GOODLAND, Kan — After only mustering two wins in his first season as the head coach of the Northwest Tech women’s basketball program , Brock Kimball is ready to try and prove that year one was just a one-time occurrence.
“It was tough……..it wears on you,” said Kimball when talking about the 2018-19 season. The Lady Mavericks started the year 0-23 before their two wins came against Colby & Pratt in the month of February.
The Lady Mav’s return four girls from last years squad but will be without the teams leader in most statical categories last season, N’Dea Flye who is now playing at Butler University. But two main pieces are back in Josie Cook & Kiara Tharpe.
Cook, from Holly, Colorado, was the teams second leading scorer at almost 13 points per game and was the teams best three point shooter at close to 37 percent. “I surprised myself very much last year………..but I know there is a lot more room for growth,” said Cook who hopes to play at a more consistent level this season and transition into being one of the main leaders of the squad.
Tharpe, who hails from Tampa, Florida, is the teams top returning rebounder and was top three scorer for Tech last season. She will make the transition from being an undersized post to now playing more of her natural spot as a guard due to the incoming freshman class.
After a year and a half at the helm, Kimball feels like he has a better understanding of the Jayhawk Conference and what it takes to compete in the league.
“You have to have depth, you can’t really build around on player and you got to have shooter because every team in this league can shoot it,” said Kimball. “You have to get players who can play multiple positions and get up and down the floor.”
Kimball believes he and his new assistant Annie Kasssongo have really improved the depth of the team in bringing in a new group of players that can really compliment the four returners from last season.
One thing you will notice is the size as there are two girls over six-foot three and two more over five-foot ten. That is quite a difference when compared to last season when Kiara Tharpe was one of the teams better bigs at just five foot nine. There is also a lot of international flavor as three girls hail from Europe and Senegal.
Couple of new names that coaches are excited for are sophomore guard Zan White who transferred from Western Oklahoma State and will provide great defense and scoring abilities to the lineup. And, Lauryn “Lolo” Vieira, a guard out of France who moves as fast as any guard with the ball that Coach Kimball has seen.
Northwest Tech will face a brutally hard schedule to start the season which includes taking on a couple of nationally top-five ranked squads in South Plains & New Mexico JC before beginning conference play.
“We are going to have the toughest preseason schedule in the country,” said Kimball. “And we’re just going to compete no matter who we are going up against. It’s going to be a whole lot of growth and travel for our team this first month.”
Lady Mavericks begin the season at the Lady Texan Classic in Levelland, Texas this Saturday and Sunday playing against Coastal Bend College & #2-ranked South Plains.