The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) women's basketball team will begin the 2019-20 season Nov. 1 when the Bears face the William Penn University junior varsity (WPUJV) inside the DMACC gymnasium. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Head coach Steve Krafcisin, beginning his 15th season as the DMACC women's basketball head coach, returns five sophomores from his 2018-19 team that was 16-15 overall and 10-6 in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC).
"We're really looking forward to the season," Krafcisin said. "We have a very different team with 10 new people out of our 15 (players). We're not as big has we have been in the past and won't have as much of an inside presence so we've gone to kind of a motion offense."
That offense will be run by sophomore point guard Asia Mena of Chicago with freshman Katie Scott of Polk City and sophomore Cailey Schaa of Council Bluffs serving as backups. Schaa, a setter on the DMACC volleyball team, will join the basketball team following the conclusion of the volleyball season.
Mena averaged 9.8 points and 4.1 assists a game last season and shot 37.5 percent from three-point range.
Krafcisin said he expects Schaa to push Mena and Scott for playing time and that all three will play valuable minutes this season.
Sophomores Beth Evans of West Des Moines and Shelbi Raymond of Madrid and freshman Shamir Brown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., are the top candidates at shooting guard and redshirt freshman Taelor Lessmeier of Fort Dodge and true freshman Riley Gatton of Montezuma are vying for playing time at small forward.
Sophomore Hannah McKinney of Des Moines is slated to start at power forward with freshman Emma Mace of Hawarden serving as the backup. Sophomore Reganne Brewster of Grand Forks, N.D., is slated to open the season in the post and Krafcisin said freshman Jada Powell of Des Moines and another volleyball player, 6-foot-3 freshman Katelyn Courtney of Ames, will add depth to that position. Freshman Bailey Burris of Menlo is also a candidate in the post and at power forward.
Krafcisin said his team has quickness and is good at attacking the basket and shooting three-pointers and those are the things he wants to build on.
"It's just going to take patience," he said. "It's going to take time for the girls to get it. I just have to be patient with it and make sure I keep selling it to the girls."
Krafcisin said patience is a major key to the season.
"The girls and coaches are going to have to keep learning as we go," Krafcisin said. "I really like the team. I think it's just the coaches having patience and the girls believing and staying positive.
"Our girls are really good at attacking, so we want to go up-tempo. A key for us is to keep getting better. If we can keep improving I think we are going to be in good shape. It should be really fun to see us develop. From our first scrimmage the first week of October to where we are now the girls have really done a good job and I think we as coaches have done a good job just staying patient."