Mavericks ready for D1 basketball
September 16th, 2011
Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska Omaha named a new head coach for its womenâ€™s basketball team in March. And in less than a month, the Mavericks will take the court. KVNO News sports reporter Brandon McDermott sat down with UNOâ€™s Head Coach Chance Lindley for this season preview.
Newly-minted womenâ€™s basketball coach Chance Lindley comes to UNO after a three-year stint as an assistant at the University of Arizona. Lindley replaces Patty Patton Shearer who resigned in March for personal reasons.
Shearer had a 52% winning percentage in seven years. UNO historically has been a mediocre team, boasting just two 20-win seasons since 1990. In that same period, the Mavericks have won just 46% of their games, including a 36% mark in conference. But Lindley hopes to take some steps forward toward becoming a winning program.
â€œIts starts with leadership,â€ he said, pointing to UNO Athletics Director Trev Alberts. â€œI got to see the campus and meet some of the student body. You could just kind of tell it was a great place, and it was only going to get better. I think it made sense personally and professionally.â€
Lindley comes to UNO to take his first Division I head coaching position possessing a 148-33 record as head coach in the high school and junior college ranks in his home state of Kansas.
Lindley says heâ€™s still in the process of finding what this team will become in reference to what type of offense UNO will run. But, he says, he will take full advantage of what his teamâ€™s strengths are.
â€œWe would like to get to the point where itâ€™s transition and a good defensive team,â€ he said. â€œBut weâ€™ve got to figure out what we have first and then every year could change a little bit according to who we recruit.â€
UNOâ€™s recent move to Division I means the Mavs will have to focus on two areas specifically, strengths that all big time programs strive to have: athleticism and a good post presence. Lindley thinks that is exactly UNOs staff has done with his first recruiting class.
â€œWe signed a handful late and weâ€™ve tried to identify the need of the post position,â€ he said. â€œSome height was definitely lackingâ€¦ and we signed to 6â€™4â€ kids that we are pretty excited about, brought in some extra needed athleticism, which I think is going to be good.â€
Lindley expects to have all eyes on his team in its inaugural Division I season. But donâ€™t expect him to push his style or take risks on fringe players in recruiting. He says he plans to take one step at a time.
â€œItâ€™s not a quick fix,â€ he said. â€œI think that when you have programs that havenâ€™t done as well historically, you canâ€™t fix it in one season. But I think everything here, as far as dorms, education to the city, everything is in place.â€
â€œItâ€™s just now up to us to make that turn and turn the corner,â€ he said.
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