FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas women’s basketball head coach Tom Collen met with members of the media on Thursday as part of Arkansas basketball Media Day.
With plenty of fresh new faces this season, Coach Collen expressed his excitement over the possibilities for this young Razorback squad.
"This team has a lot of potential," Coach Collen said. "We’re awfully young. Seven of our 12 players are freshman, so that’s a bit of a challenge for us. But the good news sometimes is that freshmen are incredibly naive when it comes to the level of competition and they always step on the floor confident and feeling like they can get it done."
One player Coach Collen has no questions over confidence with is junior guard Calli Berna.
"I think she’s the best point guard in the SEC," Coach Collen said of Berna. "I thought she was last year. I think she needs to step up and score a little bit more. I think she knows that and she’s trying to be more aggressive. She’s going to play a lot of minutes."
With the departure of Sarah Watkins, highly-touted freshman Jessica Jackson figures to play a key role in earning early playing time this season for the Razorbacks.
"I think it’s got to be Jessica," Coach Collen said of filling the void left by Watkins. "I think she’s got to step in and play that role. I think she’s certainly talented enough to do it. Jessica can have as big an impact as she wants to have and I think she wants to have a big impact."
Despite being predicted by media in preseason polls to finish in the lower half of the SEC standings this season, Coach Collen remains optimistic.
"I’d say this, since I’ve been here we’ve finished higher than we were picked every single year," Coach Collen said. "I’m anticipating that we’re going to finish higher."
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