Brodhead's freshman class picking up steam
When you’re coaching a team dominated by freshmen and sophomores, the roller coaster ride is just part of it.
But that doesn’t mean the upswings can’t be just as enjoyable.
That’s the case for UL women’s coach Garry Brodhead and his Ragin’ Cajuns these days after following a nine-game losing streak with back-to-back home wins to get to 2-2 in Sun Belt play.
Suddenly, the Cajuns (4-11 overall) have a chance to get over .500 in league play when they host UL Monroe at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cajundome.
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“When you get more results, they tend to buy in more to what we’re doing,” Brodhead said. “The thing that impressed me about this year is that they never stopped working. They continued to work hard, but I can see it (in practice) was easier for us to get them to believe a little more.”
One freshman who took a huge step forward in the last win was Barbe High product Brandi Williams with 25 points.
With Ty Doucet and Jomyra Mathis combining for three points, Williams and fellow freshman Andrea Cournoyer took the bull by the horns, combining for 39 points in the 59-48 win over Georgia Southern.
“The thing about them (freshman class) is they continue to work hard outside of practice,” Brodhead said. “They’re just real skilled players, mostly offensive players. But it’s good to see them play a little defense as well.”
Williams made a pair of 3-pointers and made all seven of her free throws in that performance.
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“You’re starting to see Brandi Williams be more consistent,” Brodhead said. “I love coaching them, because they’re very coachable kids. They believe in what we’re doing.
“It’s just going to take some time for them to get consistent. Hopefully, it happens before the end of conference. We’re starting to see some improvement in all of the youngsters.”
Another freshman who shows potential is Jazmyn Womack, who made two 3-pointers for seven total points in the win over Georgia Southern.
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“She’s a very good scorer,” Brodhead said. “She can shoot the ball. That’s her strength. When we recruited her, that was one of the main things. ‘We know you can shoot, but we need you to rebound and play defense.’
“Today, she looked better on defense than she looks all year. I think she understands the rebounding aspect. I keep telling her for her to get on the floor, it’s not to score. She needs to be able to defend and rebound.”
In Saturday’s matchup against ULM, Brodhead is concerned about his young team handling pressure properly.
“My concern is always when we’re being pressed,” Brodhead said. “It’s not the press itself. It’s can we get into the flow of our offense after we break the press? They get us playing fast and we don’t know how to slow it down.”
ULM at UL Women
Game: 2 p.m., Friday, Cajundome.
Records: ULM 7-8, 1-3; UL 4-11, 2-2.
Radio: KPEL 1420 AM.
Last meeting: UL won 76-48.
Series: ULM leads 40-15, but UL has won 8 straight.
UL Leaders: Ty Doucet (13.5 pts, 10.1 rebs); Brandi Williams (11.6 pts, 3.1 rebs); Andrea Cournoyer (9.5 pts, 2.3 rebs); Skyler Goodwin (8.1 pts, 4.9 rebs).
ULM Leaders: Arsula Clark (13.0 pts, 7.1 rebs); Lauren Fitch (9.4 pts, 3.4 rebs); Amber Thompson (8.1 pts, 4.4 rebs).