Basketball: The changing culture

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The women’s basketball program at FSC has experienced quite a turnaround from a year ago. Part of the recent success can be attributed to the team’s skill on the court, but part of the big turnaround can also be attributed to the leadership from both the coaching staff, and the veterans in the group that have contributed much to the program over the past couple years.

FSC’s athletic director Pete Meyer saw that Coach Betsy Harris,  brought something special to the table.

“When I hired Betsy, I saw a coach who had experience at this level, in both recruiting and coaching,” Meyer said. “She had started a program basically from scratch at Coastal Georgia, and she won from the get go. With her playing background and her coaching background and her desire to become successful, to me it was a no-brainer.”

Coming off of a 7-20 seasonin 2013-2014, the Mocs have six returning players: Ali Sanders [Sleepy Hollow, Ill.], Cashala Thompson [Tucson, Ariz.], Morgan Siebka [Slippery Rock, Pa.], Mariah Harris [Gainesville, Fla.] Christin Strawbridge [Lakeland, Fla.] and Danielle Thomas [Conyers, Ga.]. The team also has six new faces: Jensen Blassage [Cherry Valley, Ill.], Gianna Vastola [Sarasota, Fla.] Kelli Schramm [Roseville, Minn.], Shaquita Snow [Orange Park, Fla.], Sydni Payne [Conyers, Ga.] and Syerra Davis [Tolleson, Ariz.].

Sanders, a junior, says that the coaching staff are a big reason for the success and the mentality every day in practice has changed the culture of the program.

“In comparison to last year, our mentality is on the game,” Sanders said. “The way that we play every game, and play in every practice has changed. That is due to our coaching staff and intensity. We are at a different level of intensity, and we try to raise it. Everything right now is just very high intensity.”

The team has already won more games this year than the program won last year. The Mocs held a 8-3 record, and had received votes to be ranked in the Top 25 in the country, before a recent four-game slide  to Nova Southeastern, Eckerd, Florida Tech and Tampa.

In a previous interview with “The Southern,” head coach Harris said that she believed a change in the mentality of the team would lead to greater success down the road.

“I think that if we get some mental toughness as a team, I think we can do well,” Harris said.

So far, Harris has done an admirable job in leading a program to a bright future.

 

Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com