Our Vision

With year 3 upon me, I need to share with our fans the vision I have for this program.  Last season was one tough season! I loved those kids and they really worked hard but as Murphy’s Law would have it…everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. After much soul-searching, I have concluded that to build a strong program you simply need to go through the process and last year was part of the process.

As our players returned this week, my staff and I were reminded of how special this group is. This team returned in good physical shape, they are committed to being the best students they can be and they are excited about our season. In our first team meeting I shared my vision with our team and staff. My vision is composed of three parts. 1.) Team-work. Understanding that we all have each others backs! We are a family! No one pulls the wagon alone and no one player is the star. 2) Hard-work. Respect is gained when opponents know your team will play hard and with purpose for 40 minutes. We do not have to be the most skilled team but we do have to believe and buy into playing hard. 3.) Mental toughness. This vision piece really matters! The body has to be able but the mind does the steering. I’ve seen many an able athlete head down a mediocre road. My vision holds nothing for those!

JSU women’s basketball is marching toward the team we want to be! And I am loving beating the drum!

Coach Watts

Aside

Hello Gamecock Fans!

Sorry it has been forever since my last post…it has been a tough year! But things are looking better and better! I understand rebuilding programs is a process but I am impatient – and our good Lord is teaching me patience!

Our recruiting is going well and our returning players had a solid post-season. I received spring semester grades today and for the most part, the team did really well.

JSU graduation is tomorrow evening and Destiny Lane will march across that stage! I am so happy for her as she graduates tomorrow and becomes a bride later in the summer. I sure hope Ed and Sena continue to attend games…it will be hard not seeing them in their seats! Congrats Destiny and thank you for all the memories.

Some of you may wonder why Brittany Manning is not marching tomorrow. She finished her undergraduate work and marched with the graduates during the December graduation services. Brittany took some business classes spring semester and finished out her playing eligibility. Her plans include going overseas to work and possibly beginning work on her Masters Degree. Congrats to you, too, Brittany and thank you for all those fine memories.

I hope things are going well for all our fans and that each of you have a wonderful and relaxing summer.

I promise I will do better on this blog site!

Hoops,

Coach Watts

Mixing the old with the new!

Oops, I had better be careful using the word “old” when describing former players because the two former players I have spent time with lately certainly are not old! It has been a fun couple of weeks as I was able to attend the Hall of Fame banquet last weekend where former forward Lisa Baswell (Bates) was inducted in the JSU Hall of Fame! While I have met Lisa several times it was such a delight to meet her parents, her husband and her son. The Hall of Fame dinner was festive, fun and delicious! Lisa shared some great stories, several that I will share with my current players, as she talked about team-mates, winning and good ole JSU!!  I know Coach Austin was proud of Lisa but I must admit…I was tickled pink for her!!

On Saturday, I spend quality time with 3-point shooting expert Kelly Nye (Hinkson). She and her husband, Lee,  were on campus to attend the baseball reunion and  thank goodness they were able to sit and chat with me about all that is going on in their lives. They are an incredible couple who absolutely love JSU! Kelly watched our team play pick-up and it was a pleasure to hear her talk, with excitement in her voice, about our current players!!

If any women’s basketball alumnus read this blog please give me a call and lets set up a time to chat! I do love mixing the old with the new as I learn from the past to help the future!

Thank you Kelly and Lisa for all you did to pave the way for our Gamecock Basketball Women!
See you in the stands.
Coach Watts

JSU Women’s Hoops Announces 2011-12 Schedule

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State women’s basketball team is set to face a tough 2011-12 schedule that features two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago in the first month of the season, back-to-back match ups with Southeastern Conference foes and 12 home games at Pete Mathews Coliseum, JSU head coach Annette Watts announced Wednesday.

Jax State, entering its 16th year on the NCAA Division I level and its second under the direction of Watts, will open with an exhibition contest against Emory University on Nov. 6, a Division III program from Atlanta, Ga.

The Gamecocks will begin the regular season with three consecutive road match ups, including back-to-back games against Mississippi State and Kentucky of the SEC. The season opener versus the Lady Bulldogs of MSU is set for Friday, Nov. 11 in Starkville, Miss. JSU will take on UK four days later on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Memorial Coliseum on the UK campus. The Wildcats of UK turned in a banner year in the Bluegrass State as they reached the SEC title game against Tennessee and reached the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Red and White conclude the season-opening three-game road trip at Kennesaw State on Nov. 19.

“I am excited about putting this schedule together, but it is certainly a tough schedule,” said Annette Watts. “Anytime you open up with a pair of Southeastern Conference teams, you have to have your ducks in a row pretty early. I love playing those types of game because it lets know what you have to work on before conference play starts.”

JSU welcomes Lipscomb for its lone November contest at Pete Mathews on Monday, Nov. 21. Watts’ squad will spend the Thanksgiving holiday participating in the University of Southern Mississippi-hosted Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 25-26. The annual classic field includes – Georgia Southern, Stephen F. Austin and USM. The opening month of the season will wrap up against in-state rival Samford (Nov. 30) in Birmingham. Samford entered the field of 64 after claiming the Southern Conference title last year.

“We have scheduled two tournaments this year because I feel like those prepare you to play in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament,” added Watts. “With the two tournaments, we can learn how to make those steps that it takes to win tournaments.”

