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Looking back at Year 1 for Jamelle Elliott

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Every coach would like to win more games then they lose, I think that goes without saying.  And while the Bearcats did not accomplish said goal this season, they did accomplish a lot.  First and foremost, they adjusted to a new head coach.  For Kahla Roudebush, Michelle Jones, Stephanie Stevens and Carla Jacobs it was their third head coach in four years.  That means twice going through transition and figuring out what a new coach expects. 

The Bearcats won on the road, in conference play, three times.  For the second year in-a-row, they won a first round BIG EAST Tournament game as the underdog.  They were picked to finish 16th in conference play and finished 14th.  Most importantly, they learned how to win.  With their backs against the wall at Louisville, they fought back, eventually winning in overtime.  Again, in a bad way at Syracuse they found a hero in Shareese Ulis, sent the game to overtime and stole a crucial road victory. 

Now the key is for the Bearcats to learn how to win consistently.  For Jamelle Elliott, winning is all she has ever known.  During her 16 years with UConn, she won over-and-over again.  She wants to do the same at UC.  While that sounds like a lofty goal, can you blame Coach Elliott for setting it?  It is all she knows. 

During her four years as a player for the Huskies, Jamelle lost 18 games.  Her first year here at UC she lost 18, won 12.  You know who else won 12 games their first year as a head coach?  Jamelle's mentor, Geno Auriemma.  His first year at UConn, the Huskies went 12-15.  Followed by 14-13 and 17-11.  It was not until his fourth year in Stoors, that the Huskies made the NCAA field for the first-time in school history.

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Comparing Jamelle to Geno isn't exactly fair.  Geno is a hall of fame coach, who has been a head coach for 25 years.  He took over a program that had one winning season in their history. One. The Bearcats have 22 winning season all-time, and hopefully more to come, with Jamelle Elliott leading the charge. 

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I will take a look back at the Bearcats incoming class and also look back at the accomplishments of the 2005 recruiting class and what they accomplished over the course of five years. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the season, shoot me an e-mail: Tom.Gelehrter@uc.edu and maybe I will do a mailbag on the first season of the Jamelle Elliott era, here in the near future.

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