By Monique Tippins
“You have to expect things out of yourself before you can do them.” Michael Jordan once said this. At least that’s what it says on a sheet of paper tacked outside the office of the women’s basketball team’s head coach.
The Lady Gauchos are learning a tough lesson this season about expectations. Maybe they weren’t expecting to be halfway through the season with a 12-7 record overall, 9-4 in their conference. But maybe they should have been.
Majority freshman, the women’s basketball team has struggled due to a lack of experience. Consequently, the team is still attempting to find some sort of chemistry amongst themselves. As Coach Silcox simply put it, “The sophomores need to learn to be leaders, and the freshman are just learning how to follow.”
Regardless, the Lady Gauchos have found themselves up against tough competition this season. Their most dominating opposition has come from AZ Western, Phoenix College, and particularly upsetting losses to Yavapai College and Central Arizona College. Despite these losses, Coach Silcox praises his players on the wide range of their talent. These players are capable of shooting the ball from the perimeter and they have the ability to score big in any given game. So what is it that prohibits these ladies from battling affectively with the toughest competition in Arizona? Bottom line is that these women need to help each other out in order to be successful. But Coach says despite their unsure start this season, his team has improved drastically in working together.
Even if these players have not yet mastered the art of working together, they know what it means to support one another. Many of the players have been battling with injuries this season; they continue to play battered and bruised. One player, sophomore Amalie DiMiceli, plays with a torn knee ligament. When asked how she deals with playing through injuries, she doesn’t hesitate in answering, “It hurts some days, but it’s all mental. The team is very supportive of one another and we help each other.” And when asked how the team plans to end this season, she is just as sincere but tactfully blunt: “We just need to take care of business.”
And Amalie knows first-hand about taking care of business. She leads the team in academia with a 3.8 GPA. But she’s not the only one on the team holding it down in the classroom as well as on the court. Seven out of the thirteen women on the team are in the honors program. Fr. Theresa Carter and Soph. Beth Quaintance both have 3.78 GPA’s. Soph. Jessica Melvin holds a 3.69. Fr. Sarah Matzke has a 3.46, Fr. Yanabah Menefee, a 3.45, and Soph. Natasha Imadiyi has a 3.4.
These women know what they need to do in order to win. But there is a difference between knowledge and action. Can the players pull together to come out on top this season? Coach Silcox thinks so. But he says his team should not be worried about winning, or making it to the championship or even nationals. Right now, they need to focus on their individual success and “just making it to the gym.” And what more could be expected?
If you’d like to catch the Lady Gauchos in action, their next home game is a rematch against Phoneix College, February 6th at 5:30 in the GCC gymnasium. Check out the Women’s Basketball schedule online for more information on upcoming games.