UVA Women's basketball shifting focus from culture to the court
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (CBS19 SPORTS) -- UVA men's hoops won't be alone in JPJ on Monday, the UVA women's basketball team begins their season against GW with some new faces on the sidelines. Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamiton will make her debut for the orange and blue alongside Notre Dame grad transfer and Greene County Sam Brunelle and junior guard Alexia Smith from Minnesota.
As with any coaching change, the past 8 months since Coach Mox took over has been about installing a new culture and focusing on the buy in inside the locker room. But now with an exhibition tomorrow night and their season just days away from tipping off, Coach Mox says it's time to shift attention from culture in the locker room to the action on the court.
"I just want us to be able to understand and implement the scouting report and do it together," explained UVA women's basketball head coach Amaka Agugua-Hamiton "And then have fun while we're doing it. You know I don't want it to be a nervous situation or anxiety, you know I want us to enjoy this journey because you know I think we have some kids that deserve that."
The cavaliers have not had a winning record since 2017, but with Coach Mox at the helm the Hoos have already generated a lot of positive attention heading into the season. With the addition of Sam Brunelle, Coach Mox has also secured Charlottesville 2023 recruit Kymora Johnson and Louisa native Olivia McGhee to their roster. For many new coaches, recruiting success comes after success on the court, but for the 'Hoos the begining of the season is the chance to prove that their team chemistry translates on the court.
"I would hope that our energy and our effort that we've been putting in at practice translate in the games and people can see our happiness and our joy to be playing together and playing well"
The Cavaliers return four of five members of their starting lineup and their first two off the bench from last year’s team including 2021 breakout star Camryn Taylor. Taylor lead the 'Hoos in scoring and rebounding until she stepped away for a few months for personal reasons.
"Everybody from top to bottom is super excited everybody from top to bottom is super locked in and focused," said Camryn Taylor, "We've definitely had a lot of time, especially since the summer to kind of build together, especially individually come together as a team."