We are midway through our second set of practices now in our preparations to go to Europe. I think the best two words I can use to describe our practice days so far this summer are "fun" and "exciting."
There is no question that we are going to be a young basketball team this year. With four true freshmen and two more redshirt freshmen making up a 12-player roster, there is no escaping our youth.
However, our freshmen are going to help us. Even in the first five practice days that we had in June, it was apparent that all four of our true freshmen (Emily Cady, Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill and Hailie Sample) have the ability to help us on the floor in a variety of ways this season.
Not only have they shown good basketball instincts and athleticism, they have also shown that they are learning quickly and retaining what they have learned from one practice to the next. Those are some great attributes - maybe as important as being able to pass, cut and shoot.
Not only are the true freshmen proving they can play, our redshirt freshmen Rebecca Woodberry and Katie Simon have also improved a lot since last year. Our two true sophomores, Adrianna Maurer and Jordan Hooper are also much improved.
Jordan's improvement is exciting to see, especially since she was statistically one of the best freshmen in Nebraska history last year. When your top returning scorer and top returning rebounder is also your most-improved player, you get a good feeling about your team.
Jordan has added a lot to her offensive game, with the ability to drive to the basket, hit the pull-up jumpshot and the ability to score on the block more. She has also improved her balance, her passing and her defense. She has honestly improved in every area of her game.
Lindsey Moore has also been doing great things in practice. Lindsey had to carry so much of the load for us last year late in the season. We think our young players are going to be able to take some of that load off of her this year. We also think it is going to make Lindsey an even more productive player.
Harleen Sidhu has not been practicing as she continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. Kaitlyn Burke and Meghin Williams have been on the court though, and although they are not exactly 100 percent, they are planning to play for us in Europe.
We are really looking forward to the trip to Europe. I think it just finally hit me today that we are actually going to Europe on Friday. You just don't do that every day.
I'd like to thank our Fastbreaker Booster Club for all of their support in helping make the funding for this trip possible. Our players and our program are not only going to gain from the playing experience, they are also going to expand their cultural experience. We think the extra time we have spent together this summer is also going to help create great team chemistry. We have already seen that working every day in practice.
Have a great rest of your summer. Go Big Red!