First Day Of Practice In The Books For Women's Hoops
Oct. 4, 2011
SEATTLE - During a taxing three-hour workout on Tuesday, Kevin McGuff continued to stress fundamentals with his players. As the process continues for the first-year UW women's basketball coach, his focus has remained steadfast on doing things the right way.
The Huskies were back to work on Harshman Court on the first official day the team could begin full-scale practices. Washington did have 10 workouts in preparation for its trip to Scandinavia in August, but those practices only encompassed a small portion of the McGuff system. Now there are offensive/defensive sets to install, and a belief system to shore up before the season begins with a home exhibition against Concordia on Nov. 8.
"This is a good start," McGuff said. "We have a lot of work to do going forward, but I wanted to reinforce what our goals are going to be during the preseason."
McGuff also has to re-jigger the rotation to make up for the loss of star guard Kristi Kingma, who will miss the year after undergoing surgery on her ACL last month. It's too early, though, to begin speculating on how those 15.6 points per game will be replaced.
The focus instead was on making sure the Huskies are on the right track to success. Over the course of the European tour, the Huskies learned plenty about their strengths and weaknesses. This helped the coaching staff identify the focus areas of player development right away, and tailor their practice plan accordingly. If Tuesday's workout is any indicator, the practices will be upbeat with a focus on competition and teaching.
With Kingma watching from the sidelines, the Huskies moved briskly from one drill to another, all while McGuff and his assistants provided instructions. The workout was intense, judging by the tired faces displayed by the Huskies afterward.
Walking off the court following practice, Mercedes Wetmore jokingly played up her level of exhaustion. But the sophomore guard later noted that she loved the level of enthusiasm from her teammates during drills. Wetmore is one of the players who raised her game during the team's trip to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Coming off a freshman season that saw her pickup more minutes down the stretch, the Lake Tapps, Wash., native exhibited an improved handle and was more aggressive in attacking the basket in Europe.
"I thought practice went really well today," Wetmore said. "We had a lot of intensity out there and we were all just really excited to get to work with the new coaches."