Redundant as it may sound to an outside observer, the one-at-a-time approach is the only way to eventual success for IU women’s hoops.
At least according to head coach Felisha Legette-Jack and sophomore guard Jamie Braun. The pair insisted that the current primary concern is not improving on the team’s Big Ten performance this season (they went 6-10 a year ago and face two more conference games on the slate this time around) but rather staring directly ahead at the next undertaking.
Moment to moment, practice to practice, exhibition to exhibition, and then when the time arrives, game to game.
“Let’s not even talk about the non-conference season,” said Legette-Jack after Monday’s practice. “I’m talking about today’s practice. We’re too young to stretch our minds. We have to stay in the moment.”
“Of course we want to do better in the Big Ten,” agreed Braun, “but I don’t really find myself looking ahead.”
Braun averaged 10.6 points per outing in 2006-07. She played in all 33 of the team’s games as a true freshman, starting 12, and was voted the league’s Sixth Player of the Year. This time around, she understands what’s coming rather than just trying to get through each day. “Last yearâ€™s preseason, I was like a lost puppy…I had no idea.”
Amber Jackson, transfer from San Jose State, is giddy over the prospect of appearing in the team’s first nine regular season games, rather than having to wait until second semester to begin her Hoosier career. Jackson was granted a hardship waiver from the NCAA excusing her from sitting out the full mandatory year after her departure from the Spartans.
“It put that extra fire in me,” said Jackson, who wanted to play a game after her Hoosier Hysteria exposure beacuse of the excitement. “Not that I wasnâ€™t working hard, but it was up in the air. Iâ€™ve been focused since I got here, but being that I know the season is right around the corner, Iâ€™m a lot more focused on playing.”
In the 18 days leading up to the exhibition opener with the Hoosier Lady Stars on Nov. 3, the team is introducing schemes for presses, press offense, and zone offense. On Monday, a good portion was spent on floor positioning, often new for the freshmen, of which there are six this season.