It’s a troubling trend to see, but it’s there every time coach Jody Adams watches the film from the Wichita State women’s basketball team’s recent road losses to Loyola and Bradley.
Wichita State stayed competitive for a large majority of the game, but fail to answer whenever its opponent would make a decisive run.
Adams wants answers and she feels like Wichita State has them, but just needs to unleash itself starting with a home swing starting Friday when the Shockers play host to Southern Illinois at Koch Arena.
“Right now when someone makes a run on us, we’re just tightening up and we’re like ice skaters out there,” Adams said. “I want us to go out there and make the big play, make the great pass, make the great shot. I don’t want us to be the ice skaters, I want us to be the slam dunkers.”
The big play has escaped Wichita State so far this season, as its off to a 3-14 start and is winless in Missouri Valley Conference play after six games.
Experience is the biggest factor, Adams said. The team is still suffering in situations where it needs veteran leadership and simply doesn’t have it.
Instead of conjuring run-stopping plays, Wichita State is waiting for a stoppage of play – a foul, an Adams timeout, anything – to end the other team’s rally. That can’t continue if WSU is to improve this season.
“We just need to learn how to win,” Adams said. “We’re doing a lot of things better right now, but when you’re going up against older teams that will fight back then you’re going to get poached and that’s what is happening to us right now. We’ve got to learn how to win.”
After losing the first four games in conference play by an average of 22.6 points, Wichita State was more competitive in losses to Loyola (60-55) and Bradley (50-44) last week.
Adams was encouraged by the improvement, but still sees large areas of growth for this team to make.
“You can’t continue to make excuses,” Adams said. “Right now our wins aren’t showing up in the win-loss column. Our wins are teaching our leaders how to win. We’re teaching these guys how to win games. They’ve seen it and they’ve watched it, and now they’re goign to have to start doing it.”
Southern Illinois at WSU women
- When: 7 p.m. Friday
- Where: Koch Arena
- Records: SIU 11-6, 4-1 MVC; WSU 3-14, 0-6 MVC
- Internet: ESPN3.com, GoShockers.com