The Cal State Stanislaus women’s basketball players are approaching the final days of a 19-day layover between games. During this break, which includes taking this week off due to the mandatory NCAA dead period, the Warriors are thinking about their modest 4-4 overall record and how to make it better by the time Thursday’s road conference game at Cal State Dominguez Hills comes around.
On a team with many new faces, they don’t have to look very far for experience and leadership. That’s because four of their five usual starters are seniors, who all feel comfortable together on the court and believe that things will get better. It’s a unique situation in college basketball to have so much experience in one lineup, and the Warriors say that will help them down the line.
“At this point,” coach Sharon Turner said, “they are the four people who understand what we’re doing the best.”
The four seniors are forward/center Katie Busi and guards Christin Gowan, Jeanette Rowe and Andreanna Marshall, as the fifth member of the current starting five is Laruen Godde, a freshman from Argonaut High of Jackson. But this hasn’t been the lineup in every game this season, as Turner determines who starts by how much effort the player shows in practices.
The players know that, too.
But they also see that the starting five is special because of all the experience and chemistry that comes with four seniors who now have been teammates for four years. Busi has been the most productive in the group, seeing that she earned all-California Collegiate Athletic Association first-team selection after starting in all 28 games last season and recording nine double-doubles.
Gowan, Rowe and Marshall also started during the 2008-09 campaign, as they were a part of an up-and-down season that saw the Warriors finish 10-16 overall. They returned this season knowing that they can only get better.
“It’s just that we know how to play with each other,” Marshall pointed out. “It makes it a lot easier. We have four people that know what’s going on.”
“We know each other’s tendencies and habits,” Rowe added. “We know how to communicate with each other. I know who’s going to react to what a certain way and how to talk to each individual person in a specific way.”
And then there’s Godde, who might be viewed as an outsider in a lineup made up of mostly seniors — but that’s far from the truth. Turner said Godde’s hard work in practice landed her in the starting lineup.
The coach also noted that the lineup can change.
“They understand what we’re doing because they’ve been in the program for four years,” Turner said of the four seniors. “At this point, they’re doing it more consistently than the new people. Our starting lineup is not because they’re seniors. It’s based on what happens in practice.”
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