Fast break to aid Cougars’ struggles
The Cougars (4-12) haven’t gotten off to an ideal start, but they know what they have to accomplish to hopefully produce some wins: starting and ending with a productive transition game.
Pushing the ball after obtaining rebounds or getting turnovers is an area of focus they need to get better at, as they have struggled to get easier chances at scoring in the fast break from the moment of tip-off until the clock hits triple zeroes.
“I think we’re a little slow coming out of the gates,” Scott said. “We got to push the ball up a little bit better. But if we don’t have it, we have to make better decisions with (the ball).”
Former point guard Porsche Landry was a big contributor to the transition game last year, with her ability to push the ball down the court and getting everyone involved.
“Porsche was obviously a great player who was really fast and helped me get a lot of points in transition, but without having her, we’re going to have to figure it out and learn how to play more as a team,” said sophomore forward Marche Amerson.
Guards like sophomore Alecia Smith and junior Demetria Foreman have been looked to in order to fill the void that Landry left, but that area still warrants some improvement. The Cougars are scoring only 57.3 points per game and averaging only 8.2 assists per game — both last in the conference.
But the Cougars feel like their struggles are not because of what their opponents have been doing to them, but what they haven’t been able to achieve within themselves, which has translated into difficulty on the court.
“Obviously, we’ve struggled, but we’ve just tried to work on us more,” Amerson said. “Going over the defensive side and kind of going over scout is important, but we’ve tried to focus more on the things we do well individually to put them together, collectively, to make us get that win.”
Amerson said the team needs to bring more of the enthusiasm and intensity to the beginning of the game, not letting them fall behind early in the game, which has been its Achilles’ heel.
Last season, the Cougars were at their best when they pushed the tempo in the open court, finding teammates for easy score opportunities — something they haven’t been able to do this season.
Senior forward Te’ Onna Campbell has shown that she can score in the half court, but she’d rather see her and her teammates get easier opportunities to get buckets.
“The quicker we score, the better. Because we don’t have (Landry), it kind of changes the way we have to play, being more patient,” Campbell said. “We definitely have a different kind of tempo, compared to last year. We got to work with what we got.”