Trine Women’s 2012-2013 Basketball Preview

After an up-and-down 11-14 (5-11 MIAA) which featured big wins such as beating the #15 team in the nation in Hope, being blown out by Calvin 73-26, and everything in between, the dawn of a new season brings renewed hope for the Lady Thunder. Out as head coach is Tom Barnes, in is former NBA All-Star Steve Mix. Fueled by the return of senior guards Sydney Spragg and Megan Loveberry as well as forward Haley Killingbeck, Trine has an established core to build around.

The Lady Thunder last year excelled last year on the defensive side of the ball, finishing in the top fifth in DIII at 54.6 points per game. Trine stifled opponent’s opportunities to the tune of 34.3%, a superb mark. Another area which the Lady Thunder excelled was free throw shooting, hitting 72%, an excellent mark that was in the top fifth in DIII as well.

In terms of what Trine must improve, it starts with the offense. The shield is just as important as the sword, and the sword was below average at best. The Lady Thunder scored just 50.6 points per game, ranking in the bottom tenth in the NCAA at 394th. Their middle of the road turnover margin (.96) and assist to turnover ratio (.53) have to come up in order for Trine to take the next step towards their first winning season since 2002-2003.

Lastly, the rebounding must be addressed. Lacking a true post presence with no one on the roster taller than six feet, Trine’s guards have to work extra hard for baskets and must take good shots because of the lack of second chance opportunities.  It is a going to take a team oriented approach and probably a pickup of the slow pace the Lady Thunder employed last year to help mask this key weakness.

With ten returning players and three starters, there is plenty to work with and build on. The question is now how much time it will take for them to incorporate into a new system and how long Coach Mix’s approach will take to rub off on the team. With an improvement on offense and a greater dedication to the boards, there is no reason why the Lady Thunder can’t have their first winning season in almost a decade.

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