Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bradley Women's Basketball preparing for home opener Friday

Bradley Women's Basketball preparing for home opener Friday, Metamora Herald



Peoria, IL - The Bradley Braves Women's Basketball team has shown a lot of promise in just one season under Head Coach, Bradley Alum ('92), and Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame member ('96) Andrea Gorski. Friday, regular season number two for Gorski and the Braves tips off at Renaissance Coliseum.

In 2016-2017, the Braves swept Missouri Valley Conference foe Missouri State, a team that went on to receive a bid into the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), while the Braves didn't see a single postseason tournament. Coach Gorski thinks it starts with the first half of the season.

"We're going to have to knock off some good teams in the non-conference stage."

Senior Danielle Brewer (Coatesville, IN) talked about what needs to be done to make a postseason tournament from a player's perspective.

"We're going to have to step up and not just beat teams that were in the WNIT, we're going to have to prove that we belong there too."

The non-conference schedule is certainly a strength for the Braves, featuring teams like Illinois, Northern Illinois, Green Bay, and Western Illinois. Gorski thinks that big games like that will test her younger players, but she also believes that the Braves will be able to compete in each one of those.

The Braves will bring in six newcomers, five freshmen and a junior college transfer. Gabi Haack (Elk River, Minnesota) is just one of the freshmen, who all come to the Hilltop with impressive prep careers. Haack was named Miss Basketball in Minnesota, USA Today's All-USA Minnesota Girls Basketball 1st-Team, and was also named Gatorade Player of the Year in Minnesota. That's just one of the six newcomers. Haack thinks things are off to a good start for her, both on and off the floor.

"We had a tough summer and preseason. It was some of the hardest workouts I've ever done. I think that really prepared me for our first exhibition game."

The other five newcomers come with numerous accolades. Jailynn Lawson (5'8" Fr. Guard - Peoria Central HS) was named 2nd-team All-State in Illinois for 16-17. Nyjah White (5'11" Fr. Forward - Columbia, MO) was named the Columbia Tribune Player of the Year her junior season and was also an all-state selection twice. Missy Adrian (5'11" Fr. Guard - Rolling Meadows, IL) brings quality guard play from Palatine Fremd High School, where she was named all-area by the Daily Herald as well as all-conference, both in her senior year. Despite multiple collegiate soccer offers, Adrian chose to be a walk-on for the Women's Basketball program at Bradley.

Shunseere Kent (5'7" Jr. Guard - East Point, GA) was the Player of the Year in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association in 16-17, while also garnering a selection as a 2nd-team All-American by the NJCAA. Emily Marsh (6'0" Fr. Forward - Superior Township, MI) was named to the All-State team in Michigan as an honorable mention her senior year as well as being named All-Conference three times and all-area twice, not to mention being a two-time all-state selection in water polo as well.

In the Braves' 79-40 exhibition win over Upper Iowa on November 4, Haack finished with 12 points, just behind fellow freshman and Peoria High alum Jailynn Lawson, who had 15. Individually, Haack thought that game got things off to a good start.

"That first game helped me get some confidence. It just made me really excited for the season to actually start."

The Braves are yet to play their first official game, but Danielle Brewer likes where things are at with the team.

"I think the fact that our exhibition game that we had, 13 of our 15 players scored - it just goes to show that everyone's putting in hard work. We had good team chemistry. We were able to move the ball well."

A senior Brave will likely have a pretty notable season this year. Anneke Schlueter (6'0" Guard - Ulm, Germany) is 29 three-pointers from moving up one spot on the all-time threes made list at Bradley. That person she'd be passing? Head Coach Andrea Gorski. Schlueter said that there has been talk between the two about the potential there, with Coach even expressing that she wants Schlueter to pass her.

The Braves open up the regular season on Friday with the Mavericks of Omaha out of the Summit League. Coach Gorksi talked about what kind of basketball the fans will see when they come out to Renaissance Coliseum on November 10th.

"I think they're going to see a more exciting brand of basketball. Our goal is being able to get the ball up and down the floor real quick, but we have to do that without turning the ball over. We do have some new players at the guard spots, and some young players overall playing."

Gorski went on to talk about more positives that she believes there will be on the court.

"They're going to see that we're very versatile this year. We're inside and out. We're going to have a lot of different people scoring. I think you're going to see different people shining every game."

Bradley Braves Women's Basketball - Next Game: 
Friday, November 10th - 7:00 pm
vs. Omaha Mavericks
Renaissance Coliseum
TV/Web: ESPN3
Radio: 1290 WIRL

Reactions: 
Share This

0 comments: