Women’s b-ball team one down heading into season
Injuries and dropouts aren’t a disadvantage, says coach
Heading into the season with only 11 players on their roster, the women’s basketball team might seem to be starting the season with a disadvantage.
It’s an easy case to make when facing teams with anywhere between 12 and 14 players on their bench.
However, head coach Joe Enevoldson doesn’t see it that way.
“It’s funny, we say it all the time — we are the deepest, but also the shallowest,” said the Cougars coach.
The way he sees it, he’s got the depth to make it work.
“I can play 11 pretty comfortably,” he said. “We are quite comfortable going into the season.”
It wasn’t the way Enevoldson saw the season unfolding this early, but his hand was forced with two players skipping school and another, last season’s starting shooting guard Nikki Golding, tearing her ACL over the summer.
“Really, we were at 13, 14 players even as late as July, but one thing after another things happened over the course of the summer, so now we are happy with that number,” he said.
The coach could have picked up new players, but it would have been harder to find proper minutes to distribute around the bench, he said.
But Enevoldson admits he’s always one injury away from being quite shorthanded, something he’s worried about with a full roster, as well.
“As of right now, we have a couple of different options we can go,” he said. “We like our 11 and we will see what happens.”
Of the 11 players trying to improve on last season’s bronze-medal finish, only one player is a true freshman, Jessica Comfort. (The other freshman, India Ashboth, is 21-years-old.)
The team has come together nicely, with team members preaching the hard work they had over the course of the summer.
“They worked extremely hard,” Enevoldson said. “Our assistant coach was pretty hands on with them over the summer.”
“We trained super hard, went at least five days a week,” said fourth-year point guard Emily Larson. “Everyone is really looking forward to the season. Everyone has been working hard all summer, all preseason, we are ready to get after it.”
In his fourth season, Enevoldson said the back end has shown a lot of promise.
“Our guard play is very good this year, probably our best since I’ve been here just in terms of overall skill set, toughness, desire, all of the things we need,” he said.
“We have four, five or six guards that can really handle and play real aggressive on the ball.”
On the front end, the team will be forced to deal with the loss of all-conference post player Jamie Morck who graduated after last season.
“We’ve got post players that really learned from her over the course of the year,” said Enevoldson. “We are definitely the deepest team since I’ve been here.”
Still, like most teams, they are starting the season with a championship on their mind.
“I think it’s a good added pressure,” said Larson. “You want to go out on top, you want to go out with a bang and so I think it’s just something to motivate us even more.
“Give it our all and hope for the best.”
The Cougars start their season on Oct. 22 with a matchup against Medicine Hat College.