Women's Basketball Holds First Fall Practice Under Coach John Barnes

Coach John Barnes watches a drill involving freshman Jenna Hirsch and senior Karen Flagg
Coach John Barnes watches a drill involving freshman Jenna Hirsch and senior Karen Flagg

The Youngstown State women's basketball team held an energetic first official practice of the 2013-14 season and the coach John Barnes era on Monday afternoon on Dom Rosselli Court in Beeghly Center.

The Penguins, who finished 23-10 last season for their best record since 1999-2000, practiced for about two-and-a-half hours before a brief session in the weight room with strength and conditioning coach Willie Danzer.

 "The first practice is always very energetic," Barnes said. "Usually you get through the first week with that energy, and then you have to find a way to keep that energy going. We were very happy with where it was on the first day."

YSU worked primarily on fundamentals on both ends of the floor, hoping to solidify those areas before installing key offensive and defensive concepts.

"We'll be doing a lot of defensive fundamentals, passing, ball-handling and scoring around the basket. Those things can win you a lot of games," Barnes said.

Barnes said defensive intensity and positioning will be the primary focus of the first two weeks with some shooting drills mixed in.

The Penguins' roster features four seniors, four returning starters and nine letterwinners back from last year's squad that finished second in the Horizon League regular-season standings, advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament and won a game in the WNIT.

Youngstown State is permitted to have 29 more practices prior to the season opener against VCU on Nov. 9. In general, scheduled off days will be Thursdays and Sundays.

Season ticket packages for both the YSU men's and women's basketball programs are on sale now in the athletic ticket office or by calling (330) 941-1YSU