Tarleton ranks 7th in WAC

By: Cody Drolet

Sports Writer

With the 2020-2021 season announced for Tarleton State University women’s basketball, the WAC has released their pre-season rankings and the Texans are ranked 7th among the AP polls.

Misty Wilson, the head coach of the women’s basketball team, gave some insight on her thoughts about the season as well as what the team thinks of the 7th place prediction.

Tarleton State University women’s basketball Head Coach Misty Wilson.
Photo courtesy of Tarleton sports.

“I feel like we have a good head on our shoulders, and the 7th place pick was what we expected,” Wilson said.  “Having never played at the Division I (DI) level, having never played in this conference, it would be hard to rank us any higher than that. I believe most well-coached teams do not make a great deal out of preseason rankings and we won’t either.” 

The prediction was as expected since Tarleton is in a new conference and will face new challenges. Without making much of a deal of the preseason rankings, there is still a level of excitement in the air for both men’s and women’s basketball. This season will officially kickoff Tarleton’s DI inaugural season. 

Wilson said, “[I’m ready for] The opportunity to get these girls back on the court and in some games. It has been a challenging time for everyone, and when one of your greatest passions is ripped away from you, the challenge becomes even greater. I am ready for these players to be back in their element, feel a tremendous excitement, energy and emotions of a basketball game. Additionally, the inaugural DI season brings a great deal of excitement to Tarleton State. Being the first sport to compete athletically at the DI level with the fall sports being pushed back introduces a whole new level of pride. Along with men’s basketball, I am looking forward to kicking off DI athletics at Tarleton. “

Nov. 25 is the Texans’ first preseason game. All the emotions and passion with not being able to play in so long should be on display this season. The preseason has been different this year amongst COVID-19 and presents new challenges.

Wilson has stated that they are taking every precaution possible and ready to kick off the season.

“We have really encouraged our players to have the mindset of controlling what they can control. I will praise our players in saying they have done a great job in making choices that have protected our little bubble from COVID-19. Really stressing the importance of wearing a mask, washing their hands, and doing our part behind the scenes of sanitizing the balls, locker room, and all other equipment after practices has helped keep us healthy as we approach the competition season,” Wilson said. “Our new AD Chris Reisman has been vital to our prep as well in helping schedule our COVID tests and consistently outlining the everchanging COVID protocol so that we are informed and prepared.” 

With COVID-19 still going around, these challenges have been new to everyone but the mindset of controlling what they can control works perfectly for this season. They will be facing tougher competition and having that mindset will help in the win-loss aspect of the season and the difficulty of the new competition. That being said, expectations are still very high, but Wilson exclaimed this is a growing season for the Texans basketball team.

“We have some expectations that we talk about with our group, but honestly, I believe any expectations in wins and losses predictions is presumptuous on our part. What I do know is that we have a great deal of pride in this university and want to do our best in representing Tarleton State at the highest level and we will do everything in our power to ensure that is the case. I think victories might not just look like wins and losses this year. There will be victories that we can achieve in other ways on and off the floor that will only strengthen our program as the transition years progress with the hopes of being on very solid ground when we are out of the transition phase and ready to compete fully at the highest level,” Wilson said.  

This transition will be hard, but the Texans are up for the challenge. This season should be filled with excitement, passion and quality basketball as Tarleton has its eyes set on the future. The 2020-2021 inaugural basketball season will be a huge steppingstone in Tarleton’s future.

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