With Health Comes Greater Expectations
DU women’s basketball enters new season as healthy as ever
Talk to anyone around the DU women’s basketball program and the one thing you’ll hear is how healthy the team is for a change.
“To practice every day with 14 players is a wonderful gift,” says coach Kerry Cremeans.
Last season the Pioneers were not only battling their opponents on the court, but also the injury bug. The team went through part of the season with only seven healthy players, forcing some to play 40 minutes a game. With a healthier team, Cremeans plans to rotate in more players and play at a faster pace.
“We do want to be up-tempo. We do want to create more havoc on the defensive end,” Cremeans says. “We have players now who have to adjust to the pacing of the game.”
The faster pace is something all the players welcome. “We have been working really hard to change our style of play,” says junior point guard Ciera Morgan. “Practices are a lot more competitive because we have healthy bodies running around the court. It’s really nice playing with 15 versus seven.”
The team is also adjusting to a lot of new faces. There are seven new players adding to the intensity of the practices. “We have depth this year that we lacked last year,” says senior center Jesse Spittel. “Each day in practice has been increasingly competitive, and we’ve worked very hard in the training room just to get stronger and healthier this year.”
As the Pioneers prepare to tip-off the season at home against Air Force on Friday, the team hopes fans will get excited about their new style of play. “Fans are going to see how up-tempo we are this year,” Spittel says. “Hopefully they can feed off our energy, and we can give back even more energy on the court.”
“Our expectation every single day is to get better, to make improvements, and we have the desire this year to really prove what we are capable of doing, which is to be playing some really good basketball in March,” Cremeans says.