No vacation for Wisconsin

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoWith only one game left on the schedule, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team has entered its final week of regular season play.At 7-8 in Big Ten play, the Badgers stand alone at fifth place in the conference. With the Big Ten tournament looming overhead and the possibility of a berth into postseason play, UW head coach Lisa Stone’s squad refuses to look too far ahead — a matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes Sunday is the only thing on their minds.The seven-day break between games is the longest Wisconsin has had since the season began Nov. 10, but Stone assured the media Monday that this week is by no means a vacation.”We want to make sure our kids understand this is not a time of year to be complacent and lay off, and that message comes clear with us,” Stone said. “So what we’re going to do actually [Tuesday] is come in and watch film from [Sunday’s] game, in which many, many great things came from, and then use Tuesday as a position development day.Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, get the scout in on Iowa, and then we’ll practice here and then bus down on Saturday.”While there may only be one game left on their schedule, Stone knows it isn’t her team’s last with the Big Ten tournament and possibly an NCAA or NIT bid still ahead of them.”[We’re not] complacent or satisfied at this point,” Stone added. “The season’s not over. We have a lot more basketball to play yet this year.”In hindsightIn its 69-60 loss Sunday against Purdue, Wisconsin had several scoring droughts in which Purdue — led by Katie Gearlds’ 41 points — was able to make runs, and ultimately take and build on the lead.But Stone remains confident in her players and is convinced there is nothing wrong with their offensive mindset.”[We’re taking] balanced shots,” Stone explained. “They’re in rhythm. They’re within the offense. We just have to knock those down. So again, it’s repetition.”We just need to continue to work on repetition and catch to shoot, knees bent, etc., some little things that way,” Stone continued. “But you make one of those shots, it might change the pendulum swing. Unfortunately, we didn’t knock them down, at a rapid enough pace at the time we needed it.”Despite the loss, and despite their youth, there seemed to be a certain attitude, a certain swagger in those who donned the cardinal and white Sunday — a winning sort of swagger.”The swagger and the confidence, the maturity, the growth, all of it has been very positive,” Stone said enthusiastically. “The energy is still electric in the locker room. Everybody is in the same boat, and it’s been tremendous. We’re right there.”Normally, a team’s final home game of the season is dedicated to its seniors, but that’s rather hard to do with Wisconsin’s team, which lacks a single senior on its roster.Needless to say, Sunday’s game at the Kohl Center had a slightly different feel for this young team, considering they will all be returning next season.”When you’re playing your last home game and there’s not a senior on the floor and it’s more of a team-appreciation day than anything, we certainly are excited about what we’ve done this year,” Stone said. “I mean, we’ve racked up 18 wins, and we’re looking to head into the end of the season on a high note, play well on the road, take that then down to Indianapolis and the Big Ten tournament.”last_img read more