaching staff changed almost every practice drill so that all the players started at the same level.
Pothier also says she plans to make the team’s offence faster.
“We are going to focus on our transition and fast break game because we have a more athletic team this year,” she said. “We also have a very strong post game that will be hard to stop once we do some fine tuning.”
Ashley Keohan, another veteran, plays point guard and is beginning her fourth and final year on the team.
Keohan said a faster offence will be good for the team because last year there were so many set plays it was hard to remember them all.
“[Last year] every time we ran a play at least one person didn’t know what was going on,” she says.
She added that she will have to take on a leadership role as five of the returning players are in second- year. There are also five rookies this year.
“There’s not as much experience as we’ve had in prior years,” she says.
The team’s potential, however, was illustrated when they defeated a Slovakian team club last week (66-62).
“It was a really good first game for us,” says Keohan. “It kind of gave us a little confidence.”
Pothier insists that her coaching staff will be making sure the team plays as a unit for the whole year and that there will be more team meetings “to keep up the off-court communication.”
The Rams first real challenge will come at the Ryerson Classic Tournament to be held in mid October.
On the following weekend both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will play in the Raptors Invitational Tournament.