Coming off of a dominant showing in their lone exhibition game and a successful preseason, the College of Charleston women’s basketball team looks to start off the 2017-18 season on the right note.
Following a disappointing 9-21 2016-17 campaign and a heart-wrenching defeat in the first round of the CAA tournament, this new-look Cougar squad hopes to right the ship under head coach Candice Jackson.
Things will be different for the team this year, as star guard Breanna Bolden ended her historic career last season. Although the loss of such a dynamic player would set back most teams, Coach Jackson sees nothing but potential from this year’s group of players.
“We understand that people graduate and life goes on, but all of the things that Bre Bolden did and that she embodies, each of our girls have a piece of that with her.”
With a roster that features five freshmen and four sophomores, growing pains are to be expected before the team sees a sustained level of success. That being said, there is plenty of optimism to be had about the squad’s exciting classes of sophomores and freshmen.
“Our freshmen are really starting to pick up on some things, and they’re fun to watch” Coach Jackson noted. “Our entire sophomore class has also gotten better from last year.”
When asked about her expectations for this year’s crop of freshmen, Jackson stated:
“Our expectation for this group of freshmen is for them to be the players we recruited them to be. Lexi is going to be able to score from the high post and rebound the ball. Bre Goodson’s shooting has been her bread and butter. Destiny Marshall brings a lot of strength to our perimeter and will impact the game inside and out. Shai Blanding has a high basketball IQ and remains very steady.”
Such a mixed bag of potential stars in the collegiate circuit is enough to get Cougar fans plenty excited. Although the youth will be a key point for this year’s team, the six upperclassmen on the roster are sure to make a major impact with years of development under their belts.
“They’re ready. They all want the same things, to bring a more exciting atmosphere. A winning environment is something they all strive to be a part of.”
That winning environment is definitely something that this team would love to cultivate. When asked what she would like most to add to the team this season, Coach Jackson answered, “The culture, the attitude. No matter what happens, good or bad, just continue to fight for it, continue to push on.”
This type of mindset is key for any team hoping to turn previous five-point losses in tournament play into future deep postseason runs. With a roster jam-packed with this much talent, the sky is truly the limit for the 2017-18 women’s basketball team.
The Cougars open up their season on Friday at home against Lipscomb.