Sept. 30, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB women's basketball team has completed its first day of practice for the 2013-14 season. The Blazers took to the court for over two hours on Monday afternoon.
Head coach Randy Norton, who is in his first season with UAB, met with media members following practice to discuss his expectations for the team and how the first day went.
"The first day went well," said Norton. "I think they got a little tired. We had not gone two hours with them. I felt like they are being really coachable and that the effort was there today. They had good enthusiasm, a lot of energy. For the first day, I am really pleased."
Norton will have two players returning from last year's starting lineup. Seniors Karisma Chapman and Ashley Grimes were both Conference USA second-team selections last year and will be relied on heavily to lead this year's group.
"Those two certainly give you two great players to build the team around," Norton remarked. "As I told them, I am a big believer in focusing on the process. We are not going to talk about winning championships or how many games they are going to win. We are going to focus on taking one day at a time and how many things we can control. I think they have really bought into that so far. I'm really excited about our team."
UAB will have a young team with six of the eight returners being sophomores, plus two freshman additions to the roster. Norton will have some added depth and experience from junior college transfer Miranda Burroughs, who was a NJCAA All-American last season at Kaskaskia College.
With a large group of newcomers, Norton feels that everyone will have a chance to compete for quality playing time this season. Sophomore Chelsee Black will be a major part of the mix after averaging 5.9 points per game last season.
"I think Chelsee Black
, a sophomore point guard, is the top player returning alongside Chapman and Grimes," added Norton. "We are going to train her to be our quarterback, our point guard. From there, I think it will just be an everyday battle to see who gets minutes."
He also added transfers Lauren McGraw and Janae Smith, but both will be required to sit out the 2013-14 season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Junior Bianca Dufelmeier suffered an injury in the offseason and will take a medical redshirt this season.
The Blazers will continue practicing until they begin play on Oct. 28 with an exhibition game against Georgia Southwestern in Bartow Arena.
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