WKU women’s basketball team is eyeing a return trip to the NCAA tournament. Last spring, the team made its first appearance in “The Big Dance” since 2008.
Head coach Michelle Clark-Heard took questions Tuesday during basketball media day. She says the team will be tested early with a season-opening WNIT appearance and then a trip to Louisville.
“I can’t look into the crystal ball and tell you what our record will be or how many wins we’ll get,” said Clark-Heard. “But, I can tell you one thing and I can promise you. We’re going to play as hard and we’re going to compete and we’re going to have a chance to be in the ballgame the last five minutes. When we do that, I think we’ll have the opportunity to get the girls in the position to have a chance to win.”
In March, the WKU women lost to Baylor 87-74 in the first round of the NCAA tournament
Both WKU basketball teams were beset by key injuries last season.
Men’s basketball coach Ray Harper also met with the media Tuesday. His team opens the season November 15th against Austin Peay.
The WKU Board of Regents has approved a $37 million bond issue to fund a new international center and Honors College building, as well as the next phase of the ongoing renovation of the Downing University Center.
While the motion passed, three regents voted against the proposal.
Faculty Regent Patty Minter joined Student Regent Keyana Boka and Staff Regent James Kennedy in dissent. Dr. Minter says while she fully supports the WKU Honors College and the school's efforts to grow its international student population, she questions the need to issue bonds and build a brand new facility.
“There were a lot of better ideas that were not explored," said the WKU History Professor. "For example, having a floor in the replacement building for the Gordon Ford College of Business—what a great place that would be. And it would also integrate that group and the international student services into the entire student population, as opposed to segregating them out.”
The WKU women’s basketball team has a trip to Puerto Rico, and contests against Louisville and Vanderbilt to look forward to this upcoming season.
The 2013-14 Lady Hilltoppers’ non-conference schedule was released Monday. Following two exhibition games, the regular season starts November 9 at home against Austin Peay. Other highlights include playing at Vanderbilt and home against Murray State in mid-November.
WKU hosts the Louisville Cardinals November 27, and the team travels to San Juan, Puerto Rico the week before Christmas to play in the 2013 Puerto Rico Classic.
The Lady Hilltoppers are coming off a 22-11 season in Michelle Clark-Heard’s first year as head coach of the program. Last year’s record represents the largest single-season win improvement in Sun Belt Conference history.
WKU’s Michelle Clark-Heard has been named the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year. Two of her players—sophomores Chastity Gooch and Alexis Govan—were named First Team All-Conference selections in a survey of the league’s coaches and media members.
Gooch was also named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.
Voters recognized Coach Clark-Heard for turning the team around in her first season on the hill. The Lady Hilltoppers take a 20-9 record into this week’s conference championships. Last season, the team won only nine games.
Gooch has averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds this season. Govan averaged over 20 points a game, and hit more than 42-percent of her three-point attempts.
Chastity Gooch posted her third double-double in as many games, helping the Western Kentucky University women’s basketball team stay perfect on the young season, and at the same time start 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play with a 62-56 win over Florida International Monday night at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Western Kentucky University women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard announced the addition of three signees on Wednesday as the NCAA early signing period got underway. WKU was able to address its need for size with 6-foot forward Aleeya Harris (San Antonio, Texas; John Jay HS) and 6-foot-2 Bria Gaines (Glenwood, Ill.; Bloom Township HS).
WKU opened the Michelle-Clark Heard era with an 80-69 win over Murray State in the season opener for both squads. The Lady Toppers (1-0) posted the program’s first non-conference win on an opponent’s home court since Dec. 28, 2009 when WKU won at George Washington 74-65 and matched the total number of road wins from a season ago.
WKU women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard is making more noise on the recruiting trail. The first-year coach has signed her first commitment for the Class of 2013. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School junior Kierra Muhammad says she’ll play her college ball at WKU.
There's no such thing as an "off-season" for a college basketball coach. Michelle Clark-Heard is someone who knows this well. Clark-Heard is the head coach of the WKU women's basketball team. Since she was hired in late March, the Louisville native has been evaluating her roster, hiring assistant coaches, scouting potential recruits, and attending tournaments with traveling all-star teams.
Western Kentucky University women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard added a third signee during the spring period with the addition of Perry County Central guard Kendall Noble. Coach Heard says signing Noble was at the top of her to-do list.