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2013-2014 MSU Women's Basketball Preview

High expectations for the nationally ranked Mustangs.
The Midwestern State Women's Basketball program has made significant strides since Noel Johnson took over in 2008, going from 8 wins in her inaugural campaign to 26 wins and playing in the regional finals.
The Mustangs return all five starters from last years regional finalist team.
The success the mustangs are experiencing can be traced back a few years.
A seed planted three years ago by Midwestern State Head Coach Noel Johnson is the foundation for what has become a national championship caliber team.
"Coach J said we were young but she still planned on winning. It was just that mentality she had which trickled down to everyone....'we're young but we're going to give our best' and it's produced great results," said MSU Junior Forward Andrea Carter.
So when last season ended with a four-point loss to Colorado-Mesa in the regional finals, a now veteran roster was not ready to hand in their jerseys.
"My thoughts when the season came to an end last year were just I wasn't ready to be done.," said MSU senior forward Skyler Warrick.
A season which saw four wins over rival Tarleton State, including a 100-point performance in the LSC tournament and a memorable overtime win over West Texas A&M in the tourney final.
All-conference selections Andrea Carter and Kirsti Degelia return after combining to average nearly 30 points per game.
Dianna Jones, Shatoia Gober and Shambreka Jones are also back to fill out the returning starting lineup.
Skyler Warrick and Lisa Hampton also return as the top two weapons off the bench.
Both averaged 15 minutes per game.
"It is about fine-tuning and it's about being better offensively at what we did last year," said MSU head coach Noel Johnson.
"Every minute you spend in here, every defensive mistake, every foul. Every little thing counts. We talk with Coach J about that all the time. Every decision you make on the court counts toward something in the end," said Warrick.
"We try to do all the small things. That is our focus this year. The small things make a big difference so if you do all the small things it will have a big impact on the end of the game," said Carter.
"We set unique goals for each day," said Warrick.
"Making every layup or making 85% of our free throws, we focus on little things that will make us get better everyday," said Warrick.
"Our first goal is to win the conference championship, then the tournament and of course host regional here and then go on to win a national championship," said Carter.
If the fine-tuning results in a national championship, it will be what takes place daily in practice which will play a major part in the success.
"Part of it is just conditioning level. Part of it is just the right angles because of the conditioning level. The chemistry between certain combinations because last year I could sub and not have a drop off. This year we've added two new pieces to the puzzle and its still a matter of adjustment. We have an active redshirt from last year due to injury, Jenae McJunkins. We're going to use her in that 1-2 combo spot. She's probably the best on-ball defender we have," said Johnson.
A transfer from Missouri State, Nicole Smallwood is the other new piece and her teammates say she will make an immediate impact with arguably the best shot on the team.







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