After opening the season with a 1-1 record, women's basketball coach Ryan Weisenberg talks about an exciting win against Seattle University, a disappointing loss to UCLA, and the hope of seeing how his women will bounce back in Thursday's home opener against UC Irvine.
Weisenberg called the Seattle University win a "confidence builder" after beating a team picked to win the WAC, with players expected to be the conference's player and freshman of the year.
The Seattle game saw five players score in double-figures due to more ball sharing and better movement on the court. Weisenberg commended the team on taking better -- and more disciplined -- shots.
Weisenberg says that he always tells his team "there is a thin line between confidence, arrogance and ignorance." He said he thought his team had a little bit of arrogance kick in before the UCLA game.
"We didn't do our pregame how we exactly and normally do it," he said. "After our first win it felt like we kind of shrugged our shoulders and thought we would get it going at some point, and you can't do that against a quality team."
Defensive transition and rebounding were the two biggest focuses heading into the UCLA match, and Weisenberg says the Waves fell short in both areas on Monday due to a lack of communication. Weisenberg praised his team on limiting UCLA's first shot, but falling short on the second and third, something they just can't do against such an athletic team.
But, the UCLA game showed the coaches how much the team's offense has evolved. Pepperdine outshot the Bruins 42.6% to 40.0%.
"Our offense when is extremely good when we want it to be," Weisenberg said. "It's when we have those mental lapses that it becomes a struggle for us."
The offense this year is a little simpler, claims Weisenberg, with "really defined roles. People will not just be throwing up shots, especially when they know they can get a better shot." This change may account for the drastic increase in scoring and point differential from last year.
Though disappointed in the loss, Weisenberg said that it did show the girls that if they would have played all 40 minutes, they could have beaten UCLA. Now he wants to see what kind of team will be coming out of the loss. He said that he wants the mindset to be, "we should have won this, now let's beat up on the next team."
Bria Richardson posted back-to-back career highs in points, and Weisenberg said she is flourishing as a team leader and embracing that role.
"She is not satisfied," he said. "The only way she is satisfied is if we get a WCC title and into a postseason tournament."
Weisenberg said Richardson is not concerned about individual accolades, but if she continues to go the way she has, there is no way to keep this rising star off any all-star lists.
Looking forward to Thursday, Weisenberg says to prepare for UCI the team will be focusing on defensive transition and not fouling.
"We put UCLA on the line 36 times," he said. "We were standing up against an athletic team, playing with our hands instead of our feet." He believes the Waves will get back to what earned them a win in Seattle.