Just two weeks into his team’s practice schedule, women’s basketball coach Cameron Newbauer is still unsure of where exactly his players will be on the court, let alone who the starters will be.

Newbauer said if he had to guess, he would choose a starting lineup of guards Funda Nakkasoglu, Paulina Hersler, Dyandria Anderson and Delicia Washington, along with forward Haley Lorenzen. He admitted, however, that that lineup is mostly built on the experience each player brings to the court.

Newbauer said the abundance of guards is a point of interest on his team.

“We’ll probably have different people be the point guard at different times,” Newbauer said. “That’s one thing we’re trying to create is more versatility within our offense.”

Newbauer a tough critic through two weeks of practice:

Newbauer said he loves to work on fundamentals.

During last Monday’s practice, Newbauer had his team running drills on how to beat full-court presses. Before that, it was three-on-two breakaways. Most of those breakaways ended with long-range jumpers, keeping up with Newbauer’s mantra of “chuck it from the cheap seats.”

During last week’s full-court press drills, Newbauer repeatedly stopped what everyone was doing to explain the intricacies of passing lanes, player movement and ball-handler responsibilities.

He accepted questions from players, answering in full detail — complete with pantomiming — the different outcomes of his strategies. When he saw a mistake, he whistled everyone back to the starting point.

“Still an adventure right now in the early stages of the 2017-18 season,” Newbauer said.

As for assessing his team’s progress through two weeks’ worth of practice, Newbauer said he’s a tough critic.

“I’m always pretty negative about things,” Newbauer said. “Pleased one minute, not the next…. But in terms of the overall attitude and effort, I’m definitely impressed with that.”

Shooting guard Delicia Washington impressing her coach:

Speaking on attitude, Newbauer said he’s been pleased with Washington’s. He said in the six months he’s been head coach, Washington has matured more than he has seen any player between years. The sophomore is coming off a minor surgery in the offseason which temporarily held her off the practice floor. Newbauer praised the guard from Macclenny for her work away from the physical side of the sport.

“There was even some time where we watched film instead of working out to use our hours, and she embraced that,” Newbauer said. “She really tried to be a student of the game this summer, and I really think that helped her mature off the court.”

You can follow Morgan McMullen on Twitter @MorganMcMuffin, and contact him at mmcmullen@alligator.org.

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