By: Andrew Johnson, Sports Editor
Tallahassee Community College women’s basketball team looks to develop its freshman as quickly as possible to improve upon last season’s performance.
TCC’s Lady Eagles had an above average season last year going 23-8, despite having a down year in the previous season finishing 15-15.
With only three returners that are comfortable with the teams play style, Coach Franqua “Q” Bedell said he is focusing on developing his new freshman quickly to keep up success from last year.
“Trying to improve and get back to where we left off is going to be tough but will depend on our sophomore leadership but also the maturation process of our freshman,” Bedell said.
Bedell lost up to four sophomore players to Division 1 schools last season and will have his hands full in getting his new freshman ready for this type of competition.
“We are probably deeper as a team then we were last year, but we don’t have the experience we had last year,” he said.
Jamyra McChristine is one of the many new freshmen faces on the team, and has had a taste of Bedell’s offseason conditioning routine and how he wants the team to play.
“He wants us to work on our speed level, technique, skill and being exactly right about the plays we want. We also do step by step on each play we run and coach breaks everything down,” she said.
Japonica James has high hopes for the team this year and believes that the freshman could make a difference in getting them back to nationals.
“I feel like the new freshman like myself have a lot of talent, so if we put it all together we can go far with it and actually make a change.”
James, one of three returners, says that even with the amount of freshman Bedell has stuck with his blueprint for coaching the team.
“Nothing has changed with his game plan. He just focuses on getting people better and going to get what he’s running after,” James said.
The team had a good season last year, with most of their losses coming from a competitive conference that brings home the national championship nearly every year.
Bedell knows conference rival teams such as Chipola College, and last years NJCAA National Champions Gulf Coast State will make it a tough year for his squad.
“If our freshman can grow and mature while grasping the expectations and also play through early adversity, I think we have a chance to be really good,” Bedell said.