Written By: Austin Wells
With the season two weeks away, the Lady Blazers basketball team will look to improve off an injury filled season resulting in an eighth place finish in the Gulf South Conference.
“We basically only had seven people playing last year,” head coach Kiley Hill said referring to last season’s injuries. “We came off of a Sweet 16 appearance two years ago and then we’ve just been a roller coaster. We’ve had quality kids and quality players, but the injury bug has just eaten us alive.”
Despite the injuries, the Lady Blazers still finished with the second best defense in the conference, allowing only 59.1 points per game. Although the team had a successful season defensively, coach Hill still thinks there is room for improvement.
“We weren’t very good consistently,” Hill said. “We could make stops when we had to but not overall. With this year’s group being so young, it’s going to be rough early but I think we’re going to have a chance to be very good by the end of the year.”
Coach Hill went on to discuss the depth of this year’s squad and how the mix of youth and experience could lead to a promising season for the Lady Blazers.
“We’ve brought back seven kids from last year and we brought in seven new ones,” Hill said. “Out of that group of seven new ones, five of them are freshman who are trying to figure out what this new world is all about and the speed and size of the college game. With our returning kids’ experience, once our new kids start figuring out what we’re asking of them and what the rigors of the Gulf South are about, good things are going to happen for us.
“We feel that these pieces, the seven old and the seven new, give us some major depth which will help us in the long haul.”
The Lady Blazers first game is Nov. 14 at home against Eckerd College.