UO women resting easy after securing top talent.Byline: BOB RODMAN The Register-Guard
Six months ago, there might have been good reason for a kind of nervous condition enveloping en·vel·op
tr.v. en·vel·oped, en·vel·op·ing, en·vel·ops
1. To enclose or encase completely with or as if with a covering: "Accompanying the darkness, a stillness envelops the city" the recruiting department of the Oregon women's basketball Women's basketball is one of the few games which developed in tandem with men's. It became popular, spreading from the east coast of the United States to the west coast, in large part via women's colleges. program.
The Ducks signed no one to a national letter of intent during the early signing period, a weeklong week·long
Continuing through the week: a weeklong conference.
Adj. 1. weeklong - lasting through a week; "her weeklong vacation"
seven-day stretch in November. Two years earlier, Oregon had signed only one player - Cathrine Kraayeveld.
Sandwiched between the signing shortages, however, was a class of six athletes that was considered by those who consider such things as one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
"There was some anxiety," admitted Bev Smith Bev Smith (born April 4 1960) is the head women's basketball coach at the University of Oregon. She has held that position since 2001, replacing controversial coach Jody Runge, and has posted an 83-69 record. , the UO coach who had been on the job just five months before the November signing drought struck the Ducks. "The game depends on getting quality people in your program. We were a little anxious."
That anxiety has been considerably alleviated with the acquisition of five players this spring - three transfers and two Canadian high school athletes.
Two of the players - former Springfield High School Springfield High School may refer to:
A third transfer, 5-8 guard Kayla Steen from Clackamas Community College Clackamas Community College (CCC) is a community college located in Oregon City, Oregon, United States. It is located at the junction of Oregon Route 213 and Molalla Avenue, nearly at the southern edge of the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. in Oregon City There are two places named Oregon City in the United States:
"It was just a matter of six months," Smith said of the signing gap for the Ducks. "We felt good about the people we were pursuing, and we did not panic. We got the people that we wanted, and who wanted us."
Dan Muscatell, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, said that "though we signed no one in the fall, we were recruiting the right people to take care of our immediate needs as well as our needs in the future."
Explained Smith, "We will need a point guard after Shaquala (Williams, a senior-to-be and three-time all-Pac-10 Conference player) and Alissa (senior-to-be Edwards) leave. Corrie has Division I experience.
"Kayla brings that outside shooting game," Smith said. "She can shoot from the three-point line (last season Steen shot 49 percent from long range, 89-of-183). Chelsea will bring experience."
And the two of them will be joined by 6-foot guard Brandi Davis, who sat out last season as a freshman partial qualifier but is expected to play a major role for the Ducks next season.
"Scoring-wise, the two freshmen (Ganes and Okwumabua) have a lot of promise to go with Shaq, Andrea (Bills, a sophomore-to-be) and Cathrine on the block," Smith said.
"It is a credit to the program and coaches," Muscatell said, "that we could get someone who had been recruited before by us but not taken (Wagner), someone who saw the program and liked the style of play (Mizusawa), someone who could be the first from the NWAACC NWAACC Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges to sign with Oregon (Steen) and two Canadian players who want to continue their careers at Oregon."
"This is a very good class," said Smith, who led the Ducks to a 22-13 record and the Women's National Invitation Tournament The Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) is a college basketball tournament with a preseason and postseason version played every year. It is operated in a similar fashion to the men's NIT. championship in her first season as coach. "We are going to get better. These are quality young women.
"All of them are going to contribute to us being a better team, and that must happen in practice before it happens in games. We are going to be more competitive in practice and challenge each other."
Did the success of Oregon's season impact the program's recruiting this spring?
"I'm not sure," Smith said, "but it did help give more exposure to the program, and I think more people see us on the radar screen now. There were a lot of questions about how we'd do and how things would go around here."