Donovan looks to help Falcon women
Written by JACK CARLE/Sentinel Sports Editor
Friday, 05 July 2013 09:32
While it was by choice, it was still difficult last season on game day for Erica Donovan to only watch her teammates play.
|BGSU woman's head coach Jennifer Roos (second from left) talks to Jasmine Matthews (from left) Miriam Justinger, and Jillian Halfhill. (photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Donovan, who was born in Toledo, started her college career at North Carolina State, but played only one season for the Wolfpack before transferring to Bowling Green State University.
Last season, per NCAA transfer rules, she was able to do everything with the Falcons, except play in a game.
‘‘It was a challenge. It was something that was very new to me,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘It was a good experience for me because coming into a new system here at Bowling Green, I felt I could get to know the system, know the players better and get to know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
‘‘Especially towards the end when we went to the WNIT, I felt like my team really needed me to pick them up,’’ she added.
Jennifer Roos, in her second year as BG’s head coach, is looking forward to having Donovan being able to play.
‘‘You can still learn a lot by sitting out,’’ Roos said. ‘‘She has a very high basketball IQ. She works extremely hard between the lines and she picked up a lot of things.
‘‘She became, not only a cheerleader on the bench during game, but another coach.’’
Donovan’s role changes this season as she will be an important piece to the puzzle for the Falcons, 24-11 overall and 11-5 in the Mid-American Conference last year.
‘‘My focus is a lot different now, showing up at practice, being a leader, being supportive. We know this year is a new year and we have a lot to accomplish,’’ Donovan said.
The NCAA is allowing women’s basketball teams the same opportunity to practice in the summer as the men’s teams.
‘‘The rule is fantastic. I was completely jealous of the men’s programs throughout the country last year having this rule,’’ Roos said. ‘‘It just makes sense.
‘‘Before we weren’t even able to rebound for someone let alone have practice,’’ she added.
Donovan and BG’s three incoming freshmen are using the summer practices to their advantage.
‘‘Things are actually really good. We are setting the tone pretty early as a team and as individuals. We know we have a lot of work to do,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘We are all competing after each other, but we are competing to make each other better, not going at each other in a negative way.’’
Roos is having the team working in small groups for the first part of the eight-week summer practices and then will have full-team drills later in the summer. When not practicing, the team is working in the weight room and on conditioning.
‘‘The plan, as in any other year that I have been here, is to get up shots,’’ Roos said. ‘‘You have to shoot to score and I am still a big believer in that. We need to shoot as much as we can ... In addition to doing fundamental work.
‘‘We want to keep the goals simple,’’ Roos added, saying the team needs to improve socially, academically and athletically.
Donovan, 5-feet-11, will play both inside and on the perimeter for the Falcons.
At NC State, she played in 35 games, averaging 14.8 minutes, 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
As a senior at John Jay High School in Northside, Texas, Donovan averaged 20.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 4.2 steals per game.
Donovan said she will bring energy to the court for the Falcons.
‘‘I’m just like a little Energizer Bunny. I expect to be a leader and be there to pick people up,’’ Donovan said.
There were several rule changes for women’s basketball this season, including the 10-second rule to advance the ball into the front court.
‘‘We’re not a pressing team, so it doesn’t apply to us right now,’’ Roos said. ‘‘But we will be pressed and we’re working on that.’’
Currently the Falcons have 11 players on the roster for the upcoming season.
‘‘We are still recruiting,’’ Roos said.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 10:34