Biola basketball preps for upcoming season

This year both men’s and women’s basketball must work extra hard to live up to expectations set by preceding teams.


Mike Villa

Coach Holmquist has his hands full as he is training a brand new batch of basketball players for the 2011/12 season. | Photo courtesy of Mike Villa

Zachary Fu, Writer

Coach Holmquist has his hands full as he is training a brand new batch of basketball players for the 2011/12 season. | Photo courtesy of Mike Villa

Biola’s basketball season is nearly underway but the teams may not look familiar.

Coach Dave Holmquist led the men’s basketball team to a 28-6 overall record and earned his 800th win last season. However, despite decades of experience, he has been placed in an interesting situation this year. After losing nine seniors to graduation, he is now coaching a completely new group of players, all of which have yet to play a game in a Biola uniform. The roster is made up of red shirt players from last season, incoming transfers, and freshman.

Holmquist said this is the first time he has encountered a situation like this in all his years of coaching.

Playing and growing as a team

Although the season starts Thursday, Holmquist has yet to choose a team captain. He is waiting patiently to make a wise choice for this extremely important role.

“Who you select as a captain is a really important decision and I don’t want to make that too quickly,” he said. “A leader understands, on a team, that he doesn’t just play for himself. Part of what he does is to help other people become better.”

One question that usually surrounds a team that is relatively new, is whether or not its players will be able to gel. Many young teams face obstacles in this area, since it often takes years of competing together before team chemistry is formed. However, sophomore Karl Holmlund believes that his teammates have connected and bonded very quickly.

“Fortunately for our team this year, the guys have gotten along very, very well,” he said.

Holmlund does feel that they have developed chemistry off the court. However, building a connection on the court is a slightly longer process.

“After a few games, say, four or five games, I think the guys are really going to understand each other’s style of play and we’re going to have a really good team this year,” he said.

Moving up to head coach

The women’s team is also experiencing a major change: They are working through the transition of having a new coach.

Head coach Bethany Miller is taking over the reigns of the team after Ken Crawford stepped down from the program at the end of last season. However, it is no surprise that it has been a smooth transition, since Miller is no newcomer to the program. She played as a point guard for the Eagles from 1999 to 2003 and was an assistant coach under Crawford for all six of his seasons at Biola.

Crawford led the Eagles to three consecutive appearances in the NAIA national tournament and Miller hopes to continue that streak with a fourth trip to the tournament.

“This year’s team has excellent talent and potential … so just the combination of those two things enables us to take a very overall young program and perhaps have a very strong year this year, which I think might catch people off guard,” Miller said.

There are six freshmen on the team, and one of them, Chelsea Hill, has been a standout in the team’s two exhibition games. Sophomore Adijat Adams has also shown that she can be a dominant inside presence after recording a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds in an exhibition against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 29. Young potential in the post combined with the proven talent of three returning senior guards in Lauren Gustafson, Emily Drews and Charrise Reece could be the recipe for success for this team.

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