It will be an interesting season for the Northwestern women’s basketball team this year as they look for another 20 win season and look to build on it this year. Head Coach Joe McKeown really likes his team’s chances this year. “I like our team. We have averaged 20 wins a year the last 4 years and we have learned how to win in the Big Ten. But teams one through 14 are very competitive and i’m sure the rankings of those teams will change once we get to Big Ten Play”. Mckeown Said.
Northwestern has some top returners coming back including junior forward Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah and Senior Lydia Rhode. “Pallas started for us as a freshman and now she is a junior and Lydia had some injuries last year. They were not really big scorers last year but they are getting off to a great start.” says Coach McKeown. Another top returner for the wildcats this year and a player to watch in the Big Ten is Sophomore forward Abi Scheid “Abi played a lot for us as a freshman last year and I think she is one of the most gifted forwards in the Big Ten”. McKeown said. McKeown also likes his new class of freshman. He has started two freshmen so far this season in guard Jordan Hamilton and Lindsey Pulliam. “They are both doing a great job for us this year and they don’t play like freshman.” Mckeown said.
Due to the renovations taking place at Welsh Ryan Arena, The Northwestern Wildcats Women’s team will be playing at Evanston High School which is not too far from Northwestern’s Campus. “It’s a little different but it’s good for us” McKeown Said. “It’s only 5 minutes away from campus so it’s good for our players, our fans, our students and, season ticket holders. They don’t have to travel far. But when we open this new arena, it’s going to be fantastic and it’s just as good as anywhere in College Basketball” McKeown said. McKeown also talked about the biggest things Northwestern has to work on. “ The biggest challenge for us is we are a young team so we just have to learn to battle back and not get deflated and that will really help us when we get into Big Ten” McKeown said. “ I like how competitive they are, and also how not selfish we are but we also have to work on playing together because we have a lot of new people and we also have to take care of the Basketball. We struggle with turning the ball over so that’s something we have to work on before we go into big play” Mckeown said.
Northwestern opens Big Ten Play on December 28th. They open conference play with Minnesota at home.