Youthful women’s basketball team has high expectations

Marquette+Women%27s+Basketball+vs.+Seton+Hall+in+the+2016+BIG+EAST+tournament+in+Chicago%2C+Illinois.
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Youthful women’s basketball team has high expectations

Marquette Women's Basketball vs. Seton Hall in the 2016 BIG EAST tournament in Chicago, Illinois.

Marquette Women's Basketball vs. Seton Hall in the 2016 BIG EAST tournament in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo by Maggie Bean

Marquette Women's Basketball vs. Seton Hall in the 2016 BIG EAST tournament in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Marquette Women's Basketball vs. Seton Hall in the 2016 BIG EAST tournament in Chicago, Illinois.

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The Marquette women’s basketball team was tired. They had completed a full practice and they were ready to head to the locker room when they heard head coach Carolyn Kieger yell, “One more.”

Some days “one more” will mean extra shooting after practice or one extra drill, but on this day one more meant 14 additional sprints.

“We’re not like, ‘Yay 14 more sprints.’ We are all like, ‘We just had a tough practice’,” guard Allazia Blockton said. “We know (Kieger) knows what she is talking about. It is going to get us to the next level. She wants to win rings. We want to win rings. She knows what she is talking about, so lets run the 14 sprints.”

After discovering the true meaning of hard work this summer, doing “one more” after practice is just one example of how Marquette is using hard work to deal with higher expectations. They aren’t satisfied with just being good.

Last year, Marquette was the youngest team in all of Division 1 basketball. With so many unknowns surrounding the team, little was expected and many picked Marquette to finish last in the BIG EAST.

What was soon discovered was that the youth of the team would not be an issue. The Golden Eagles were quick and had the ability to score. They finished the season 14-16 and 9-9 in the BIG EAST, which surpassed the previous seasons’ win total.

This season, the Golden Eagles no longer have the element of surprise on their side. They’re ranked third in the BIG EAST preseason poll. Blockton is predicted to compete for BIG EAST Player of the Year and the roster has been improved with the addition of depth and size.

“I think they love it,” Kieger said of the team’s higher expectations. “I think they want it, but I think the best part is they are putting it on themselves. It’s not the media, it’s not me. This is the standard that they want and I think they have a little bit more ownership because of that.”

“For them they have to realize first how good they were. Then two, what it takes to be that good,” Kieger added. “Instead of just having these high expectations they know now what the work load is going to be to get there. First they had to come to the conclusion themselves: what do we want? And now they are willing to do the work and it’s not just us screaming and yelling everyday.”

For Brockton, being ranked third is nice, but she sees more potential in this team.

“We rank third and the first thing (Kieger) said when we came back from BIG EAST media day, she was like ‘We ranked third but we are not satisfied are we? We want to be first. We are coming for the first spot.’ Kiegs always has higher expectations. … She is never satisfied and just from her being like that, that makes us satisfied. Although we went from ranking seventh or eighth last year to third, we are not satisfied because we think we should be ranked first.”

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