Women’s basketball prepares for season filled with uncertainty


Selena Favela

Wichita State head coach Keitha Adams speaks to players during a timeout in the last quarter of the game against East Carolina at Charles Koch Arena on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.

A basketball game will take place inside Charles Koch Arena on Friday for the first time since March. 

This offseason has been filled with uncertainty and setbacks due to COVID-19, but the women’s basketball program is set to begin its season against Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. 

Following some delays and hiccups through the offseason, Head Coach Keitha Adams said the team is excited to be back in the gym.

“Obviously we’ve had a lot of challenges in the last month regarding players being in and out, a lot of disruption,” Adams said. “It’s been good to be in the gym but there’s definitely been some challenges with that. COVID is something you can be running smoothly and then all of a sudden things change really fast.”

Given some of the COVID-related setbacks that the team has experienced, Adams said the team is behind schedule from a normal season. 

“We’re excited to play, but we’re not where we’d normally be at this time of the year because of the disruptions,” Adams said. “But that’s just something everybody’s having to deal with right now.”

Given the new protocols that have been put in place, Adams said it has had to make some adjustments including having to coach with a mask on.

“It’s been a different kind of challenge than you normally go through,” Adams said. “Coaching with a mask on your face has been an adjustment but you get used to it. Basketball is basketball but it’s a game where you really need rhythm and you really need consistency and those are things that are important. But hopefully, we can weather through the storm and hopefully our hiccups are behind us.”

On Nov. 19 the university announced that there would be no fans in attendance at games through Dec. 31. 

The players typically run around the arena and interact with the fans at the end of home games. Adams said this is something the program will miss during the season.

“We’re definitely going to miss that, it’s not going to be the same, it’s just not,” Adams said. “It’s going to be great to play but Koch Arena’s really a special place to play and a big part of that is because of our fans.”

This year’s roster includes eight players from last year including the top-five leading scorers. Adams said she is pleased with the roster as a whole and is hopeful for this upcoming season. 

“I think we have a good nucleus of kids that are back, I feel good about our returners,” Adams said. “We like the kids that we brought in, I think if all the pieces to the puzzle are there, I like our team’s potential.”

From a leadership perspective, Adams said she is pleased with a number of players who have stepped up in that department.

“I think (Seraphine) and Carla have had really good consistent leadership and their work ethic,” Adams said. “There’s no doubt that Mariah McCully when game time comes around, she lights up like a Christmas tree. DJ McCarty has been showing some good moments out here at practice because she’d played quite a bit as a freshman. We’ve got some good ones with some experience under their belt.”

The Shockers’ first game is set to be tipped off at 2 p.m. inside Charles Koch Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.