The media got its first look at this year’s women’s basketball team Tuesday during Central Michigan Media Day at McGuirk Arena.
Head coach Sue Guevara addressed the team’s high expectations for the 2012-13 season and Mid-American Conference Championship.
“We got to the championship game last year, and we expect to get back there; and with this team right here, our expectations are higher than third in the MAC West,” Guevara said.
Coaches and players discussed the upcoming basketball season, including Guevara, who enters her sixth season as head coach and begins the season one victory shy of her 200th career win.
“It’s time for another season, and I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “All 15 players are competing very hard. I have been pleased with the competitiveness that we have. We are an athletic team, and we have experience back. There is no substitute for experience, there is no substitute for quickness, and we have that. There is no substitute for size, and I like the size that we have.”
Because of player versatility, Guevara said she likes her ability to play several different lineups this upcoming season. The team has veteran experience returning from last year, which includes a trio of players who were selected to the MAC All-Freshman team last season.
“We have five or six players that are very versatile … we have some that can play 1-5 and other players that can go 2-4,” Guevara said. “Last year, we had ten players that averaged double–digit minutes … of those ten, nine are back.”
CMU brings back all but two players, including sophomore Crystal Bradford, who was the only MAC player last season to lead her team in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks. She also set MAC Tournament records in field goals made, field goals attempted and rebounds.
With expectations being high, Guevara said her team’s goals are clear.
“I think it’s important for everyone who was here last year to step up, because they know the expectations,” Guevara said. “Our players know what it takes; they know the work that it takes to get to where we want to go, and that is critical.”
Junior Taylor Johnson said she is amped up to go further than the 2011-12 team did.
“The bar is set high from what we accomplished last year,” she said. “Our expectations are to get to the MAC finals again and win it; that is our goal. We have the whole team back. We are going to be a dominant team this year, and I’m very excited for it.”
CMU will look to build on last year’s success, which included a seven-game win streak – the longest since the 1987-88 season.