Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Coach Curry talks hopes and expectations for this season of women’s basketball

CW/ Natalie Teat
Alabama women’s basketball head coach Kristy Curry speaks at SEC Basketball Tipoff event on Oct. 19 in Birmingham, Ala.

In the wake of an exceptional 20-11 season in women’s basketball last year, the anticipation for the upcoming season is great. The Crimson White’s Courtney Larrimore sat down with head coach Kristy Curry ahead of the season, which kicks off Nov. 6 with a game against Alabama State. 

Larrimore: You had a great winning streak last season, but things got tough towards the end. How are you planning to mitigate that in the upcoming season? 

Curry: “I think we’ve got some players on our team that have probably learned from that and went through that experience. And how do we make sure from a conditioning, a preparation standpoint, that we look at ourselves first and see what we as a staff can do better? And then hopefully be able to learn from our experiences a year ago as coaches and players and finish stronger. We felt like we were in, we had made the postseason, but we lost a lot of close games down the stretch. So overall, to be a team that does the little things better, whether it’s taking better care of the ball down the stretch of SEC play, making our free throws, it’s the little things that become big. You know, it’s a very small margin for error, and we made too many little mistakes that we’ve got to correct here down the stretch.” 

Larrimore: Can we expect any adjustments to your coaching approach for the upcoming season? 

Curry: “You know, we want to play fast. I mean, we want to make sure that we make one-second decisions, and our system and style of play is a fun up-and-down play. It fits the SEC. But I also think, too, as far as the joy of coaching is adjusting to your personnel, I feel like one of the biggest differences you’ll see in this season compared to last season is that our front line is extremely talented. So we want to play more inside out, and we want to have more of a post presence, and I feel like our kids will be able to do that with the personnel we’ve recruited.”  

Larrimore: With six new recruits this year, how do you plan on integrating them into the team dynamics while ensuring the continued development of your veteran players? 

Curry: “I think we had a great summer because we had the opportunity to go on a foreign tour. So with our eight practices and our time in June, it gave us a jump start with our system, with our drills, with our position play, and we’re able to spend more time with our six new faces. But our six players that we brought in, it’s the No. 12 recruiting class in the country. So with all three of our freshmen, it’s different. They’ve all played at a really high challenge level in high school in the summer. And then you look at our three incoming transfers, one at Arizona State and one at NC State, and then you look at Burger [Del’Janae Williams], who is a fifth-year player, and really our only true senior. So the opportunity that we have to really build with this group, they’re a talented group. They’re so driven and motivated because they’ve all played at a really high level.” 

Larrimore: Can you give some insights into the new transfers you’ve brought onto the team this year? 

Curry: “Jessica Timmons is an NC State transfer. Extremely physical, has just been a joy to be around. Brings so much energy and personality, not just on the floor, but off the floor. And it’s really going to add to our backcourt the ability to score the basketball, which we lost with Hannah [Barber] and Brittany [Davis]. So I think she’s really going to be a complement to our backcourt with our returnees and just high-level ACC [and] NCAA tournament experience players.  

“And then you bring in Meg Newman, who was so highly recruited out of high school and went to play for a coach that ended up leaving, and having a torn ACL. But man, her motor and her pace is relentless and along with Jess, I just love coaching those two kids. Meg is going to just help so much with our front line and give us such amazing depth and presence on the boards and she just brings a lot of tenacity.  

“And then you look at Del’Janae Williams, nicknamed Burger, she can really score the basketball, and she’s quick and really gives us a presence on the ball that’s much improved from a year ago. So we feel like not only is our frontcourt going to make us better offensively, but I feel like those three are going to make us better defensively, which I think when you talk about the five-game struggle, add that in too, that we got to be better defensively, and I think those three are really going to help us.”  

Larrimore: Are there any matchups on the schedule that you anticipate being particularly challenging for the team? 

Curry: “The only game that matters to us is Nov. 1 and just how can we use that experience?  And we’re just going to take them one day at a time. We’ve got our preseason, which is season No. 1, and then we’ve got season No. 2, which is our SEC season, and if we take care of 1 and 2, we get to 3 with the postseason. I love our preseason schedule though. I think it’s a challenge going to a Big Ten. In Syracuse, we have a three-day event which prepares you for an SEC tournament format against two NCAA Tournament teams and then Liberty that was 24-7, who’s picked second in Conference USA behind Middle Tennessee. And you look at South Florida, who a year ago we learned a tough lesson in Tampa that I think really benefited us, but we certainly want to make sure we defend our home court there. And we’ve just got so many really great opportunities that show different looks.” 

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