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Excited about the extra ingredients During his hall of fame career, Andy Landers has “When you’re locked in to one set of skills, it limits the heard just about every coaching adage imaginable. things that you would like to do as a coach,” Landers One that sticks out in his mind involves newcomers said. “When you sub and you bring in another set or who join a basketball team. other abilities or when you can mix your lineup and your “Newcomers are the spice of a basketball team” lineup goes from being capable of doing one thing to goes the saying, the interpretation being that first-year doing something else, then as a coach, you have more players provide an extra ingredient that might not have cards to play and your strategies are expanded.” been there in the past. Though the Lady Bulldogs suffered a major blow two This fall, Landers welcomed seven newcomers who days before pre-season practices began when senior have been rated as one of the nation’s top-five recruiting Christy Marshall tore the ACL in her right knee, Georgia classes by most scouting services. Those additions will appears better suited to weather such a setback than in give Landers the ability to spice up the Lady Bulldogs previous years. The Lady Bulldogs’ dozen-deep roster in the coming months, not just with proverbial salt and should still provide competition – and perhaps more pepper but with some more exotic additions to the importantly, depth – at all five positions. recipe like cumin, garlic, paprika and saffron. “As coaches, we’ve felt a “I’m very excited,” Landers said. “I think our “We have a different little bit handicapped,” Landmanagers are excited. I think our trainer is excited. ers said. “We couldn’t press skill set and a wider or run because we knew we I think our players are excited. I think everybody is excited because they can see there’s a number of variety of options wouldn’t have the energy pieces that can be placed together to form pictures. to do that for the long haul, than we’ve had...” whether that be a game or And those pieces can be put together to form pictures that look similar or they can look different. – Andy Landers the season. Hopefully, we We have a different skill set and wider variety of will move in the direction of options than we’ve had the last couple of years.” being a full-court basketball team.” Last year, the Lady Bulldogs played from January The Lady Bulldogs’ base begins with three returning through March with only eight scholarship players, starters and two additional letterwinners. Though that several of whom were nursing injuries. The result was quintet of players is battle-tested, Landers would like a very short bench and even fewer options to shake to see significant steps in their development, both as things up. a group and individually.
2009-10 Lad y Bulldo G Basketball
“We would like to affect to some extent a change in their competitiveness and their success in competing,” Landers said. Added to the mix is a seven-player group of newcomers that has already impressed Landers and his staff. “This class of newcomers seems to be extremely eager to contribute,” Landers said. “On the floor and off the floor, they have been exceptional. This entire class wants to please in everything that they do. They don’t have their own agenda. They have a Georgia agenda. They want to adhere to and uphold that agenda. We have a group of inexperienced players, all of whom could earn key roles on this team.” One thing that appears apparent is that there will be more roles to fill this season. “Going into this season, the term ‘starter’ does not carry the same relevance as in the past because of the sheer numbers,” Landers said. “There are others who are capable of playing and contributing at a high level. If you look at how we have played the last couple of years, maybe even longer, a starter was someone who was going to be on the floor unless something bad happened. Now, a starter is a person who could come out of the game so that something else good could happen. The relevance of being a starter does not carry as much weight as it has in the past.” Perhaps more important, competition will not be confined to games, it will take place daily in practices as the Lady Bulldogs rebuild their competitiveness.
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