The women’s basketball season opened Monday, Nov. 6 and the Pilots are already dominating both offensively and defensively on the court. The Beacon sat down with head coach Michael Meek to preview the season.
The Beacon: What is the team looking forward to this season?
Meek: I think we're a team that gets along in a great way and that there's genuine care for one another. And so I think they're just excited to kind of go through the journey and see what they can do as a collective group. In the end, I think that's kind of what our program has tried to focus on — where we can be at the end of the season.
The Beacon: What changes has the team made going into the season that we can expect to see?
Meek: You know, I think we really have really great depth, talent and team speed and athleticism. I think the strength of this team probably is the depth that we have.
The Beacon: What are some matchups you are most excited for and you think fans should be excited for?
Meek: You know, I think our team has done a great job of trying to take it one game at a time and we just have such a tough overall schedule. But you know, it is fun to have Oregon in our gym on Nov. 30. Going on the road to Stanford, they're always one of the top teams in the nation and the Gonzaga matchup has really been good through the years. And I think [Gonzaga are] continually getting more competitive. I just think our league is so strong top to bottom that, you know, we really try to do a good job of just knowing that for every opponent we have to come ready to go.
The Beacon: What players should we be looking out for this season?
Meek: Yeah, well, those [Maisie Burnham and Emme Shearer] are two returning all-league players for us, but I feel like we just have a really good all-around team. I think that's probably the strength of this team. Obviously Lucy Cochrane led the nation in blocked shots two years ago and I think she doesn't get enough notice for how many great things that she brings, and I feel like she's off to a good start and ready to go and you know, but again, I think the strength of this team is probably just the overall depth and talent.
The Beacon: What does the team want Pilot fans to know?
Meek: Let them know just how much we support women's basketball being supported here. And it just makes such a huge difference to the overall experience for these athletes when they have the student body supporting them and people behind them and I think, you know, two years in a row they've led the conference in team GPA. Last year, they ended up with a team GPA of over 3.6, which I think is just a great accomplishment and shows that they're more than just basketball players.
You can catch the Pilots women’s basketball team back at home on Thursday, Nov. 30, as they take on the University of Oregon at 6 p.m. PST.
Maggie Dapp is the sports editor at The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.