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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sports

UH women’s basketball No. 1 2020 goal: ‘We plan on winning conference’


UH women’s basketball head coach Ronald Hughey draws up a play during a timeout | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH women’s basketball head coach Ronald Hughey draws up a play during a timeout. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Approaching the 2019-20 season, UH women’s basketball head coach Ronald Hughey was confident that their transfers had a good case to be granted immediate eligibility, but the NCAA deemed otherwise, requiring every one of the Cougars’ new transfers to sit out for the season before they could take the court wearing red and white.

This decision was extremely tough for the women’s basketball program because they were counting on their transfers playing big roles for the team.

As a result, UH only had a bench of two or three players each game, and the heavy minutes each player played took a toll on them throughout the course of the season.

While the heavy workload was extremely tough for the athletes who played last season, it was even harder on all the transfers who knew they had to wait a full year before they got their chance to take the court.

“I think I can speak for all the redshirts, we really did have a hard time (sitting out),” said redshirt sophomore guard Miya Crump. “We used to talk about what we were going to do next season when we get on the court. That’s how anxious we were to play.”

Some of them, including redshirt senior guard Eryka Sidney, had a countdown going with assistant coach Lasondra Barrett, eagerly marking off each day until they were eligible to get on the hardwood.

After a long year of not being able to play, the Cougars’ transfers finally have a chance to take the court this season and could not be more excited.

“It feels so good,” Sidney said.  “Last year, it was good cheering on my teammates and getting familiar with the culture, but now that I’m actually in action, I’m stoked.”

With the Cougars preparing for the 2020-21 season, Hughey has emphasized to his transfers to approach this season as a redemption year since they did not get an opportunity to play last season.

“We’re in for a redemption year and I’m telling you right now, we plan on winning the conference,” Hughey said.

“No ifs, ands or buts about that. We are putting the work in to do just that and the standard is set and we’re not backing down from it.”

While the logistics of the upcoming season are still being worked out due to the coronavirus pandemic, one thing is for sure.

“No one’s ever going to forget 2020,” said assistant coach Tai Dillard, “so you might as well do something special.”

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