PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It has been quite the bounce back year for the Jefferson University (formerly Philadelphia University) women’s basketball team.
After going 14-15 last season, the program’s first losing season since the 1990-91 campaign, Jefferson is off to an 11-1 start this season.
“I’d have to say that we’ve exceeded expectations,” Jefferson head coach Tom Shirley tells KYW Newsradio. “Coming off last year, which was a tough season for us and having a few unknowns coming in this year, I think if we would’ve been 7-4, 8-3, I think that would’ve been maybe pretty good. But right now, 11-1? Can’t argue.”
Shirley, who has won 733 games as a head coach, talks about what he thinks has keyed his team’s success so far.
“I think we have nine players that could start for other teams,” he says. “I think we just have more depth coming off the bench. We have the size that we didn’t have last year when [forward] Erin Rafter got hurt. And I think there is a great team camaraderie and there’s a willingness to share the ball. I think when you put all that together and mix it up, pretty good formula.”
Redshirt junior guard Jessica Kaminski leads the Rams in scoring at 13.1 points per game. She is one of six players on the roster averaging at least 8.5 points.
This 11-1 start includes a 4-0 mark in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and as the Rams get ready to get into the heart of their conference schedule, Shirley says they still have room to grow.
“I think we’re starting to score more points,” he says. “We were scoring in the 60s, 65, and now all of a sudden we’re in the 80s. But we’re giving up more points. Early in the year we were giving up 59, 60 points and now we’re giving up more like 70. So I think our emphasis is going to be less on the offensive end and more on the defensive end and the variety of defenses that we play.”
Jefferson returns to action on Saturday when the Rams host Goldey-Beacom College.