The Lincoln Blue Tigers women’s basketball staff feels it has the workers to compete in MIAA this season.
The Blue Tigers get their first alternative to showcase their new roster at 5:30 p.m. as we speak after they open the season towards Arkansas-Monticello within the Central Region Challenge in Fayette, Iowa. The Blue Tigers additionally face Southern Arkansas at 5:30 p.m. Saturday to wrap up the occasion.
“Last year we weren’t able to get a specific rotation due to injuries, and knock on wood, we’ve done pretty well so far,” stated Lincoln coach Drea Mize. “We’ve had a few heartfelt injuries, but overall I think we’re a little better built for MIAA from top to bottom.”
Lincoln has already gotten off to a promising begin along with his exhibition schedule, highlighted by his 75-66 loss on the highway to Division I Indiana State on Nov. 3.
The Blue Tigers had 4 gamers who scored double digits, pressured 28 turnovers, and had been in rivalry with the Sycamores for the sport. Mize believes there is nonetheless loads to enhance, regardless that the top end result seemed so promising.
“I think it was a really good pre-season for us. I’ve tried to schedule as many scrimmages and shows as we can,” Mize stated. “… I thought we did a really good job in terms of preparation. To be perfectly honest, everyone was pretty excited about how well we fought, but if you look at the stats, we really didn’t do that well. We ourselves had many shortcomings.
“I thought some kids have really stepped up, I really like our rotation off the bench. We had 48 points off the bench, that’s phenomenal. I think that shows how diverse we are.”
Lincoln is coming off a 5-23 season by which he completed 1-20 in MIAA, however the Blue Tigers are bringing again eight gamers and have some newcomers they count on to make a big influence.
Niyah Jackson, Kelsey Mitchell, Mercy Gonzalez, Le’Yanna McGinnis, Aryeona Carter, Imani Jones, AJ Bradley and Aliyah Bello are all coming back from final 12 months’s staff, all of whom had important taking part in time final season.
The returnees have loved their function as leaders of this Blue Tigers staff and have completed an ideal job of pushing the youthful gamers early of their careers.
“We lost a kid or two this preseason because the returnees really set the bar,” Mize stated. “I always say that some of the best teams are run by players, not coaches. It’s my job to teach them the X’s and the O’s and give them guidance to get out of here with a degree, but some of the best teams are the ones that manage themselves.”
The group of eight will certainly be pushed for beginning roles by the newcomers, as Saniya Simmons — a freshman from Olathe North (Kan.) High School — and Miriam Bazylewicz — a sophomore from Independence Community College and initially from Madrid, Spain — every began within the exhibition towards the state of Indiana.
“[Bazylewicz]has been phenomenal for us, whether she’s coming off the bench or starting for us like she did against Indiana State,” Mize stated. “She did a really good job of being everything we need.
“[Simmons]is a leader, that’s why she was brought here. … She comes from a great family tree. Her sisters are Division I cheerleaders, and her father played Division I football and the NFL. The kid knows how to fight and knows what leadership looks like.”
Ashlyn Alloway is one other newcomer from Olathe North and is anticipated to be on the beginning lineup if the staff recovers her from a contusion bone damage within the subsequent week or two.
“I think Miriam and Ashlyn have been the stickies so far this year,” Mize stated.
The Blue Tigers have needed to cope with a number of different accidents away from Alloway to date.
Bello is nonetheless recovering from her cruciate ligament rupture in January and might be out for a number of extra weeks, and newcomer Hannah Nybo – who performs for the Norway nationwide staff – suffered a cruciate ligament rupture a few weeks in the past and is anticipated to overlook the season.
Mize is searching for her staff to struggle early within the season as she has deliberate a harder schedule out of convention to arrange the staff for MIAA motion.
“I think we have to fight,” Mize stated. “I’ve definitely thought about creating a stricter schedule outside of the conference. I figured I didn’t do the best job outside of Illinois-Springfield last year preparing us for what was to come at MIAA. I think I was so worried about wins. Everyone loves seeing wins in the wins column, but if it doesn’t prepare you for the 22 conference games in MIAA, I don’t think it’s beneficial. We really tried not to schedule any copycat games this year.
“We actually attempt to struggle as a lot as we will early within the season to arrange the younger youngsters and the returnees for what’s to return.”