Reaching new heights

Previewing the 2015-16 season

The Gaels are looking to start their season off with a victory on Saturday night at home.
The Gaels are looking to start their season off with a victory on Saturday night at home.
Last season, women’s basketball (11-8) made a run for the playoffs, but were knocked out in the Final Four by the Ryerson Rams, 69-60.
 
The Rams, finishing with an overall record of 16-3 last season, were tough competition for the Gaels in the crucial last game of the season. For head coach Dave Wilson, the team didn’t play to their full potential last season.
 
“In crunch time, it’s important for us to play our best basketball,” Wilson said.
 
After a 6-3 finish to the preseason, the Gaels are looking to transition this performance into the regular season. However, Wilson isn’t fully satisfied with his team’s record.
 
“Our play was mediocre,” he said. “Three games were not performed as well as they should have been, and just because we won a game doesn’t mean that we played well.” 
 
“We were not mentally prepared, and victory is more mental than it is physical.”
 
Along with focusing on the game ahead, the Gaels also like to draw inspiration from external sources.
 
As part of their call of duty, assistant coaches James Bambury and Bob Freeman match their Gaels to NBA players based on  their shared traits. Wilson said the players enjoy this, and that it’s important for them to have a professional style of play to model their game after.
 
Wilson and his coaches also try to emulate various teams, incorporating different systems of play into their offensive and defensive structure.  
 
“We’re very fond of the San Antonio Spurs and their movement, but we also try to draw from any other team,” he said.
 
The Gaels’ connection to the NBA isn’t merely theoretical. At the end of last season, they sat courtside during the Raptors warm-up session and got to talk with Raptors analyst and commentator Jack Armstrong, along with several of Raptors executives.
 
“It is part of the experience with this program, something unique and special.”
 
While Wilson strives to improve on last year’s record — with an obvious goal of getting first in the division — the Gaels have more of a day-to-day mentality.
 
“It’s more of a game-by-game thing,” he said. “We have goals, but we try to focus on the game at hand, and to not get too distracted.”

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.