UCLA women’s basketball looks to bolster teamwork efforts
Sophomore forward Monique Billings said that setting screens and putting her teammates in position to score will help contribute to more teamwork on court. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)
By Logan Patton
Nov. 4, 2015 6:19 a.m.
The women’s basketball team makes great individual plays, but that’s not enough for coach Cori Close.
In Sunday’s 113-42 win over Vanguard, sophomore guard Jordin Canada had six steals and freshman forward Ashley Hearn had eight rebounds, but those individual efforts aren’t the only things Close is looking for.
“We had a lot of great individual plays today (Sunday). We’ve got to do more plays where you need the other person, teamwork plays, I think more teamwork plays and less individual plays,” Close said. “We are a very individually talented team and sometimes that can be a curse as well as a blessing.”
This will be one of the many facets that the team will work on in practice as it prepares for its first game against St. John’s.
“Against the great teams, you’re going to have to find ways to make each other better and link together,” Close said. “Everyone has to have hold of the rope and so I think I’ll be focused on more teamwork plays (and) less individual plays (in practice).”
At the end of the Vanguard game, Canada’s four assists led the team while the rest of the Bruins had three or fewer. In total, there were 17 assists, accounting for 30 percent of the team’s points. Close is planning on emphasizing plays where everyone is involved.
Sophomore Monique Billings said she wants to try to set her teammates up for better positions, working on setting more screens for her teammates to capitalize on.
“(I want to) work on setting my teammates up for good positions,” Billings said. “So screens for Kari (Korver) or step up screens for Jordin (Canada) to get them open and just learning how to work with them.”
Hearn said that believes that the team chemistry is the best it’s ever been, but even still, she thinks she can learn to work better with the team.
”The team chemistry is definitely being built in practice and team bonding and so what you saw on the court was just a reflection of our chemistry,” Hearn said. “My teammates really helped uplift me.”