The Gamecocks will spend most of December in Jacksonville – the home base and Florida’s city of Jacksonville. JSU will host in-state rival Troy on Dec. 4 and Division II member LeMoyne-Owen College on Dec. 10 before taking off to Florida for three games in the city of Jacksonville. Jax State begins its stay in the Sunshine State against the Dolphins of Jacksonville on Thursday, Dec. 15 before taking part in North Florida’s two-day tournament on Saturday, Dec. 17. The Osprey Holiday Classic features host UNF, Delaware State and Florida International.

Jax State will open its 16-game Ohio Valley Conference schedule on Dec. 20 as it takes on Eastern Kentucky at Pete Mathews Coliseum. After a brief Christmas break, the Gamecocks host Georgia State on Dec. 28 in the final non-conference action of the season.

The OVC has changed the women’s basketball schedule format as this year the women’s league games will be on Saturday’s and Monday’s for 2011-12.

“It’s a great OVC schedule and as always it will be a tough road in the league with UT Martin, Morehead State and Austin Peay and JSU wants to be right in that mix. We will stand alone on Monday nights. I like the new format simply because we will not miss a lot of school,” mentioned Watts.

JSU will usher in 2012 with a New Year’s Eve tilt with OVC-newcomer SIU Edwardsville before opening the new calendar year on Jan. 2 at Southeast Missouri.

A three-game OVC road stretch at Austin Peay (Jan. 14), Murray State (Jan. 16) and Tennessee Tech (Jan. 23) awaits JSU in mid-January before staying home for a trio of games to close out the month. Jax State will entertain Eastern Illinois (Jan. 28), SIUE (Jan. 30) and Tennessee Tech (Feb. 4). TTU claimed the regular season crown last season before falling to UT Martin in the OVC Championship. After three more road games, the Gamecocks wrap up the regular season versus SEMO (Feb. 23) and UTM (Feb. 25).

For the second-straight year, the top-eight teams in the final standings will convene in Nashville, Tenn. For the 2012 OVC Women’s Basketball Tournament, held on Feb. 29 through March 3 at the Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.

8 Days and Counting!

That’s right in 8 days our returnees; Destiny, Danielle, Brittany, Amanda and Lakeria will arrive to begin an exciting year! In 9 days our newbies come sliding in! Thank goodness seven of our newbies were in June summer session and already know their way around good ole JSU. Let these names roll off your tongue: Candace Morton, Miranda Cantrell, Kaitlynn Pacholke, Gia Banks, Hannah Miller, Briana Morrow , Deidra Davis and Briaunna Buckner – these eight freshmen strolled around here in June as if they owned the place!  We have recruited and are excited about Kendra Jones, Takeya Day and Carolyn Taite, as these three transfer to us from the Junior College ranks!

Okay, now I can sense that you are smiling just like I am! Add all those names up and we have a fine and full roster of players. This group has a nice mix of youth and experience. During their recruitment they accepted the challenge of playing hard day in and day out as they understand that going hard has the greatest potential of producing wins!

I am one excited coach and while I do not want to wish my life away…I sure hope these next 9 days go by FAST !

I can’t wait to tell you about THE TEAM’s  first week!

Catch you soon!

Coach Watts

A Great July!

Sorry I have not blogged in so long! I have missed sharing with you Gamecock faithful!
Last week I received the summer-school grades for our team…yipee…everyone had A’s, B’s and a couple of C’s! I am proud of our player’s hard work in the classroom.  It still sticks in my gut that WBB is not on the OVC Honor Roll but I believe we will make that list soon.
Not only was I proud of our team during July but I was amazed at how hard Coach Bell and Coach Couvillion worked on the recruiting trail. (Remember Coach Bates is due to have us a post player in early September so she was not out recruiting. ) Coach Bell and Couvillion covered Atlanta, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Lexington, Louisville and Washington, DC. Their work allowed me to spend a few days in those towns with them yet opened my schedule to cover the AAU Nationals in Orlando, the Battle at the Bayou in New Orleans and Nike Nationals in Augusta. All three of us watched some really good players and the games were very competitive this summer. I am blessed as both Coach Bell and Couvillion get as excited about July recruiting as I do! We all three love watching games and evaluating potential Gamecocks!

Got to run…will write more real soon as our team will be here in 18 days!!

Coach Watts

July Warriors

Happy Fourth of July! The water-melons are really sweet this year and I have one chilling in the fridge for tomorrow!

Our players departed last Tuesday, to spend July and most of August in their home-towns! This was the best June ever! Camps were good and most of our team was here! While we are not allowed to work with the players on basketball we can spend time getting to know them. This group of young women are a hoot! I heard from my contacts (around town) that this team was seen in a local swimming pool, splashing and having fun, they were noticed in the local Wal-Mart replacing misplaced shopping carts, our economy is doing much better since they frequented the mall often and our new locker-room was a favorite hang-out for movies and afternoon naps! They have been gone less than a week and I miss them…hurry up August!

Now to the July warriors! The NCAA allows 3 coaches out during the evaluation periods of July. Coach Bell, Coach Couvillion and myself will pack our bags and not return to J’ville until July 17th and then we head out again on July 21st and will not return until the 31st! I do miss Mike and our dogs but I love watching basketball all day and envisioning certain athletes wearing Gamecock uniforms! We are not allowed to speak to the athletes, their parents or coaches but I just know they can feel our presence!

Thanks for following me on this blog and thanks for the comments! Love you guys!

Coach Watts