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What's Happening With Liberty Women's Hoops?
With four new players and two new coaches on board this season, the Lady Flames' first five practices have stressed the basics of the game, both offensively and defensively. This is a different situation than the Lady Flames experienced last season, when all 14 players and the entire coaching staff returned from the previous year's team. It is a change which Green insists has been welcome and positive, however.
"With the addition of four new freshmen and two new coaches, it has required us to go back to the fundamentals of teaching," observed Green. "This has been beneficial for everyone, coaches and players alike, as we have emphasized repetition in each of our drills.
"We have been trying to establish strong defensive principles and mental toughness," Green continued. "We have been working on different offensive and defensive schemes in practice. Most recently, we have focused on offensive execution and limiting turnovers."
Standouts of Opening Week
Although Green admitted it is still too early to make any definitive judgments on which players have made significant improvements over the offseason, he noted a pair of Lady Flames whose hard work over the summer is now paying dividends.
"Egle [Smigelskaite] has shown considerable improvement," noted Green of his 6-5 center. One factor benefitting the Lithuanian post is her health. She is in the best physical condition she has been since her freshman season.
"Also, Rachel McLeod got a head start on the other incoming players with the hard work and time she spent on campus over the summer," stated Green. "She is now reaping the benefits of her investment."
McLeod, a 5-10 freshman point guard from Houston, Texas, has held her own through the first few practices against incumbent senior point guard Allyson Fasnacht, despite experiencing what Green describes as "a whirlwind of a learning process."
New Leadership Board Created
Seniors Fasnacht, Smigelskaite and Courtney Watkins and juniors Megan Frazee, Rachel Hammond and Rebecca Lightfoot have been selected by their teammates to comprise the Lady Flames' first Advisory Board for Leadership Development.
"The purpose of this new board is to enhance communication and team unity," explained Green. "In addition, we intend to promote leadership development for these six individuals. They will be able to hold their teammates and each other accountable and foster personal growth."
The Lady Flames will practice at the Vines Center for the first time this season, tomorrow evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Continue to monitor LibertyFlames.com throughout the preseason for exclusive updates, features and interviews about the Lady Flames women's basketball team.