If you were worried for even a moment about the Kentucky Women’s Basketball team lacking motivation for this upcoming season, rest assured, the Wildcats are more determined than ever. With 10 players returning from last year’s squad, the wounds of last season’s shortcomings are still fresh. But, as the saying goes, revenge is the best medicine.
When asked about using last season as motivation, Coach Elzy gave KSR a response that would stir even the most fair-weathered fan.
“We did a lot of great things that we can be happy about, but we are not satisfied,” Elzy said. “We didn’t reach all the goals that we had set out for ourselves. It’s nothing that we have to harp on. We know what we didn’t do. We are just more talking about coming back with the mentality of operating in championship mode and the Kentucky brand.”
Championship mode will certainly be easier to achieve with a full offseason. From COVID-related issues to Coach Mitchell’s resignation, last year’s summer was littered with obstacles. With none of these barriers in their way this offseason, the players are already noticing a difference.
Senior guard Blair Green spoke to KSR on the difference a normal offseason can make.
“We get the entire summer. We’ll be able to have that bonding experience that we didn’t get to have last year,” Green said. “I think this year we’ve already found huge improvement just with our chemistry on the floor and our skill level.”
While Green is undoubtedly excited by what she is seeing, she isn’t letting the painful memories of last season dissipate. But, similar to Coach Elzy, she is using the memories to push her toward improvement.
“Those losses that I feel like should have been wins, is really just fueling our fire to be better this year,” Green said. “This year will be very exciting and I think we’ll have a lot of motivation just to come out with a big bang this year and show people what we’re about.”
With six of their top eight scorers returning, the ‘Cats will have a great chance to do just that. Furthermore, the squad’s experience will be immeasurably helpful. With four seniors and two redshirt juniors, this group of Wildcats has been through the fire. However, nobody has adapted to the fire better than star senior Rhyne Howard.
While Howard may be in a league of her own when it comes to talent, she shares the same mindset as her fellow ‘Cats: hungry for success. Howard made it clear that this is a common theme across the team. When asked about using any failures from years past as motivation, Howard gave an answer that is music to BBN’s ears.
“It doesn’t even have to be reminded. We are already still upset about some of the losses we had last year,” Howard said. “We want to beat everybody and we are going to work as hard as we have to in order to make that happen.”
It’s safe to say the ‘Cats aren’t lacking incentive. If revenge truly is the best medicine, the Kentucky Women’s Basketball team may be feeling better very soon.