STARKVILLE, Miss. – Year two of the Vic Schaefer era officially got underway Sunday night as the Mississippi State women’s basketball team held its first practice in preparation for the 2013-14 season.
“I was very pleased. I loved the energy and effort,” Schaefer said of the opening practice. “I really like our youthfulness. Our young kids really bring something to the table, and our older kids sense that and are excited about it. It was a good night.”
The Bulldogs worked out for just over two hours, going through a number of drills to work on conditioning, pushing the ball up and down the court and fundamentals.
Schaefer also said that he used Sunday night’s first practice as a teaching time for his squad, especially for a group of five talented newcomers.
“They bring something to the table; that’s why we brought them here to Starkville,” Schaefer said of the first-year Bulldogs. “They bring what we need, and we are excited about them being here.”
For the returnees, it was a chance to teach the rookies what to expect after being the ones learning from the new coaching staff last season.
“I think all of us coming back are more accustomed to what to expect. The first year we didn’t really know how it was going to be,” junior Kendra Grant said of entering the second year under Schaefer’s leadership. “The first practice this year was better because we knew what was going to happen.”
Grant is one of four starters and eight letterwinners back for Mississippi State this season. She joins seniors Katia May and Candace Foster and junior Jerica James in the Bulldogs’ backcourt returnees.
Inside, the Bulldogs return All-SEC center and Gillom Trophy winner Martha Alwal following a sophomore campaign that saw her lead the conference with 9.7 rebounds per game and 16 double-doubles.
Junior Savannah Carter, who won a national championship at Trinity Valley Community College last season, joins the Bulldogs along with Texas all-state standouts Dominique Dillingham and Ketara Chapel, Georgia Super 64 selection Breanna Richardson and Lagos, Nigeria, center Chinwe Okorie.
State hosts Shorter in a Nov. 4 exhibition before heading to Houston on Nov. 8 to open the regular season. The Bulldogs begin the home slate Wednesday, Nov. 13, hosting Jackson State in a 7 p.m. tip at Humphrey Coliseum.
Season tickets for the Bulldogs are available now online at www.hailstate.com/tickets or by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS. Reserved season tickets cost $80, and general admission tickets are a great deal at $25.
Individual game tickets are $5 for adults and free for youth high school age and younger.Fans can follow Hail State Hoops on Twitter (@HailStateWBK), Facebook (HailStateWBK) and Instagram (HailStateWBK).