TRU women's basketball starts season at home
contributed/Thompson Rivers University
Image Credit: Thompson Rivers University
November 03, 2016 - 11:29 AM
They are talking ‘new dynamic’ when it comes to the makeup of the 2016-17 edition of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s basketball team. As the season gears up to get underway on Friday (Nov 4), the ‘Pack are at home opening weekend to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
Friday night's tilt is set for 6 pm on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre. Saturday’s encounter has a 5 pm tipoff.
“We are very young but they are a smart group which is coming together,” says head coach Scott Reeves. “We have had a pretty tough preseason which was done intentionally to introduce them to what Canada West is going to be like now that we are travelling all the way out to Manitoba for league games unlike the last couple of years. I think the team is coming together and is starting to understand our systems. I am excited to get it going.”
Reeves has enjoyed success coaching at the high school, university and junior national team levels. With having a young squad, does that mean he will have to exude some additional patience? “It is so different in high school because you start with a young group and you teach them all the way through so when they become older they get it. In University, you are recruiting young but you already have some old so trying to catch up if the IQ isn’t there is can be a struggle. It is so important that when you recruit you have to judge whether they can understand the game of basketball—can they learn it? This group has been pretty good about catching onto stuff. I am excited for the future but also excited about being able to compete against teams like UBC.”
He adds: “With veterans especially when Jorri (Duxbury, guard, Salmon Arm, BC who graduated two years ago from the TRU program after five years) left. She filled such an important role for us. The point guard who calmed everything down. She knew what we were running. Understand the defense and get us into positions to have the best chance of success. Once you lose that, it becomes a waiting period before you get that fourth or fifth year guard to run your stuff.”
The WolfPack have no fifth year players. Their fourth year is forward Shenise Sigsworth (Kamloops, BC). “I’m excited about this year,’ she says. “ We are developing our skills and have made so much progress over the preseason. It is really exciting how we are progressing from game to game.”
“We have a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the year and how it will unfold,” states Michelle Bos (3rd year, forward, Surrey, BC) who is the co-captain of the squad with Sigsworth. “We are all at the same level. If one person falls down the others pick them up and support them. As a third year captain, Shenise and I are stepping into a leadership role for the first years. There is always a huge learning curve whether it’s learning the plays or the dynamic of travel. “
Bos says while the ‘Pack are youthful that doesn’t mean the overall dynamic of the team has changed from previous years. “We have always been strong in that sense.”
Reeves believes those two players along with Emma Piggin (3rd year, guard, Kamloops, BC), who was a Canada West all-star last year will be the key players he will go to leading the way on the court.
Sigsworth believes the guard position is one of TRU’s strengths. “We have a lot of key shooters. Michelle and Emily Vilac (3rd year, Kamloops, BC) are the forwards. Both have been playing really well so far. She says the ultimate goal for this ‘fresh faced laced’ squad is to make the Canada West playoffs for a sixth straight year. “We want to make the playoffs for sure.”
This is a ‘McDonald’s weekend” which means there will be some special events coinciding with that. As well on Friday, there will be a VIP area set up near the court and it is “Country 103 FM” night.”
This weekend’s games will be webcast on a pay-per-view basis on CanadaWest TV with Brenden Escott, Jamie Schinkewski doing play by play and color. Nikki Fredrikson is back to provide pregame and between quarter interviews. They were the webcast team last season and were critically acclaimed as one of the best combos in the Canada West.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016