Lady Bears prep for season opener

Senior guard Alexis Jones drives past the Beavers defender in the Elite 8 round on March 28 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Lady Bears lost, 60-57. Photo Credit: Sarah Pyo | Editor-in-Chief

Jordan Smith | Sports Writer

The Baylor Lady Bears basketball team resumed practice this week and is getting back into its routine as the season quickly approaches on Nov. 1.

The Lady Bears are coming off an upsetting loss last season in the Elite 8 round of the 2016 NCAA Women’s national tournament against the Oregon State University Beavers, 60-57.

After losing three players last season and Justis Szczepanski in the summer due to team violations, the Lady Bears look to continue ahead as they add three highly recruited players to the roster.

Senior forward Nina Davis said she is excited to start her fourth season as a Lady Bear.

“It’s my favorite part of the year, and it’s finally here,” Davis said. “You’re always counting the days for the season to get here. We are excited and ready to get to work.”

Davis, like most of the Lady Bears, still feels the effects of losing to Oregon State in the Elite 8, where they were only seconds away from reaching the Final Four for the first time since the 2012 tournament when the Lady Bears went undefeated and won the national championship.

“No, I’m not over it yet. My teammates are not over it, and we know for sure that Coach isn’t over it,” Davis said. “It’s something that is still in the back of our head just knowing that every year I’ve been here we’ve gotten so close just to lose by three and just to be devastated again. But, you know, it’s a new year. It’s a new team.”

Head coach Kim Mulkey said she likes the senior leadership on the team this season and is looking forward to seeing them lead the Lady Bears to a hopeful Final Four appearance.

“You saw two of them here, and then let’s not forget about Alexis Prince and Kay Kay [Khadijiah Cave]. You know those four have to lead us, and they all play a lot of minutes, and they have all had success at Baylor, and three of the four are very quiet,” Mulkey said. “So it’s a struggle to make three of them talk, but they are talking more on the floor, and they’re great leaders, great role models. They’re great ambassadors.”

Red shirt senior guard Alexis Jones is embracing her new role as point guard while playing at Baylor. Last season, she found herself at the shooting guard role. The last time Jones played point guard was when she was playing basketball at Duke University.

“I mean, I’m really aggressive when it comes to playing basketball and basically just learn how to talk to my players out on the court and learning each player and how to help each one out in a different way and just learning their personalities more than anything,” Jones said.

The Baylor Lady Bears basketball team’s first game is at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Ferrell Center in an exhibition game against Emporia State.