Women's Basketball Opens Practices for 2013-14 SeasonOctober 17, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – With the season just 22 days away, the Anderson University women’s basketball team began practices this week as the Trojans prepare to defend their South Atlantic Conference championship from a season ago.
One key factor to the start of Thursday’s practice was that first-year head coach Jimmy Garrity has full, healthy roster for the start of the 2013-14 season, including key returner, guard Sierra Simpson who is the lone starter to return this season. Simpson started 30 games for AU a season ago and looks to be a key component to the team this season.
Practice got underway on Thursday with layup drills the featured a passer, a shooter and a rebounder. The team focused on making shots and cutting to the lane quickly. The Trojans continued to work on their presence inside as players began a new drill when they would sprint to the foul line and catch a pass. From there, players would drive in for a layup or a 10-foot jump shot.
From there, AU took part in the “Europe” drill, a drill coined by Garrity. The format was similar to a three-man weave, but consisted of the last passer to become the shooter. Players got their running in on this drill, as they sprinted up and down the floor several times, making crisp passes and making layups.
The Trojans conducted their first team versus team activities when the team was split in offense and defense. Garrity awarded points to the offense when they would score and to the defense when they tallied a steal. That drill later shifted into a rebounding drill as Garrity gave single points for which team came up with a rebound.
Moving away from a the half-court drill, AU opened practiced up, as it moved into working on fast breaks. The fast break drill started with a two-on-one break, which would turn into a three-on-two on the next possession and so on, until it turned into five-on-five play.
Slowing practice down, the guards and posts were separated as each position took its own basket. Assistant Coach Mike Merrill worked with the guards, while volunteer Assistant Coach Amanda Parris worked with the guards and Garrity overlooked both positions. The coaches started with individual players, working on getting to the basket with different. That later shifted into plays after Garrity made teams of five.
To end practice, the Trojans scrimmage five-on-five as the Black team defeated the White team 18-9, as sophomore Katie Davis poured in eight points to lead the Black team.
“I feel like we’re right where we need to be after our third practice,” Garrity said. “We’ve put in a lot of new stuff and the girls are retaining it. We continue to add new stuff every day and we still have a lot to put in. I’ve been very pleased with their efforts and their attitudes have been tremendous. I feel great about our team right now and we’ll continue to progress every day.”
The Trojans will continue to practice throughout their preseason, as they are slated to begin their season on Nov. 8 at the Holley Tractor/Crescent Automotive Conference Challenge in Aiken, S.C. AU opens the season with host, USC Aiken, followed by a meeting with Lander on Nov. 9.