The BJU Lady Bruins seek to enter their fifth season of intercollegiate basketball competition on the strong note they ended on last season.
The Lady Bruins spent their summer months training and preparing for this upcoming season.
Lady Bruins head basketball coach Mike LeViere said he assigned each player a specific workout with weight training unique to each player’s needs.
LeViere also assigned each player to run 100 miles over the course of the summer.
“We finished strong,” LeViere said.
The Lady Bruins posted an excellent 11-2 record from January through March to end their fourth season with a 19-12 record before losing in overtime to Point University in the semi-final round of the 2016 NCCAA Division I Regional Tournament.
“Defense is key,” LeViere said regarding their strategy. “We can score 100 points, play bad defense and still lose, and we can score 20 points, play good defense and win.”
Hannah Tompkins and Brianna Delaney are two seniors LeViere is counting on to be the team’s leaders throughout this season.
LeViere said Tompkins adds maturity to the team and that Delaney is a very capable post player.
LeViere is also looking for sophomores Sarah Thomsen, Sydney Bedsaul and Bhrianna Jackson to step up and take leadership roles this season.
“I’m looking forward to playing my last year of collegiate basketball and being challenged to play at a higher level,” Tompkins said.
Tompkins said that a personal goal she has for her final collegiate basketball season is to have fun.
“I want to play every game like it’s my last,” Tompkins said. “I started to play basketball because I have a burning love for it and want to glorify God in the process.”
LeViere said one of the biggest goals he has for the Lady Bruins this season is for the team to realize their individual potential.
“The success of a season is not only based on wins and losses,” he said. “The success of a season is based on how you fulfill your potential.”
The Lady Bruins face a tough schedule this season.
LeViere said their main focus will be to do well against their regional opponents such as Pensacola Christian, Toccoa Falls, Piedmont International and Trinity.
The Lady Bruins will also play some tough games against NCAA Division I and II opponents such as Furman, USC Upstate, Emmanuel, Southern Wesleyan and Erskine.
LeViere said he looks forward to the challenge of taking a new group of players and making them a team.
“No two teams are ever the same. It’s fun to figure out,” LeViere said.