Women’s basketball shoots for a surprise finish

Erin Chambers averaged 23.5 points per game, and started every game for SFU last season.

Last Season: 4th

GNAC Coach’s Poll: 5th

Last year was a successful one for coach Bruce Langford’s team. With the team finishing in fourth place and advancing to the semifinals of the GNAC tournament, the year was full of highlights for the Clan. However, this season might be a bit more challenging. With only nine players on the roster at the moment, and Erin Chambers turning professional, it will be interesting to see where the team finishes by the end of the season.

“I think that we’re going to surprise people,” said Head Coach Langford. “A lot of people think that we lost a fair bit of offensive talent. We’ve got an opportunity for some kids to step up, and we’re going to see them do that.”

Much like the men’s basketball team, the women are also losing their star player. This past summer, Erin Chambers turned professional, and is now playing in Portugal. “We recognize what she brought to the team, and we recognize that we have to change our style a little bit because of that,” explained Langford.

“We have an opportunity for some other players to one: step into her job, and two: to take on a slightly different shape. I think we’ll be a better rebounding team, and I think we’ll be more of a team-oriented team. Last year, people could just let Erin do some things, that she then did a very good job of. This year that won’t happen for us.”

As of writing, the Clan only has nine players on their team, a considerably small size for a basketball team. And it was almost eight. “This year we are only nine, but nine isn’t a crisis stage. It looked like it was [going to be] eight two weeks ago, because it looked like Meg Wilson might not play this year. And if that were true, that would be a huge impact to us.

“The doctors are saying that maybe she can play this year, and if she does, nine is a way easier place to be than eight was.”

Langford said that Wilson’s medical issues involve her leg. Two different doctors have given two different diagnoses, one with compartment syndrome and one with popliteal entrapment. The first will allow her to continue to play through some pain, while the other will require surgery that would put her out of action for a year.

Despite the stress over current team size, coach Langford is excited by the upcoming class of recruits that have committed to the program. “We’re very excited by them. They’ve got great athleticism, very good skill, shoot the ball really well. They have huge upside potential, all five of them. They’ll be the best recruiting class I’ve ever had.”

The women’s basketball team’s season starts with some preseason games, the next one being Saturday against Lewis & Clark College. The home opener will be Thursday, December 3, when the Clan take on perennial powerhouse Alaska Anchorage.