Women basketball on the right track

By Christian Mengel

January 14, 2013

This season has been nothing less than proof that the women’s basketball program is taking the necessary steps to become elite in this league. There were questions still waiting to be answered before the season about coach Rob Edmisson and if he could produce a lot of wins, and do it at this level. Edmisson has already shown off his tremendous recruiting skills by grabbing multiple junior college transfer players and a division one player. He has also proven he can adapt to new players quickly. It has been a growing trend lately to see teams at both college and professional levels adapt to big roster changes, and Edmisson clearly doesn’t have a problem handling a pieced together roster. His level of intensity both on and off the court is a testimony to show the leadership he brings is the leadership that was missing from this program in previous years. Speaking of the talent he’s dealing with, Heather Howard has been the dynamic game changer that we knew she could be for Western. The double-double machine has no trouble scoring or grabbing boards, and has been more than athletic enough for a post player to run the floor with this team. The athleticism and hustle has been easily noticed this season. Although turnover problems haven’t helped the Griffons, it’s okay to let them slide a little bit. Teams that play aggressive defense end up running the floor a lot, which increases a team’s chance of turning it over. The effort they bring to the defensive side of the ball has greatly helped the team get the record they have so far. The 11-3 Griffons mindset of defense first has continued to bring success. The scary part is how this team was pieced together more drastically than the teams they are playing against. While the teams they’re playing against have years of chemistry added up, the Griffons had to learn each other’s names in the off season. Their chemistry will continue to get better as they finish the regular season. As anyone can tell you, winning doesn’t matter unless you can, at least, win in your conference. Now that the MIAA play has been underway, we’ve been able to see how this team handles conference competition. Aside from the bad offensive night Western had against the ranked Fort Hays State, they’ve not shown many reasons to be worried about conference games. They were fortunately able to pay back Truman State for their first MIAA loss this season, but were just barely nudged out of a win at Missouri Southern. With 12 games left until the MIAA tournament, Western should have no problem getting a good spot in it. If they could win at least half of their remaining games, they’d be sitting on a 17 win season, which is more than enough. Western was able to get in last season with less than half of that.