Inconsistency is a sign of a young team, and that is what Alabama women’s basketball coach Kristy Curry is going through with her team right now. The team has eight new players, six of which are freshman.
Practice is where that inconsistency shows up.
“I think our freshmen have to understand you’re going to practice like you play,” Curry said. “Practices are longer… I think right now we’re searching for consistency from our younger kids, the ability to be able to practice every day.”
Alabama took on Faulkner for its first of two exhibitions, winning easily as the bench scored 51 of the 100 points, but Curry needs the bench to pick up before it plays Mississippi College on Thursday.
The Crimson Tide’s second unit is made up mainly of its underclassmen. Of the eight players to come off the bench, six had never played a collegiate game.
“I think one of the hardest things on young kids is consistency in practices or in-game,” Curry said. “Practice is gameday because you’re trying to earn minutes. When you’re the best player on your high school team, you just show up and play.
“You can’t show up and play here. I think the thing is that if you can go up against Crimson (the starting group at practice) every day the you’re putting yourself into a position to play a game every single day.”
For Alabama to overcome that inexperience is crucial, and according to Curry the upperclassmen, that have been on the team for multiple years, have embrace that leadership role.
“We need them,” senior forward Shaquera Wade said. “I just try to lead by being vocal and lead by being an example. Just pushing them every day to compete against themselves and compete against us. I think that’s big on our part.”
Defensively, Curry wants to see an improvement as well. The Crimson Tide gave up just 44 points, but the team didn’t control Faulkner the way that she wanted to see.
“Your shot may not fall, miss a free throw, you miss a layup, but you can always control (the game) defensively,” Curry said. “I thought we played the score some and relaxed defensively. We absolutely don’t want to be scored on… We did not control, defensively, the intensity period for long periods of time.
“Things are going to get a lot more difficult. We’ve got to rise to the occasion.”
Alabama hosts Mississippi College at 7 p.m. on Thursday. It will be the last exhibition before playing Southern Louisiana on Wednesday, Nov. 7.