During this holiday break there's not much of a break for the Bearcat women's basketball team, as is usual for a lot of basketball teams during this time of the year. While we won't see the 'Cats in action back home until next week, they're playing this week in the Hokie Classic--follow the action on gobearcats.com. But when they come back home, the Bearcats will have a new look, and perhaps a new attitude, heading into BIG EAST play.
First, Dayeesha Hollins should be closer to full strength. After injuring her shoulder in the Louisville game, Dayeesha had to sit out for a couple of games. She was able to play in the 'Cats last home game before Christmas, though, and with any luck will be closer to returning to her pre-injury form in January.
Second, Jeanise Randolph is returning from her back injury. She also got some minutes in during the Longwood contest to knock the rust off her game a bit before BIG EAST games in January. Jeanise's low post presence was missed, especially during that tough Louisville game, and it will be good to see her back in action.
Third, and it's a combination of the two aforementioned points, the Cats should be healthier overall. Bumps and bruises are the cost of doing business in basketball, but after a few days of holiday break, with any luck those will start to heal. Besides, you don't feel them as much when you're coming off a win!
January and February are important months for Coach Jamelle Elliott and the Bearcats, becase it's during those two months that we'll see how the first two months of games prepared this team for the rigors of conference play. While the BIG EAST is in flux, and some of these teams we'll see this year won't be back after realignment, it's also a great opportunity for the 'Cats, both now and in the future.
South Florida comes to visit Fifth Third Arena on January 3rd. Make plans to be there and support the Bearcats on what might be their most important conference season to date.