Young Westminster College team is learning to jell By Rachel Atkinson
December 8, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune
The Westminster College women's basketball team is young but it has a lot of talent.
The Griffins are 3-6 this season but have already had a few big wins, demonstrating their ability to play well in the future.
"I expect this season to be up and down," said Westminster coach J.D. Gustin. "We are really, really inconsistent at this point, but we have the potential to be very competitive and that is where we are trying to go."
The team is young this year, with two freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior in the starting lineup.
"Our weakness is just lack of experience and playing time together," Gustin said. "It's going to take some time, but we have good players so we are just figuring each other out."
To improve, the team is working on the little things, such as limiting turnovers and being a better rebounding team.
"You can't watch everything, so you have to pick a couple of things and really try to get good at those," Gustin said.
Many of the players are still adjusting to playing at the collegiate level. They are used to just traveling 30 to 50 miles from one high school to another, and now they are required to travel across the country for games.
"The main difference is the athletes," said Shannon Evans, a freshman on the team. "Everyone is faster and everyone is stronger. It is definitely a different level but I think it's coming pretty natural to us. As far as experience, obviously we aren't experienced on a college level yet."
To improve, Evans said it is essential that the team come together.
"It is important to understand each other's personalities and how everyone plays because you can't win without all five," she said. "You need to be so close that you would do anything and everything for each other and when you do that, you win ballgames."
She said each team member has to work individually to be better for the team. That when they lift a little while longer or shoot for a few extra minutes, it needs to be because they want to do it for the good of the team, rather than for themselves.
"No team is going to win with a couple of individual players," she said. "Talent can help you win games but, really, you need a whole team effort."
The team's goals are to not lose another game on their home floor and to remain positive so the team can get better everyday. They would also like to have some more big wins this season and qualify for the conference tournament.
Evans thinks the team will do well in the future because all of the players are willing to try hard to play well together.
"We have a lot to improve on as far as technique, and defense, and getting back and little things like that, but I would say what we are best at is our work ethic," Evans said. "I just think the biggest thing with us is the things we are doing wrong can all be fixed in practice. The things that can't be taught like being good teammates, loving the game, and working hard, we all have, so I think our potential is really great right now."