New coaches improving women's basketball teamBy Jasmine Cannon | 10/24/2012 11:00pm
The Alabama women’s basketball team may just shock the basketball world this year - or at least are track to do so.
Since head coach Wendell Hudson took the reigns of the program, the team has shown some improvement, with glimpses of brilliance. There have also been those times of disappointment. However, the Tide is approaching this season with an entirely new coaching staff, with the exception of Hudson.
Hudson ventured into the high school girl’s basketball arena and came back with assistant coaches Tim Miller and Donnie Quinn. The two are former coaches at Bob Jones High School and Hoover High School. Both of the schools have accounted for the past five class 6A state championships.
Hudson also brought aboard Clarisse Garcia, the former head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I believe all three of the coaches will have excitement and passion, and hard work for the Alabama program.
Alabama will also see two former Rutgers University players suit up in the crimson and white this season after they sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules. Briana Hutchen and Daisha Simmons are both classified as sophomores on the roster and should be a help to the Tide program after coming from a tough Big East school.
It seems as if the women’s basketball program is setting itself up for success in the near future. Last year’s team was without former McDonald’s All-American, Kaneisha Horn, who had to sit out her sophomore year due to a torn ACL.
Horn made the All-SEC Freshman Team her first year at Alabama and there will be high expectations for her return this year. There will also be high hopes for the team’s four returning starters: Khristin Lee, Jessica Merritt, Meghan Perkins and Jasmine Robinson.
The Tide had its first practice three weeks ago to start working on building court chemistry. The team’s first game will be an exhibition battle against Stillman College before they take on Jacksonville State for the first regular season game.
The real test of the Tide will be in January when they begin conference play. They will travel to Texas A&M before taking on Kentucky at home. Last year, Alabama stunned Kentucky, who was ranked No. 7 in the nation at the time.
I think the key word for this season is chemistry. Will the coaching staff mesh in their first year? Can the players work as a single unit on the court? Will everyone work together to build a successful season?
I’m optimistic but interested to see how everything plays out.