With the arrival of the basketball season at the college comes another reloading of talent for head coach Ben Conrad and the women’s basketball team. The Cavaliers lost nine key contributors from last year, but still start the season ranked 4th nationally and predicted to win the Kansas Jayhawk Conference by the KJCCC website.“I think we’ve created a monster,” Conrad said, “I think you’d rather be in that situation than be the other way around where no one expects anything.”
13 of the squads 15 players are new this year, and expect the Cavs’ success to start from defensive side of the floor.
“I think this time of the year what I’m trying to do is really create an identity on the defensive end and really hang our hat on guarding people,” Conrad said. “Offense will always come as kids get used to playing in a system and get used to playing together.”
This team features more depth in the back-court than last year’s team and that may take them to another level. ”I think this year’s team has a higher ceiling honestly,” Conrad said. “Every one of our top six guards in my opinion is probably a division I player.”
The Cavs will continue to attack and play fast on offensive end as they always do.
“This team has the potential to play faster than last year’s team it just doesn’t yet and that will take some time,” Conrad said.
One player that the Cavs will definitely lean on is Sophomore Nieka Wheeler. Wheeler averaged 11.4 points per game last year and is certainly a key piece for the Cavs’ success this season.
“We have really good shooters on the team this year,” Wheeler said. “We have a lot of competitiveness and people who want to win and people who are not here just to be here.”
Last season ended with disappointment for the Cavs. The team lost only two games, both against Highland Community College, who stopped the team from advancing to Nationals, which was hosted by the college.
“Our motivation is to do all the little things right cause last year we didn’t do all the little things right and that’s what kind of got us beat,” Wheeler said.
The Cavs opened up the season with two blowout wins at home and will travel to Iowa this weekend for a pair of games against Briar Cliff University JV and Concordia University JV.