BYU girls’s basketball coach Jeff Judkins has had some fairly good mentors in his profession.
Utah’s Rick Majerus and former BYU’s Steve Cleveland each advised Judkins that the very best time he’d expertise as a head coach was the official begin of practices within the fall.
“You’re getting ready the crew to do the issues they should do in the course of the season,” Judkins mentioned. “No one is complaining as a result of no person has performed any minutes but. It’s a win-win state of affairs for us. Once I was an assistant coach, I hated it. However this time proper now’s the very best.”
The Cougars started fall practices on Wednesday with a loaded roster that’s including to Judkins’ pleasure. The return of sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales from harm and the addition of some key redshirts and transfers has BYU pondering massive.
“All people on our crew proper now’s a playmaker, can shoot and may drive,” senior guard Paisley Johnson-Harding mentioned. “It’s going to be troublesome to protect our crew, not to mention beat us. We’re deeper than we had been my sophomore 12 months (when the Cougars superior to the second spherical of the NCAA Event). We actually haven’t talked about crew targets but, however for me, an Elite eight could be superb. I believe we are able to get there. Being a 4 or 5 seed could be superior. Additionally, successful the WCC Event. After which successful the WCC common season, which we haven’t finished since I obtained right here.”
Final 12 months, BYU completed 18-11 and would have probably been invited to the WNIT had COVID-19 not canceled the faculty basketball postseason.
Judkins and his teaching employees have been capable of work with small teams and people since June, however now that his crew is all collectively, he and his teaching employees are looking forward to the probabilities.
“This crew is sensible,” Judkins mentioned. “What I imply by that’s they decide issues up in a short time. They’ll execute on the fly. We’ve got a number of depth and gamers who can play a number of totally different positions.”
The Cougars are nonetheless engaged on ending up the seven-game preseason schedule. WCC play begins on Dec. 28.
“We had a event in California (at Irvine) that was canceled,” Judkins mentioned. “So we’ll be going to a event in Las Vegas. We play LSU and Tennessee-Martin. We’ll play Dixie at Dixie after which we’ve got two dwelling video games towards Boise State and Montana State. We’re nonetheless making an attempt to get yet one more recreation towards an in-state college, like Utah Valley or Utah State, so we don’t must journey far.”
Gonzales, who averaged 17 factors per recreation as a freshman and scored 32 factors towards Stanford within the NCAA second spherical, mentioned her knee is feeling nice. She’s nonetheless carrying a brace however hopes to be rid of it for the primary recreation.
“We’ve got much more individuals who can add extra issues to the desk,” Gonzales mentioned. “We’ve got 5 redshirts and transfers and the chemistry is superb. We’re aggressive in observe. We push one another and make one another higher.”
Judkins mentioned two put up gamers — Michigan State switch Kayla Lee and redshirt freshman Kyra Beckman — are working by means of some knee points and he hopes to have them prepared for the common season.
Judkins additionally mentioned he was pleased to search out out that the NCAA has determined to present all of the winter athletes an additional 12 months as a consequence of issues over the impression of COVID-19.
“We simply don’t know what is going to occur,” Judkins mentioned. “Nevertheless it was a giant aid to all of the gamers. All of them texted me about how pleased they had been. I would like my 4 seniors (Johnson-Harding, Sara Hamson, Maria Albiero and Colgate grad switch Tegan Graham) again. They’re all superior younger women.”