GW women’s basketball head coach Joe McKeown stood on the foul line and instructed senior guard Marlo Egleston as the team practiced one of its offensive plays. This followed sprints, shooting, and passing drills during the early part of Friday’s afternoon practice as the team nears its first exhibition game of the season.
The team is preparing for its contest against the University of Latvia Select team at the Smith Center Tuesday night at 7 p.m. As the beginning of the season approaches for McKeown’s team, the coach is looking for combinations that will spark the running offense he hopes to play.
We will have 11 different people who can play, and that’s encouraging, McKeown said. There’s not a big gap in talent between one and 11.
McKeown’s coaching continued as he carefully watched the pass and shot selections of his players as they scrimmaged in a half-court set. Freshman Lindsay Davidson took a pass inside the three-point line, heavily guarded, and shot an air-ball. Determined to get it right, Davidson received the ball in the same spot a few plays later and drilled the jump shot.
My three freshmen have really been outstanding, McKeown said. This might be the best shooting team I’ve ever coached.
McKeown said the freshmen, Davidson, Cathy Joens and Erica Lawrence, would play often this season, but he said he wasn’t yet sure how often and in what situations they would play.
We’re looking at a lot of four-on-four and five-on-five combinations. McKeown said.
Several players may be marshaling the different player combinations this season. During practice guards Egleston, senior Elisa Aguilar and junior Kristeena Alexander led different groups down the length of the court running the weave, a combination of sharp passing drills. Before senior Starr Jefferson completed the drill with a layup, McKeown directed a message through new Assistant Coach Kara McVey for Alexander to make crisper passes.
Our guards could compete with anyone in the country, McKeown said. He noted that their quickness would be invaluable for a running offense and pressing defense.
New assistant coaches McVey, Kathy Wilson and Tori Harrison help McKeown run the practices, making it easier for the head coach to focus on specific areas of his team.
The coaches bring a lot of energy and a vast wealth of experience, McKeown said.
McKeown indicated that his team’s lack of size might be a problem this season. For now, he said he is trying to find different combinations that will be successful in the upcoming practices and exhibition games.
Right now, we’re just looking for who can play with who, McKeown said.