Last night was Senior Night or the IUPUI Jaguars women’s basketball team. Their season has been like one, long battle. The program was turned upside down for an internal investigation last summer that led to a coaching change just before the beginning of the season. Given everything this team has been through, it’s no surprise they’ve only got four wins on the season (with two games remaining).
If there’s a silver lining, it’s the teams effort. People who watched this team play last year and this year couldn’t stop beaming over the oncourt effort from the players. Last year, it’s been said, the team simply didn’t care. While most opponents were more talented than IUPUI this year, you could never accuse them of phoning it in. Two conference losses were decided by one point and three others by two possessions.
This team has a long way to be a truly competitive team in the conference, but this season was an important restarting point for the Jags. Head Coach Austin Parkinson won’t win any hardware for this season, but his impact was noticeable when you see where this team was in November. The team improved as the year went on, doing the little things.
Depending on off-season recruits and workouts, there’s no reason the Jags can at least make the conference tournament next season. I’d like to see Kerah Nelson develop a quicker release. She’s the team leader and can take over any game if she wants. Now is her chance to step into the role Jernisha Cann held for so many years. After her, we’ll have to wait and see if the role players develop into team leaders. Only time will tell. At the very least, though, we know there’s no quit in this team. See you in November.