Another year of women’s basketball is on the horizon and expectations are as high as they’ve ever been for the Trojans.
“These are the highest expectations I’ve had in my years at SAIT.
“At the end of the day it’s getting to nationals, and nothing else will be accepted,” said 22-year-old Kaitlyn Beard, who’s in her third year with the Trojans.
There are seven returning players and eight players who are new to the team.
Coach Donovan Martin, in his seventh year with the Trojans, is please with how the team is coming along.
“We have a really good group with a nice blend of returnees and rookies, there’s a lot of talent and depth in that room,” said Martin
“A few of [the high-school girls] will stay after practice to get in extra time to take shots, it shows how willing they are,” said Beard.
Coach Martin isn’t sure how he’ll mix the players once the regular season starts and is using the Trojans nine-game preseason to determine who will play with whom.
“Everybody will play during those games and they’ll sort themselves out and demonstrate who can get it done in the crunch, and that will show me who’s playing most,” said Martin.
“The chemistry on this team is fantastic,” said Beard.
The Trojans have been hard at work during practice trying to alleviate last year’s downfalls.
“We all have two separate practices a week on top originally scheduled practices,” said Beard.
By the end of last year, Coach Martin said perimeter shooting became an issue for the team.
“Through recruiting, we’ve found people that can consistently shoot from the outside,” said Martin.
A pressure defence and pressing the opponent is how the Trojans want to play this year.
“We want to play man-to-man with a full court game.
“Creating turnovers, steals and having more shot attempts than the other team is paramount,” said Martin.
Defence is what the Trojans emphasize the most and it’s been their staple throughout Martin’s tenure.
At the end of the day, it’s getting to nationals and nothing else will be acceptable. – Kaitlyn Beard
Their first three pre-season games are all on successive days.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, the girls play in Medicine Hat.
The subsequent Friday is in Lethbridge and Saturday sees them in Edmonton playing NAIT.
The Trojans kick off the regular season in Grand Prairie on Oct. 18.
The women’s 2103 schedule is currently available on the SAIT Trojans website.