FIU Women’s Basketball looking to rebound

By Lazaro Gaston/Contributing Writer

 

After a disappointing 2016-2017 campaign, things are looking up for the FIU women’s basketball team, according to second year head coach Tiara Malcom. As coach Malcom wraps up recruiting for this season, she decided to sit down with Panther Press Student Media to talk about what the Panther community can expect for the 2017-2018 season.

The Panthers finished last season with a record of 5-24, including finishing out the season on a 10-game losing streak, however Coach Malcom sees plenty of potential from the incoming recruiting class and is optimistic that the team will look much different this upcoming season.

“The young ladies that we brought in with our freshman class — they definitely fill some needs,” Malcom said. “We have more athleticism than we’ve had before. We’re going to be faster, we’re going to be able to create more for ourselves and our teammates.”

When it comes to challenges, Malcom says she understands there is a learning curve for the players.

“I want to give the young players the freedom to do some things. However, when you give the players this opportunity, they’re bound to make mistakes, but I want them to be able to grow from their mistakes,”Malcom said. “For myself and my staff, it’s going to be important for us to be patient and allow them to grow into themselves as basketball players at this level.”

When asked about what the biggest goal for next season is, Malcom explained that priority number one was to make a name for themselves.

“Our biggest goal is to establish our identity. As a coaching staff, we’re excited about that,” Malcom said. “Last year, we were kind of limited with many things, but I want the young ladies that are in the program to establish their identity and really start to embrace this program.”

Another great reason to be optimistic for the upcoming season is the chemistry the team has been able to establish thus so far. Even though workouts began only a week ago, the collective unit seems to be developing a rapport that could go a long way for the team in the near future, Malcom said.

“I came into a workout the other day and just the energy that was there. I literally stopped as I was walking into the gym and I just smiled,” Malcom said. “When you bring energy into the game, when you love the game of basketball, people can see it and people can feel it. I’m really excited about that.”

The young team will have plenty to live up to this season, but they are showing the positive signs and their coach is pleased with what she has seen so far. For the students here at FIU, Malcom has a message if you are thinking of attending a game in the fall.

“We’re going to play fast, we’re going to play up-tempo. I would ask them to support us in whatever way they deem possible. We want them to come out and support the women’s basketball team because we are a part of the university community just as

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