Women's Basketball Ready to Work in 2014-15

Though the team spent much of its off and preseason adjusting to a new style of play under new head coach Jeff Mittie - the program's ninth head coach - the Wildcats are ready to get back on the court for the 2014-15 season.
"People can expect a lot of hustle from us," said senior guard Haley Texada. "We've hustled before, but Coach Mittie is definitely about hustle and intensity, and if you're not going hard it's not good enough, so there will be a lot of bodies flying around." 
Opening its 2014-15 campaign tonight with its first of two exhibition matchups, K-State will take on Emporia State at 7 p.m., in Bramlage Coliseum. The start of a new era for Wildcat women's hoops, tonight's game will mark fans' first look at Mittie and this year's team in action.
"I would say the offseason was spent just really implementing our system," explained Mittie who came to K-State earlier this year after coaching 14 seasons at TCU. "Now we're reprograming. They're changing their habits now... They're very coachable. They want to do the right things - probably too bad - they're pleasers in that way, so that hasn't been an issue."
This year's Wildcat roster includes 10 returning players, including senior guards Haley Texada, Ashia Woods and Heidi Brown, along with five newcomers (three transfers and two true freshmen). 
Bringing a new style of play to the court, Mittie plans to bring a more dynamic offense than ever before to the Bramlage Coliseum floor this season. 
"I can't speak to last year, but I can say what I think is critical for teams to be good. You have to get to the free throw line more, you've got to find easier ways to score and then you have to keep people off the free throw line," explained Mittie. "It's a simple deal: the team that usually gets the best looks wins. How we accomplish that, there's 100 ways to do it, but if we can keep people from getting easy shots and you can get easy shots, you've got a chance to win."
Along with finding new ways to score the basketball on the offensive end, he has implemented a tougher, more active defense. Mittie believes people can expect more from this year's squad defensively. 
"I think from the standpoint of knowing where they are supposed to be and understanding that part of it, (this team) is certainly ahead at the defensive end (more) than they are at the offensive end," said Mittie. "I like that about them. I think they have a chance to be a team that can be an improved basketball team from a year ago at that end of the floor."
In his 23rd year of coaching, Mittie is among the winningest active coaches in NCAA Division I with more than 450 career wins. He is implementing a new culture among the Wildcats, and that culture is one this team can be proud of.
"I'll tell you what people can expect," said senior guard Ashia Woods. "We're going to be leading the Big 12 in blocked shots and leading the Big 12 in steals. Our coaches say that every single day, and that's something that we strive for. We are going to get deflections, tips and steals; that's something, I hope, people will see from us."
Six-foot-five sophomore forward Breanna Lewis, who Mittie expects to make an impact from the start this season both offensively and defensively, also shared what she thinks fans can expect from this team: "They can expect us working hard, playing together as a team, communicating and playing with a lot of intensity."
A new era of Wildcat women's basketball has arrived, the 2014-15 hoops season is upon us and K-State is ready to prove itself an improved group on the court.
"It's definitely a different team," continued Texada. "It's not like any of our old teams. Everyone is their own person, everyone has their own style of play and together it's so perfect. I can't wait to get out there."
For am even closer look at tonight's matchup, click here.
K-State Sports Extra published features on the K-State women's basketball newcomers earlier this fall, to get to know the group, click the links below: 

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