ADRIAN, Mich. – The women's basketball team will participate in the Hanover Sudexo Classic with a pair of games this weekend. The team will play host Hanover tonight at 6 p.m. and then Transylvania tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.
Coach Kathy Morris enters her 21st season at Adrian and is coming off an 11-13 (6-10 MIAA) record last season. The team is hoping to build off the momentum it generated at the end of last season when they won five of their last seven games.
"Our intention is to pick up from where we left off," said head women's basketball coach Morris. "We want to find what's going to work best for us- at what situation and what time, and go with it. Last year, we did a great job at the defensive end of the court and I'm hoping we can continue that. Offensively, we have four or five players that can put up double-digits on any given night."
Of the eight returnees and eight new faces on this year's squad, the team is comprised of three seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen.
"I feel very comfortable with the three seniors we have and the playing time they received and I certainly anticipate the eight new faces at some point having some type of impact. The newness of some of our players brings a totally different flavor to the floor. We will be a little bit more, up-tempo."
One of those new faces will be Amber McCullough. Coach Morris likes what she sees from her coming into the season. "Amber is very versatile and can play down the post with her size, leaping ability and vision. She is a total team player who blends in very well."
Coach Morris addressed certain key issues that may make or break a playoff run this season, having finished fourth in the pre-season coaches poll.
"I'm just hoping we can do a better job of finishing at the basket as compared to last year. If we can do that with some things different defensively, it might be a whole new look for us. Being able to score, apply pressure defensively and have more quickness will help, but perhaps our biggest challenge could be rebounding. I hate to say that because we've been so fortunate in the past at both ends of the floor and being able to rebound and make that a factor in every game. It's not that we don't have the talent to do it, it's just knowing when to do it and getting the new players blended into that."
Although the team came close to beating the top echelon teams last year, perhaps the biggest difference in deciding the games against those teams came down to the free throw line.
"We also have to be better as a free throw shooting team. Last year, it cost us a lot of games, especially when your there 25 or more times per game."
Tonight's and tomorrow's non-conference games against Hanover and Transylvania should be a challenge.
"Hanover was picked first in their conference going 21-5, while Transylvania was picked third," said Morris. "Each non-conference opponent all season, bring different types of basketball with good blends."