Q: How hard was the last year when it came to recruiting?
A: I think it was extremely hard for every coach in the country and in all sports because it’s really hard to truly evaluate just off film. Being able to watch how they are in warm-ups, how they are after games, win or lose, all those little things, watching that live, there’s nothing that compares to that. We had to adapt and do what we had to do in the virtual Zooms and all that. These kids, I truly believe, need to be on campuses. They need to build a feel for the culture, the feeling of the campus. Hopefully, we can stay on track COVID wise and we don’t have to go back to the Zooms because you can’t make up for that personal feeling of actually being somewhere.
Q: The two recruits in your 2021 class, Brynn Shoup-Hill and Shannon Wheeler, did you get to see either of them in person before the pandemic?
A: Brynn, we recruited for a while, and I’d seen her and she had been to campus numerous times. Shannon, we had seen her live, but she didn’t get to come down to campus where we could meet face to face. But she came down on her own throughout (the pandemic) and was able to just do her own tour.
Q: What kind of reports did you get on how the two incoming freshmen played during their senior years?
A: They both had really good years, and I think they are continuing to get better. As soon as they step on campus here, you add the strength and conditioning aspect and the individual work that we’re going to start doing, and I think the sky’s the limit for both of them. They both have a ton of upside. I just can’t wait to work with them.
Q: Are either of them on campus, or do they get here later this summer?
A: They get here later. We only have five (players) right now on campus.
Q: When will you start summer practice?
A: June 28 will be our first day. They’ll move in that weekend. And then we’ll get started that Monday and kind of go through to the end of that summer session, which is that first week of August.
Q: How much are you looking forward to a normal summer after last summer was disrupted by the pandemic?
A: Last year, there wasn’t anything in July. I think it was late August by the time we got on the floor. With such a veteran team coming back, we’ve actually been working out a group this week — the five that are here — because we’re only using six weeks of practice in summer session two. It’s just great to get back to it, and I think this summer is going to be a critical piece for us moving forward.
Q: How unique will the coming season be with the three seniors (Erin Whalen, Jenna Giacone and Araion Bradshaw) returning for an extra year of eligibility?
Q: We’ve got three sixth-year players who are obviously very experienced and veteran players and great leaders. They’ll be one year older. That’s why we’re really excited to get them back and and can’t wait to get to work.
Q: What will your focus be in practice for the six weeks when you’ve got the whole group together?
A: Everything will start with the foundation and the basics and the skill work and the fundamentals of our expectations. Last year, we didn’t have summer practices, and eight of our players had never played a minute of college basketball at Dayton. Now this year with only two true freshmen and everyone else being back on a more veteran, experienced team, we’re going to be able to get into things a little bit quicker. But we’ll still always talk about our foundation, our basic fundamentals and our core values. Then I want to progress a little bit quicker into system stuff and get into our offense and get into some of our defenses early in the summer that we weren’t able to get to really last year.
Q: One change coming to women’s basketball is the 3-point line moving back to the men’s distance? What do you think of that?
A: I was for it. There are two lines on the floor anyway, and half the time, I feel like you just end up shooting from that second one. I think it’ll spread the game a little bit more, spread the floor and may separate the OK shooters from the great shooters. We’ve been practicing with that for the last week. I haven’t seen that big of a difference. So I think it’s a good thing.