|Updated: 11/10/2011 11:50 am
||Published: 11/10/2011 11:49 am
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tom Collen and the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team went through its final practice before opening the season with Minnesota in the first game of the WBI Tip-Off Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla., Friday.
Arkansas has a veteran team and six new players and seems ready to take the next step this year. Ashley Daniels leads a five-member senior class who is ready for the challenges of their final year.
“Our goal is to have fun and win,” Daniels said. “We are all going into the season with our eyes wide open and we want to be competitive in every game – especially on the defensive end.”
“This team is excited to play a game,” Collen added. “They want to get out on the floor and prove themselves. We have a challenging schedule to open but those are the types of games and opponents you have to play to get ready for the SEC.”
The Razorbacks play back-to-back-to-back games meeting Minnesota at 1 p.m. Friday, South Florida at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and No. 18 Florida State at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We are looking to get out to a fast start in the games and for the season,” said junior Sarah Watkins. “Our long-term goal includes getting to the NCAA Tournament and we all are striving to play the perfect game each time we play.”
Arkansas finished off a successful 2010-11 campaign with 22 wins, several weeks in the national polls and a run to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. Despite the success, not making the NCAA Tournament was a disappointment for Collen and the team.
“We are as prepared for these games as we could possibly be,” Collen said. “We are counting on our depth to be a factor for us and we want to press more and create tempo. Our bench will help with that. We feel like we came up a bit short last year and we are ready to take that next step.”
For more information regarding Razorback women’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.