New is not always better.
However, for Cherise Beynon and the guards on the UNM women’s basketball roster, new will certainly be faster.
With New Mexico’s most recent hire of Mike Bradbury to lead the charge for the women’s basketball program, a new dimension is coming. One that isn’t defensive focused, a dynamic that warrants scoring and a lot of it.
“It’s a really big change for all of us, but it’s been good learning the new material we have,” Beynon said. “It’s completely different than what we’re used to, but he’s a great coach.”
Beynon said the style of play brings her back to her days as an AAU player in Las Vegas, Nevada. Though the new playbook and the level of conditioning will take some getting used to, UNM’s point guard said she is ecstatic at the opportunity to focus on scoring.
“They’ve been very receptive, worked hard and picked up quickly, a lot of stuff in a short amount of time,” Bradbury said. “So I think we’re moving pretty good.”
Although the head coach said he hasn’t been able to do much coaching per se, with the NCAA regulations regarding the amount of hours and practice allotted during the offseason, the head coach said he has gotten to see some of the potential from the squad.
Last week, Bradbury also made two assistant hires bringing in his former assistant Valerie King and former UNM coach Erin Grant.
Bradbury and King have built quite a rapport with one another dating back to King’s days as a player under the head coach in addition to her time as his assistant.
“Any way I can help the guards get better, with outside and just in the style of play we’re going to bring,” King said. “I think just all that stuff will wrap together.”
Bradbury described King’s decision to stick by his side and follow him to New Mexico as comforting and stabilizing, something that the guards at UNM will greatly appreciate and enjoy.
Beynon said at last week’s announcement of the two hires that she is excited to see what the coach can do and has a lot of confidence in him.
Not all returning players felt similarly, however. Last year’s guards Jannnan Otto and Whitney Johnson have both decided to take their talents elsewhere, freeing up two scholarship opportunities on Bradbury’s roster.
That highlights Grant’s resume as a major recruiter in the southwest region, especially in Texas. While Bradbury said he will not waste away any scholarships, the head coach did say that he is always open to the idea of making his team better.
With finals coming up in the next few weeks, Bradbury said the individual drills that he has been working on with his players will begin to wind down for summer.
Regardless of what happens with future recruits, the returning players can rest assured that their offseason regimen will not be consistent of taking it easy. Bradbury said not everybody will be receiving playing time, if his players hope to see some action, they need to be one of the top players on the roster.
For Beynon, she will be working on her conditioning because as she said, Bradbury brings a lot of fire and intensity, and she expects to run. However, extra running certainly won’t diminish what Beynon loves to do the most and that’s putting the ball in the hoop.
“Everybody wants to score. That’s why you play basketball,” Beynon said. “I am still going to have my defensive mentality, but at the same time, we’re all just trying to score.”
Liam Cary-Eaves is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers volleyball, women’s basketball and baseball. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Liam_CE.