Coach Taylor looking forward to next season

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Heartfelt goodbyes to the Cougars senior players during their last home game./Arthur Ward

Heartfelt goodbyes to the Cougars senior players during their last home game./Arthur Ward

Cougars basketball coach believes team is primed for even more success

The University of Regina women’s basketball team have a challenging but promising season ahead of them in 2015-16. Speaking with head coach Dave Taylor one can tell the former CIS and Canada West coach of the year is excited for next season and looking forward to the months ahead.

The veteran head coach described his thoughts on the past season.

“It was an interesting season. We had dealt with a lot of injuries and had small numbers to start with. We had ten players on the roster and we were dealing with injuries – especially in the preseason. It’s challenging some games, having eight players and that. But, for the most part, I was pleased with the performance of the team. We got where I thought we were going to get, based on who we had and all that. In terms of the overall program, it was disappointing in the sense that we always want to make the Canada West Final Four and hopefully Nationals.”

Can this season be considered a success for the Cougar’s women’s basketball team? One big reason would be their dominant win over Fraser Valley, which you can find right here.

Taylor discussed the nature of team-building in a rotating, collegiate setting.

“There are two factors: returning and recruiting players, in the off-season we have to be focused on their improvement, and recruiting – we have to bring in some players, too. So it’s a combination, you always have to get the players you have, better, and get more good players coming in.”

Taylor went into the new players recently added to next season’s roster.

“They’re young. It’s tough for eighteen-year-olds to come in and impact right away. With those three, it’s more “down the road.” That’s the player development, which starts this off-season for them. It will certainly help our depth, just in terms of practices and games – getting our roster back up to a more manageable number.”

Taylor explained the work in store for the players and himself.

“My job is to fill those spots, so that’s simply on me. I did the same thing last off-season. You try to make contacts, but there is no guarantee you will get those kind of players who can come and impact us right away. We are filled; we have twelve people on the roster right now. So if we add a couple of people, it’s going to be import-type players, the Michelle Clark-type player. You never know, last year we had a player from the Netherlands whose second semester was very good. She was just home sick. You never know if you’re going to be able to keep those players or not. In terms of the players, their job is starting right now, to continue to get better with basketball skills and conditioning. There really is no off-season for us.”

Coach Taylor understands the challenges ahead and remains hopeful of the team’s chances going forward.

“It’s promising. It’s not like we were terrible last year. We’ve got a very good base, we’ve just got to try to add a bit to it. Ultimately, my goal is to get back to Nationals and try to have a chance to win it. We’re not very far away from that, but we are probably one or two pieces away – so we have to find those one or two pieces.”

Cougars women’s basketball will resume play in the fall. Until that time, they will continue to hone their craft and prepare for the season ahead under one of the CIS’s premier coaches in Dave Taylor.

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