With a handful of practices under its belt, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team will tour Canada from Aug. 6-14 for its first taste of game action.
The Pirates will play four games over the course of their eight-day northern excursion. SHU will first go to Montreal where the the exhibitions kick off against McGill University on Aug. 9, followed by a game with Laval University on Aug. 10. After a day off, the Pirates head to Ottawa to play the University of Ottawa on Aug. 12. They finish off the Canadian tour on Aug. 13 against Carleton University.
In its open practice on Aug. 2, the team prepared for the trip by focusing on fast breaks, game speed situations and scrimmaging. LaTecia Smith, who will assume point guard duties this year, is pleased with the team’s chemistry thus far.
“We’ve bonded really, really well so far,” the sophomore captain said. “We have a young team, but you can just tell talent-wise we’re gonna go a long way.”
This trip to Canada provides an opportunity for players to develop stronger connections both on and off the court as they explore Montreal and Ottawa. Head coach Tony Bozzella is counting on it.
“We have some great opportunities and some great things for them to do in addition to giving them some free time,” he said. “It’ll be great bonding where we’re gonna room an upperclassman with a new kid.”
The veteran-freshman roommate pairing comes at a time when The Hall is bringing in seven freshmen, eight new players total, to compliment one returning starter from last year’s 23-9 team. The current makeup of the squad has allowed for players to find their niche and learn how to best support their teammates.
“Everybody has their own role, everybody is picking each other up,” Smith said.
With such a young team, redshirt junior JaQuan Jackson said the focus is on leading younger players in the “right direction and showing them what’s right.”
While roles and leadership settle, excitement for the cohesiveness of the team to improve on this Canadian tour remains a recurring theme among both the coaches and players.
“We really stress family here at Seton Hall,” Bozzella said. “We really want these girls to be comfortable and bond together, and I think that will help us in the long run.”
Kyle Kasharian can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ItsKyleKash.