Women's Basketball Home
Home of the Spartan Women's Basketball Team. Come back to see all the latest scores and game summaries. Remember, if you can't make it to campus for the game, you can still watch the Spartans play at home live online!
A thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to learn are the reasons this October may be one of the best for Coach Gilcrist. “Oftentimes, I think coaches believe they have all the answers or know everything that they can do to make their program successful. Although I believe Coach Dahlseng and I have a clear direction we would like to take this program, I understand that there are millions of ways to do the same thing successfully. I want to learn from the success of other coaches in the basketball profession. Most importantly, I like attending clinics and realizing that many times, we are doing the same things other programs are doing.” Beginning with last week’s Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Omaha, NE and this weekend’s South Dakota Basketball Coaches Clinic, Coach Gilcrist will attend four clinics before the end of October. Already having learned from coaches such as Jim Calhoun (Head Men’s Basketball Coach at UCONN), Matt Painter (Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Purdue), and Tara VanDerveer (Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Stanford), Coach Gilcrist also appreciated the instruction provided by less-known coaches Tim Miles (Head Men’s Coach at Colorado State), Rob Jeter (Head Men’s Coach at UW-Milwaukee), Ryun Williams (Head Women’s Coach at South Dakota), and Mike Neighbors (Assistant Women’s Coach at Washington). This week, Coach Gilcrist will head to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Clinic followed later in the month by a Halloween trip to Minneapolis for the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Clinic. Coach Gilcrist concluded, “Ultimately, it is my job to make sure that this program is a success. I have to be willing to understand that I may not have all the answers; I cannot be blind to other approaches that may be successful for us now or in the future. Finally, it is a great opportunity for me to connect with high school and college coaches all over the country. In order to grow this program, I have to make sure I am available to recruit all the best talent in the Midwest and have the connections to send them to the four-year level.”
With the Spartan Women's basketball preseason less than a month away, coaches and players are getting anxious for action. This week, the team roster saw a different type of action, losing a key inside player, as well as gaining a familiar face to possibly fill that spot.
Shannon Smith, a freshman from East Union High School in Afton, was notified last week that doctors are asking her to sit out the upcoming basketball season due to complications from off-season surgery. Shannon was expected to provide an inside threat and rebounding presence for the Spartan Women this season and will be sorely missed by her coaches. Coach Gilcrist said, "I know Shannon is really hurting right now. This was not an easy decision for her to make but ultimately, she has to focus on her health. Shannon will always be welcome in this program and I look forward to the day when she is once again healthy! I still want to see her wearing a Spartan uniform and representing the local area in one of the best conferences in the nation." It is unclear when Shannon will be cleared to return but she will continue studying at SWCC until further notice.
When Blake Sullivan first mentioned playing basketball last spring, Coach Gilcrist knew he may be adding a very tenacious inside threat to his team. Blake knows how to use her size and strength in the paint, but more importantly, she just refuses to give up the ball to her opponent. First noticed during last year's intramural basketball, Coach Gilcrist had this to say about Blake, "She is going to really improve our depth (especially after the absence of Shannon Smith) and her athleticism will allow Coach Dahlseng and I to really have 10 girls on this team that can run the floor non-stop!" Like her volleyball teammates (Amber Thomas and Kaley Folkerts), Blake will not join the team until volleyball season is over but she is expected to make contributions as soon as she is able to focus on her game again.
The Spartan Women's Basketball Program will undoubtedly find out where it stands before it ever plays its first official game on Tuesday, November 1 against Kansas City Kansas Community College. Completed late last week, the schedule is finally complete with the addition of an abundance of exhibition games. The Spartans have added seven exhibition games to their schedule to be played on four different dates. The exhibition season will open with a game against Doane College in Omaha. Marketed by both schools as a recruiting tool, Coach Gilcrist sees it as an opportunity to put the program in the minds of prospective recruits in the Omaha area. It will also give family members of current players an opportunity to watch the Spartans a little closer to home. The Spartans will then return to Omaha twice in the week to follow to play in the Midland University Jamboree and to face College of Saint Mary in a single game. The exhibition season will round out with contests against AIB in Des Moines and Graceland in Lamoni. Seven games spread over eleven days will test the conditioning of the Spartans, but it will also help them prepare for the November 1 start-date when they begin one of the toughest schedules in the ICCAC.