Season Preview: Women's Basketball

Season Preview: Women's Basketball

The Lady Lions will be in a youth movement this season as they have five new players this season along with three returners. 

The Lions will be led by returners Brynn Crockett, Chambre Droste, and Gracelynn Erickson. Brynn Crockett is the leading returner, although she did have her season cut short by a torn ACL she is ready to return for her junior year. In 17 games she averaged 8.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, she also added over an assist and almost two steals per game. Chambre Droste is the returning post player as she gives the Lions much needed height in the middle, she played in 14 games last year while playing she added 7.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG. Gracelynn Erickson is the other returning Lion as she played in 23 of the 24 games and started in 11 of the contests. She played around 18 and half minutes a game; she excelled in the on ball defense for the Lady Lions.

The Lions also added a transfer athlete in Kennedy Nofziger who comes in as a junior. Coach Nowell also added four more freshmen athletes to the team as well in Katie VanderEide, La'Anna Golden, Madison Fisher and Sydney Marquis.

I caught up with the head coach Rachael Nowell to ask her questions about this upcoming season. 

What will be the challenges with a really young team/ how do you get the freshmen up to the speed of the college game?

The challenge of a young team is definitely to minimize mistakes.  It is eminent that young players will make more mistakes than a seasoned team, but the challenge will be to learn from and correct those so that we can be playing our best basketball come tournament time.  The best way to bring freshmen up to the speed of the college game is to emulate that in practice as best as possible and then get your freshmen playing time in games.  With our lower numbers, our freshmen will see plenty of court time, which will hopefully speed up the learning curve.  

What will you look for out of your three returning players?

Every year when seniors graduate and athletes move on it's tough to see them go, but it is also neat to see your returners step up and assume new leadership roles.  It is also helpful to have returners to teach our offensive and defensive systems to incoming players.  I have already seen great leadership in my returning players and I am hoping that their previous experience and playing time converts to a higher-level performance this year.  

What will be the keys to having a successful season?

I know one of the keys to a successful season will be to continue to grow and improve as a team as we look to peak in February.  As I said, coaching a young team just takes time and experience to develop talent and team chemistry.  I hope that as the season progresses we see that steadily grow.  One specific key that I am looking for is to see the scoring role distributed among four to five players.  If I can have four athletes averaging double digit scoring, it will make us a much more well rounded and difficult to defend.   

 The Lady Lions will kick off their season Friday, November 9th against Leech Lake.

Tanner Twigg, SID