We're getting ready for the second season of Jamelle Elliott's tenure as head coach of the UC Bearcats women's basketball team, and here's what we picked up during this weekend's exhibition game against Northern Kentucky University:
Defense is key: If you don't play defense, you don't play. This team seems to be able to hustle a lot better this season on the defensive end of the court.
Newcomers will contribute: Freshman Kayla Cook had 13 in her 'Cats debut, including the free throws in OT that sealed the win. Fellow freshman Jeanise Randolph had a huge block against NKU in the final seconds as well.
The name game: The UC Bearcats now have a Tiffany (Turner) and a Chanel (Chisholm) on their roster. Can we now find a Prada who plays basketball to complete the high-end wardrobe???
And don't underestimate how big the win over NKU was. Yes, NKU may be a division down, but that means nothing to their style of play. Remember, NKU won this matchup last year. The Norse are always tough in their conference, regularly make the post season and won the second of their two national champions in 2008. Hall of Fame coach Nancy Winstel gets the most out of her players season after season--they are smart, they are disciplined and they can bury the three when needed. The Norse should do well this season--so don't think this wasn't an important win for the 'Cats--it was.
So now, we start the regular season--Friday at 11 a.m. against Southwest Baptist, then Sunday at 2 p.m. versus North Florida. It'll be fun to see the second season with these 'Cats.