PULLMAN – The Cougar women’s basketball team is positive and eager to learn, new coach June Daugherty told the Pullman Kiwanis Club Thursday at their noon meeting in the Gladish Community and Cultural Center.
“They realize that as a Pac-10 team, we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be,” she said. “We are working on the fundamentals – and doing a lot of running. We want to really be able to press our opponents …with defense …and then go into a strong running game. It should be fun to come and watch,” she said.
But it wasn’t just about the game. Daugherty highlighted four goals she feels are important not only to individual student athletes, but to the team as a whole. She said she hopes to have 100 percent graduation rates for team members as well as the highest GPA of all sports on campus. She also wants to see the team compete nationally – to be in the “spotlight” and she expects the girls to be role models in the community.
“We are recruiting for good people with great character right now,” said Daugherty. “This is the type of kid we want to build the program around.”
To reach some of these goals, she asked for the help of the community. “We need your support in the stands at all the games,” she said. “It makes a huge difference.”
“In return, we will play hard for you. We’ll give you ‘blue collar basketball’ – in your face …. with great intensity, playing as hard as we can.”
Having recently moved to the Palouse, after 11 years as head coach of the Washington Huskies, Daugherty joked with the crowd that she had “burned all the purple – it’s all gone.” She spoke well of the Pullman community saying, “It’s like a fairy tale – people come to your door with baskets of cobbler to welcome you to the neighborhood.”
“It’s been a rocky transition but I feel terrific,” said Daugherty, who suffered cardiac arrest last spring and has since had a defibrillator implanted. “I have a clean bill of health for work and exercise.”
More about Cougar women’s basketball is online at http://wsucougars.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/wast-w-baskbl-body.html.