The sports landscape on campus is going to look drastically different this semester compared to the last. With all regular spring sports cleared for competition, along with some fall sports, this semester promises to be full of action.
Among the sports active right now is women’s basketball. The Lady Choctaws opened the season strong with a two-game split against Alabama-Huntsville before completing a sweep at rival Delta State. Despite this fast start, the Lady Choctaws have since dropped five games in a row, most recently getting swept by Christian Brothers. They will look to bounce back on Feb. 5-6 against Union.
First-year head coach Greg Long said it has been an “up and down” season as they started off well and that the team’s system has been “a work in progress.” Up and down is certainly an accurate way of putting the season thus far as the team has experienced a bit of a roller coaster ride, seeing exciting highs against Delta State and UAH, and demoralizing lows against Christian Brothers and other recent opponents.
When the Lady Choctaws have had success, it has usually come down to one thing: the team’s ability to smother out opposing offenses with an aggressive defense. This should come as no surprise, as Coach Long has made a name for himself as a coach primarily on the defensive end of the court. Long said, “I tell people all the time, I really don’t have a system offensively, I have a system defensively,” stressing that keeping up the pressure on defense is absolutely what he wants MC women’s basketball to be all about. While he stressed that this side of the ball was key, he also acknowledged that it was yet another work in progress for this team: “It’s a continuing work in progress but we’re starting to get there.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, the team has four weekend series remaining, including two at home. As this defense comes along, and the offense develops alongside it, Coach Long wants the Lady Choctaws to be the kind of team that nobody wants to play against.