Posted Oct 27, 2004 14:19:27
Health Issues Continue to Dictate Techster Practices
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech head coach Kurt Budke doesn't mince words when talking about the current status of his Lady Techster basketball team through the first 12 days of practice.
"This is the first time since I've been here that we've gone over a week into practice and not been able to scrimmage," Budke said. "We're beginning to have an idea of what we're going to compete with every night when we play, but until everyone gets healthy we still have a lot of questions that need answering.
"When you can't scrimmage, it's tough. We're definitely, definitely behind where I'd like to be. That's just a fact."
When the Lady Techsters opened practice Oct. 16, they were without the services of five of the 14 scholarship student-athletes due to various health issues. Almost two weeks later, Budke has regained the services of junior forward Tashia Combs and junior guard Aarica Ray-Boyd, although neither is practicing at 100 percent.
However, Budke is still waiting on the return of sophomore guard Shan Moore, junior guard Tosha Christmas and senior guard Erica Taylor.
Taylor and her husband Jermain are expecting the couple's first child in early December, and thus the All-America candidate won't be back until early January. Christmas, who has been battling both injury and sickness, could hit the practice floor as early as this weekend while Moore won't return before next week at the earliest.
"We've been spending a lot of time on fundamentals," Budke said. "When we're teaching offensive sets, I like to teach whole, part, whole. Teach the whole play, break it down into parts and then come back and teach the whole again. We really haven't been able to do that because we don't have enough people. So we've been concentrating on fundamentals.
"The last couple of days we started putting in some offense because we are just running out of time. Our first game is going to be here, and we have to be able to run one or two plays."
The Lady Techsters open the exhibition portion of its schedule Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. against the Basketball Travelers while the first regular season game is set for Nov. 24 at Mississippi at 7 p.m.