The IUPUI women’s team has completed three full games so far in 2011, and there’s already plenty of change from last year’s squad. Austin Parkinson’s ladies are 1-2, but the strides made in the off season – including new players on the floor – will clearly pay dividends down the road.
In my pre-season meeting with Coach Parkinson, one of the things he kept mentioning was how each game will taken as it comes. So far, he’s done just that with his ladies. Against Purdue, his alma mater, his ladies put up a gusty performance through 30 or so minutes, 29 more than one would’ve seen from last year’s team. While they were unable to get an offensive rhythm going in West Lafayette, his ladies came ready to implement the new “speedy” offense against St. Francis (NY) in the second game.
Despite the poor shooting performance at Indiana State, Parkinson’s optimism was evident. He mentioned to radio broadcaster Scott McCauley that 16-60 shooting wasn’t on his mind, but instead his ladies lack of defense in the first half. The Sycamore lead was built in the first half only, as the teams were basically tied in the second. He was proud of the 41 percent his defense forced, and that, to me, is impressive. Growing pains will be there in his first few years, but his ladies playing his style of basketball is what’s most important.
The offense will come eventually, but, as they say, defense wins championships. It seems if they keep playing this lock-down defense (spurred by DeeDee), they'll be successful. And soon.
Alex Thompson – Alex hurt her knee in practice and was scheduled for surgery today (Wednesday) for a torn meniscus, but received word just before the
Shakeeta Cotton – Word is unclear what she did to her knee. First it was an ACL, maybe an MCL, but for now she’s not putting weight on it for two weeks and will be reevaluated.
Janna Eichelberger – After suffering a hand injury and missing the first three games, Janna will be day to day on while in Kansas for the Basketball Traveler’s Inc. Tipoff Classic.
Dawn Luster – Dawn had a sprained ankle that she was nursing over the last two weeks. She is day to day moving forward, and saw limited action at Indiana State.
Katie Comello – She took a knee to the side of the face against Indiana State, but won’t miss any time outside of what she missed for treatment during that game.
If anything has hurt this season’s progress, it’s been injuries. Alex Thompson looked great in the scrimmage and opener at Purdue, but went down with a knee injury the next week. Shakeeta Cotton and Dawn Luster both have missed time, and both are missed greatly coming off the bench. Janna Eichelberger’s hand injury has kept her off the floor and made the inside game for IUPUI even more limited than it already was.