The Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team shared a video on Instagram on Friday, showing fans what they’re up to this summer.
They dribbled with two balls at once. They dribbled between cones. They ran to spots on the floor and pulled up for jumpers. They worked on their post moves.
The entire team is on campus for the second summer session, including three newcomers: junior college transfers Brittany Ward and Shakeela Fowler; and Syracuse transfer Julia Chandler. The players will train for six weeks. They get two hours of coaching each week.
Coach Shauna Green and her staff will focus on small group workouts with limited team workouts later in the summer. She doesn’t want to jump into running plays. She would rather focus on fundamentals.
“I view this summer and summers in general as a time for getting our players better,” Green said. “We tailor the workouts. Every player is different.”
In her first season, Green’s team won a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA tournament by winning the conference tournament. Now she’s preparing for season two. She touched on the importance of the summer practices and many other topics in an interview Friday at UD’s Cronin Center.
Q: You have two new assistant coaches: Ryan Gensler and Calamity McEntire. Are you excited about the staff you have going into your second season?
A: I’m really excited. Last year was obviously a great year. What we did as a staff in the situation we were put in, with me coming in … they didn’t sign up to work with me. Jim (Jabir) had hired them. I was so happy with how we handled everything and what we accomplished. We brought in new people with fresh thoughts. They’re high-energy people. You get new ideas and new ways to do things. So far the transition has been great. It’s early, but our players have connected with them.
Q: What are your early impressions of the two JUCO guards?
A: They’ve surprised me. When freshmen and any new kid comes in, I try not to have too high expectations because everything is completely new: how we do stuff, our terminology, the pace, what we demand as a program. I thought they’ve been great in workouts. They have a long ways to go, but they’re coming along. We had two workouts this week, and their second workout was way better than their first. They’re getting the terminology in how we do stuff with footwork. I’m very detailed with that. They need to be able to contribute. We need them. I like them because they bring experience. Both come from high-level JUCOs.
Q: How will Chandler, who has to sit out this season, approach the year?
A: I told her, ‘This is an advantage to you.’ She’s going to use this year. She’s already played in a Final Four. I don’t care if you played one minute or two minutes or not all. You’ve been in that event, and you’ve won. That experience is going to be big. She’s a big 6-2. She’s wide. She’s strong. She’s kind of like our ideal big kid we’ve had, like an Ally (Malott). She can go inside and out.
Q: How did you react to losing your only incoming freshman, Sam Breen, who signed with Penn State instead, late in the process?
A: In this business, you can’t get too high or too low. It happened. You move on. It is what it is. I really didn’t lose too much sleep over it. We just kept grinding and working. Anytime a new coach comes in, it’s going to affect your recruiting. You saw it on the men’s side. You saw it with us. It sometimes affects two years really. When I took over in September, all the 2017 class was done making decisions. The options we had were really junior-college players and transfers or fifth-year grad transfers who could play right away. I wasn’t going to take a kid just to use a scholarship. We were very selective on the players we recruited. We even dropped some along the way because we didn’t think they were a fit for what we wanted to do.
Q: How is recruiting for future classes going?
A: I think my first true class will be the 2019 class. We were doing home visits when I first got here with the 2018 class, but the 18s were a lot of people I wasn’t familiar with. The 19s I feel really good about.
Q: How did you handle handing out the Atlantic 10 championship rings?
A: We really said, ‘This is it. Last year’s over. You got your ring. If anything, use this as motivation. Now it’s all about this year.’ Last year was awesome. We learned so much. There was a lot of good and a lot of bad. There were a wide range of emotions. Now it’s over. That’s how we do everything. Last year we never talked about championships. It was all about the process, one day at a time. How do we get better every day?
Q: The Los Angeles Sparks drafted Saicha Grant-Allen in the second round. UD has seen three players drafted in the last three seasons. What does that do for the program?
A: I think it’s huge. In recruiting, it’s huge, too. It’s really hard to get drafted. It’s almost impossible. We’ve had more people drafted in the last three years than a lot of power-five programs. It speaks to the program and really the coaches and the assistant coaches and the development of those players and how we approach that development. We want to try to recruit the best players, but we’re not always going to get an Ally Malott, who was a high school All-American. We have to put even more time into the development to make the player better.
Q: How is the schedule looking?
A: I thought last year was hard. Last year was the hardest schedule we ever had. This year you don’t have the UConns and the big names, but in terms of the RPI, it’s probably harder than last year. We have a few more home games, which I’m excited about, and some good home games. We have James Madison here, Virginia here and Green Bay here. Those are three really tough games in terms of RPI. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ve got to do that to put ourselves in the best position for the end of the year.