Hello Scarlet Nation!
Sorry for my little hiatus but I have been busy with the start of our season, practice, class, and most importantly catching up on 30 Rock (I absolutely love Tina Fey). So, a lot has happened since I’ve last written- the election, the move to the Big Ten, Thanksgiving, and of course the start of our season.
In regards to the move to the Big Ten, I think we had a great run in the Big East- one of the nation’s strongest basketball conferences. I have grown up with Big East basketball and will miss the rivalries that have been established. However, I am very excited that Rutgers has been given the opportunity to join the Big Ten and believe that this move will help the university in a multitude of ways. The Big Ten is filled with prestigious institutions and with the addition of both Maryland and Rutgers, it will only continue to grow.
Now for the fun stuff! We have kicked off the season with a 2-1 start. Our opening game at Georgia was a great measuring stick for us to understand where we stand. Georgia is a great team and we struggled in taking care of the ball against them. Even with 26 turnovers and subpar offensive execution we were able to hang with the Dawgs, eventually losing by six, 57-51. Although far from an ideal game, we were able to take valuable lessons with us. One thing that I believe in firmly is taking weaknesses and turning them into opportunities for improvement and success. This mindset is what we must use when evaluating all of our games, win or lose. A huge positive to pull from this game was the play of Christa Evans, my little goat (greatest of all time). She played, what I would consider, the best game of her collegiate career- playing great defense and controlling the boards on both ends of the court.
The execution in our second game, our home opener against George Washington, was far from what we had planned for. After the Georgia game the importance of taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers was stressed greatly by the coaching staff. And when I mean greatly I mean running for every turnover in practice. This did not translate to the court against the Colonials and we again found ourselves struggling offensively. Fortunately we were able to pull away and pick up our first win of the season. On a positive note, Kah (Kahleah Copper) had a great game and was able to show off her ability to get to the hole and rebound. I constantly find myself amazed by her athleticism and gracefulness on the court. I wish I could be 1/6 as athletic as her. (Although I am a better juggler, so that makes me feel a little better about myself.) Even though we recorded the “W” there were not many happy campers after this one- we definitely needed to regroup and play our patented brand of Rutgers women’s basketball.
I’m going to interrupt my rundown of our schedule to give Coach P (Pointer) a shout-out. As I am sitting here writing this in the athletic training room at the RAC, she came in and asked to be included in this blog post. So, here’s to you Coach P- I see you rocking your brand new Nike ice FuelBand.
Back to our last game- an away contest against Temple. Coach Stringer, not being exceptionally happy with our past two games, had put our Thanksgiving on the line with this game. It was a simple deal, if we won and took care of business, as Scarlet Knights should, we would have Thanksgiving off. If not, we would be in the gym on Thanksgiving working on our game (very much like how the Pilgrims worked on their ball handling skills on Thanksgiving). With this extra motivation and our regrouped focus, we were able to finally put together a complete game. Everyone contributed in a positive manner and we were finally able to handle the ball, committing only 13 turnovers on the night. It was great to see everyone from the freshmen to the seniors putting up positive numbers and offering effective minutes. Needless to say, we were all extremely happy when in the locker room after the game Coach Stringer jubilantly let us know that there would in fact be turkey and stuffing for the Scarlet Knights.
On Thanksgiving all of the local kids had the opportunity to go home and spend the day with their loved ones. I personally went into NYC with my parents and saw the Radio City Christmas Show Spectacular, which in fact was spectacular! I had a great time spending time with my parents, Santa, and the Rockettes. All of my teammates who do not live in the area spent Thanksgiving as a Scarlet Knight family. It’s always tough for the players who are far away from home, especially the freshmen, to be so far on occasions like this. That is why the importance of being a Scarlet Knight family is stressed. We do all consider one another sisters and help each other in times like this. I hope all of you out there in Scarlet Nation had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Speaking on behalf of the whole Scarlet Knight family one of the things we are thankful for is the continued support of our dedicated fans. Thank you for taking the time out of your lives to support and encourage us through our ups and downs. With that being said, our next game is against Davidson at home on November 25 at 2pm. I hope to see you all at the RAC!
RU RAH RAH,