Northern Illinois head coach Kathi Bennett, who joined the 300-win club last season, has already taken the team through two weeks of individual workouts and two weeks of 40-minute team workouts.
On Tuesday, Bennett and her staff will finally get to run a true, all-out practice, which has the second-year Huskie coach in an excited state.
“I’m just really pumped to have more than 40 minutes a day, two hours a week, to really build our identity and our foundation, and really see what we look like going up and down the floor,” Bennett said. “We did a lot of skill and half court work [in the individual and team workouts]. It’s going to be great seeing what we do going up and down the court this week. We want to create, maintain and build our identity and keep everyone on the same page.”
With essentially five weeks of practice ahead of them, Bennett and the Huskies plan to construct their team identity, which Bennett says is to be a “great defensive team.”
“We are going to work fundamentals: ball handling, passing, catching first, and defense,” Bennett said. “That’s going to be our first week of practice – covering the basics. We want to be a sound team. We want our identity to be a great defensive team. We have a lot of work to do to get there, but everybody seems to want that. That’s what we are working towards.”
The group that will be running Bennett’s signature “pack” defense will feature seven returning letterwinners from last season, including three starters in forward Kim Davis (8.1 points, 6.9 rebounds), and guards Danielle Pulliam (4.0 points, 3.1 rebounds) and Courtney Shelton (7.9 points, 2.6 assists).
Tickets for the 2011-12 season are on sale now, and can be purchased online or by calling (815) 752-6800.
The Huskies begin the year Tuesday, Nov. 8, with a home exhibition contest against Indiana-Wesleyan. NIU’s regular season opener is slated for Sunday, Nov. 13, at Loyola Chicago.
For more information on NIU women’s basketball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.