We don’t talk about the Washington State women’s program enough, but as we head into Pac-12 play we plan on giving the Ladies some more attention. Not that they haven’t earned it. The Cougs are fresh off of a 57-51 upset of Gonzaga and not too far removed from a big time home victory, 62-55 against Ohio State.
But they’ve been very inconsistent and only boast 4 wins in 11 games so far this season. Part of that inconsistency comes from being thrust into a very difficult non-conference schedule that included BYU, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Louisville and Syracuse. But for the bigger story we’re going to look at the youth of the Cougar team. 6 freshman and 3 sophomores are part of the program right now and while not all of them are playing significant roles, some of them are having too.
Coach June Daugherty is high on her freshman class, boasting that she believes they are one of the best in the country. That’s a really good thing, considering how many of them there are. All jokes aside though, there have been growing pains and there’s not time for many more with conference play beginning Friday against Arizona at 7 pm in Beasley Coliseum. Daugherty on Arizona’s game.
They’re pressing you for 40 minutes, they’re gonna mix it up. We’ve gotta really have great ball security and be able to score with all the pressure that’s going on and not get into a situation where the shot clock’s going down and we have to take just any random shot.
She continued on in her press conference to talk about how her girls are adjusting to the tough schedule that has been laid out for them.
I’ve had that philosophy everywhere I’ve been, play the best to be the best. One of the beauties of six freshmen is they don’t know any different. There’s no reason for them to be intimidated because they don’t know any different.
Washington State is ready for conference play folks. The record may not look good just yet, but Daugherty says a realistic goal for this team, in spite of everything so far, is a 5th place or better finish. Remember last year’s team made semi’s in the Pac-12 Tourney, and with the Tournament being moved to Seattle’s Key Arena (where the men play an annual “Battle in Seattle”) the opportunity for some “home cooking” becomes more available. Get out Friday and Sunday to see the women start their conference season with hopefully a couple big wins against the Arizona’s in Beasley.