New Huskies coach Jody Wynn hopes to have 10 players in uniform for game against Idaho State.
After a recent practice, new Washington women’s basketball coach Jody Wynn had a long conversation with trainer Caroline Durocher.
They’ve spoken a lot these days, perhaps more than Wynn would like.
She has needed to adjust practice plans because the Huskies have been decimated with injuries during fall training camp.
Ahead of Sunday’s 1 p.m. season opener against Idaho State at Alaska Airlines Arena, Wynn received relatively good news on the medical front.
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“We should have 10 suited up,” Wynn said as she kneeled and knocked three times on the hardcourt. “Those who are going to be able to play this year are slowly inching their way back into practice. They won’t all be able to play extended minutes. We play a deep roster, so we’re going to utilize everybody that is stable to play.
“If we have 10, we’ll play 10.”
Considering the Huskies at times had just five healthy players in practice, Wynn is almost giddy about coaching her first game at UW with close to a full roster. (The NCAA allows 13 scholarship players.)
Still, the rash of injuries had a devastating impact on a team that’s installing Wynn’s trapping defense and opportunistic offense.
Days ahead of the season opener the starting lineup hasn’t been finalized, but junior forward Hannah Johnson, sophomore forward Mai-Loni Henson and sophomore guard Amber Melgoza are expected to play major roles because they have the most experience on the team.
Johnson is UW’s leading returning scorer who averaged 3.5 points last season, followed by Henson (2.9) and Melgoza (2.1).
The Huskies are thin at point guard and could start senior Jenna Moser, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship this summer.
Center Deja Strother is out indefinitely due to an injury and Washington is also without guard Natalie Romeo and forward Gigi Garcia, who won’t play this season due medical reasons.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re headed in the right direction,” Wynn said. “What you’ll see Sunday is a team that plays really hard, plays together on both ends of the floor and communicates well.
“We’re going to have players rotating all over the court. We have a roster that’s extremely versatile in their abilities as far as playing all over the floor. We might not be the most athletic, but we’re going to play really hard. And our effort is going to make up for mistakes.”