Jody Adams demands her Wichita State women's basketball team play a certain way defensively.
Against Arizona, a season-opening overtime loss, the Shockers failed to meet her expectations. But in a blowout win at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Tuesday, Adams liked what she saw.
WSU's defense had 19 steals and forced 31 turnovers in the 79-53 win that led to 42 points, a trend Adams wants to see continue at 2 p.m. today against George Mason at Koch Arena.
"I liked our activeness and the amount of deflections we had, which led to our transition game," Adams said.
Adams has shown appreciation to those willing to commit to her style. For those that stray from it, Adams has reserved a spot on the bench.
Junior Haleigh Lankster, Adams' only player with more than a season of Division I experience, has been a perfect example.
Lankster found herself out of position against Arizona too frequently and Adams mentioned her specifically after the game. The starting forward responded with 17 points, a career-high eight steals and five assists at SIU-Edwardsville.
"I thought that Haleigh played like the Haleigh we all know," Adams said. "She played very aggressive, very physical. When she plays like that, she brings a lot to the table."
George Mason (1-1) is coming off a 54-37 loss to Fairfield, a game in which it shot 27.6 percent from the field. It's a chance for the Shockers (1-1) to gain a winning record, as well as improving their defense and rebounding.
"We have to be very disciplined," Adams said. "They're a very athletic team and we're going to have to do the little things right."
That includes rebounding, another Adams early-season emphasis.
WSU has yet to control the boards like Adams thinks her young inside players can, but the SIU-Edwardsville game was a step in the right direction. Adams hopes this game can continue that.
"I thought it was a total team effort," Adams said. "It was just great team defense. We provided great help-side defense and our rotation was good. We made good contact on our box-outs and that was a huge step in the right direction."