Inside Rutgers Women’s Basketball
I hope you guys didn’t miss me too much, but not to fret, I am back with my second blog installment. First off, let me just say congrats to RU football! What a great win over Arkansas to catapult us into both the AP and Coaches polls. The campus seems to really be buzzing with pride. From the perspective of our team, we could not be happier than when the other Rutgers Athletic teams are doing well (ok, maybe if we won a National Championship or if Coach gave us a day off we would be happier-but you get the point). As student athletes we have a mutual respect and understanding of the hard work that goes into being able to perform at the Division I level and we love to see one another be successful.
Now let’s get into the good stuff- what your Scarlet Knights have been up to. During the preseason there are strict limitations on the amount of time the team or individual players can be on the court with coaches. In these short sessions we have been focusing on fundamental skills and basic drills, to both get everyone back into the basketball mindset and also to get the freshmen adjusted to doing things the correct way. There is always a big learning curve for every incoming freshman both on and off the court. With that being said, I have been impressed by the adjustment of our freshmen as well as their willingness to learn and work hard. Another thing to add to my list of things that have impressed me is AB’s (Ariel Butts) and Lex’s (Alexis Burke) southern charm; I absolutely love their Georgia accents and AB’s constant use of “yes/no ma’am”. It is so unbelievably endearing. Anyway, aside from the workouts with the coaches, we continue to have lifting and conditioning sessions with Mike (Mike Johansen- our strength and conditioning coach) to keep ourselves strong and in the best shape possible.
Although it may seem like all we do is workout and go to class, there is some time (surprisingly) that is spent away from the court and classroom. Last weekend, we had two recruits on campus. It’s always exciting when recruits come because it gives us a chance to immerse these kids with Rutgers tradition and pride (having recruits also means free food!). To be able to see a recruit come in and have a physical reaction to our state-of-the-art locker room or to be moved by a highlight film from our Final Four appearances is always special. However, the best part about having recruits is going to Coach Stringer’s house for dinner. I absolutely love going to Coach’s house because it is one of the rare times when we can all hang out, not as a team and a coaching staff, but as a family. All of the pressure from basketball and school is released and we are free to enjoy one another’s company. Everyone jokes around with each other and there always seems to be an intense game of ping-pong going on. It worked out really well with the football game being on TV this Saturday as we were able to watch that as a team as well. Toward the end of the night, a spontaneous dance party erupted and even Coach Stringer got into the action. It was a great night and I think everyone there thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
I think that sums up what our team has been up to this week. Next week, official practice starts and this really marks the beginning of our season and our journey toward a National Championship. I hope you continue to follow the Scarlet Knights and me on this journey. I think it will be a special one this season. Take care and go Rutgers!
RU RAH RAH,
Brittany aka BLap