By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor women’s basketball began practice Friday as it the team tries to acclimate new players into the system.
The Lady Bears are a young team, with only three juniors and seniors, while boasting four freshmen and three sophomores.
Head coach Kim Mulkey said the team is different this year as they switch to a more perimeter-oriented attack due to their abundance of guards.
“Its just fun to be able to go out there and just coach,” Mulkey said. “New faces, new excitement, new energy and I thought they did well. We’re very quick on the perimeter and yet we still have good size inside.”
The Lady Bears welcome freshmen guards Alexis Morris, Didi Richards, Moon Ursin and Trinity Oliver to a team that has won seven straight Big 12 regular season championships.
Senior guard Kristy Wallace said the team’s veterans will need to push the young players to get better as the year progresses.
“They’re exciting players,” Wallace said. “They bring lots of energy to the court. We’ve got great leaders on the team to push them and further them in their game. It’ll be interesting to see how they progress during the year.”
The Lady Bears lost three starters from the past year — forward Nina Davis and guards Alexis Jones and Alexis Prince, along with two rotation post players — Khadijiah Cave and Beatrice Mompremier.
Mulkey said she expects her young team to get better every day because they have the talent; they just need some experience.
“Just growing every time you play,” Mulkey said. “When you have four freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and two seniors, each day of practice they will get better. Their ability is there. They have the skill. What they lack is playing at this level.”
Morris, the prized recruit of the freshman class, was a five-star player coming out of Legacy Christian Academy.
Mulkey said Morris will be thrown into the fire as a young player because of the Lady Bears’ lack of depth at the guard position.
“She is a young lady that we’re going to rely a lot on,” Mulkey said. “We may have to use Kristy Wallace at the point guard and the off guard because of our lack of depth. Alexis has the skill. We’re going to be using her a lot. I just don’t want her to get down. That’s the biggest thing with freshmen. You don’t want them to get down on themselves.”
All four freshmen are guards. Because of this, the Lady Bears could play a different style than we have seen in recent years.
Junior center Kalani Brown and sophomore forward Lauren Cox are the only post players on the roster.
Mulkey said the Lady Bears could go with their smaller players and pressure opposing teams due to their personnel.
“There could be potential to see some of that in a lot of games,” Mulkey said. “Just go out there and go as small as we can go and just pressure them all the time because they do have the quickness to be able to do that.”
Baylor only has 10 players on the roster this year as opposed to 13 last season. Mulkey said the lack of depth will only be a problem if there are any injuries or if they get into foul trouble.
“We’ll have about ten players in uniform,” Mulkey said. “We don’t have the depth we normally do but we’ll make do. Hopefully we stay away from injuries, but they can all play and they’re all excited. When Kalani [Brown] and [Lauren] Cox are in foul trouble or need a rest we can go with a smaller lineup.”
The Lady Bears face Tarleton State in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Ferrell Center.