@LATechWBB Practice Report
Oct. 18, 2017
RUSTON – One area that Louisiana Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr has already seen an improvement in over last year is the fact she and her staff don’t have to coach effort in practice.
Sounds simplistic. But in this day and age, sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious.
Although still a work in progress and in the infant stages of where the final product could be by March, this year’s Lady Techster team continues to show heart and desire on a daily basis on the practice floor.
“We’re twelve practices in now with this group and have seen the level of competition rise each day,” said Stoehr, whose team will play two closed scrimmages before opening the season Nov. 10 at home against Grambling State. “Players are competing to earn minutes as our staff continues to challenge them mentally and physically to be better.
“As the first scrimmage approaches, we will continue to install all the details we need to have in place for the first game. We’re challenging this group to defend with intensity and create extra possessions with their defense. We have seen some progress but need to show continual improvement on the defensive end of the floor.”
Tech’s roster is 14 players strong. However, only six of the 14 wore a Lady Techster uniform last year as eight newcomers will be looked upon to fill different roles this season.
Two of those newcomers are freshmen guards Raizel Guinto and Amber Dixon. Although totally different types of players in many respects, the duo does have similarities that are invaluable, even off the court.
“Both of these freshmen guards are conscientious and are great teammates,” said Stoehr. “They compete hard but have fun and do a good job of keeping their teammates relaxed.”
Although Guinto comes from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the 5-foot-7-inch point guard said she isn’t homesick because of the impact of the LA Tech family.
“Throughout my whole life I’ve traveled a lot with basketball, so I’m not homesick,” said Guinto. “Sure. It is hard being away from my friends and family, but it’s so fun here. Everyone is so welcoming and has treated me like one of their own.”
Guinto, who averaged 16.7 points, 7.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 8.0 steals per game while leading Sisler High School to a 33-1 record as a senior, has the luxury of learning under some experienced point guards in junior Kierra Anthony and sophomore Kierra Lang. She said that has helped with the transition from high school, knowing what is expected of her.
“There is an expectation that I need to always be doing my best and bringing energy to the team,” said Guinto. “I can’t worry about my mistakes. I can’t worry about myself. Instead I have to think about the team as a whole.”
Guinto also has the benefit of playing for a head coach that was a pretty good point guard in her playing days with the Lady Techsters. Stoehr likes what she sees in the rookie.
“Raizel was unable to join us until the fall quarter but has jumped right in and competed for us,” said Stoehr. “She has great court vision and a good awareness of her surroundings. She sees the play before it develops and knows where she needs to get the ball. As she gets stronger and gets adjusted to this level her confidence will continue to grow. Raizel adds another perimeter scoring threat for this group.”
Dixon is a 5-foot-9-inch off guard that has tremendous athletic ability. She earned the District 10-5A Offensive Player of the year in Texas as a senior after averaging 11 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds per game. However, Dixon has seen the difference in the college game from the high school game.
“On the court, the competitive level is on another level,” said Dixon. “It’s higher. I have noticed that I have to bring a lot in practice. I need to work on my game a lot more so I can be more competitive on the court.”
Dixon’s versatility is one of the things that the Tech coaches are most excited about.
“Amber is an explosive athlete that can create for others as well as for herself,” said Stoehr. “She has quick hands and moves very well in the open court. Amber adds a different dimension for us defensively with her ability to guard the ball and create turnovers. Her ability to change speeds and direction will be fun to watch.”
One of four true freshmen on this year’s team, Dixon has quickly learned the culture of the Lady Techster program.
“Give your best every day,” said Dixon. “No days off. Work hard. One and oh which means giving your best in practice so you feel accomplished after your workout.”
Season tickets are on sale for the 2017-18 home slate which features 16 games, including marque non-conference match-ups against Memphis and Clemson. Fans can purchase their season tickets by calling 318-257-3631 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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