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Texas A&M Track & Field

Joni Taylor focusing on the 'small victories' with shorthanded squad

January 10, 2023
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With only seven available, Texas A&M women's basketball has struggled in conference play, sitting at 0-4 in the SEC. Head coach Joni Taylor joined TexAgs Radio to detail the team's focuses and how they have responded to the adversity they have faced.



Key notes from Joni Taylor interview

  • I’m actually really proud and excited. Our game results don’t show that. We knew we were in a year of rebuilding which is why our motto was becoming. We are really young and don’t have any experience at all, and then you have five players in street clothes on the bench and seven playing. How do you find success when it does not come in a win? You look at the LSU game, and that score was lopsided. In the first quarter, it was 6-8, and that’s the lowest score in the first quarter LSU has had all year. That’s a win for us. At halftime, they had 34. That’s the lowest halftime score for them all year. That’s a win for us. We go into the game, knowing those small victories are what we are looking to celebrate. It’s getting the opponent to execute plan B.
     
  • A lot of times, people talk about the journey. It’s not about once you arrive. It's the journey of going through it. That’s when you get better. At some point, you look up, and you are there. We are so process oriented. We are not miserable even though we have lost four in a row. We are fighting, and they are in great spirits. Those small victories are measuring our progress. Do we want to win? Yes. Please don’t misunderstand me, but we knew going into this and prepared our team for that. 
     
  • This team is getting better. We have addressed the toughness and mindset. There is no better way to test that than being thrown into the fire. Those were areas we were weak in to start the season. 
     
  • We had seven, then eight, and now we are back down to seven. We’ve backed off quite a bit. There are things we need to work on, but we’ve scraped that because of seven players. It would be crazy of us as a staff to do that, knowing that they have to play the bulk of the minutes. We have had to adjust how we practice, how long we practice or if we practice at all.
     
  • We played our hearts out at LSU. We played with pretty much six because we had foul trouble. We get on a plane and come home. It’s 1:30 before we go to bed. That Friday before a Sunday game turnaround is tough. We did not practice at all on Friday. Do we need to practice? Yes. We watched film, walked through the tweaks, shot free throws and sent them home. If we have done more, they would have been more tired. This offseason is preparing them to play for 30-45 minutes, not the whole game.
     
  • I’m extremely proud and pleased with the defense. Even now, we are not pressuring as much because we are trying to save our seven because they have to last through conference play. We don’t know when some players will be back. 
     
  • Tennessee has played a tough non-conference schedule. They have three players who average double digits. We are going to have our hands full. 
Discussion from...

Joni Taylor focusing on the 'small victories' with shorthanded squad

1,456 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by jigsaw87
fieldtrailer
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AG
Hopefully I'm not alone in saying I don't think any of this is a win. As a whole, I think A&M athletics is getting worse every year. And reading things like this from head coaches is an example of where A&M athletics is at.

Why do we give our coaches a free ride in year 1? If they were that good (as advertised in pre-season), then we wouldn't be where we are. And If we know that there is no coach that can do anything in year 1 because we wait until the programs are at their lowest point before hiring a new one, then why hire an expensive coach? Why not hire an unknown, let them go thru all the hassle, then make an expensive hire to take the program to the next level (while the program is still on solid ground)?

Ross Bjork waits too long to pull the trigger and lets these programs fall until they are worthless. Then hires an expensive coach who can't do anything with it. No reason to be paying this much money for this kind of performance. Regardless of which year the coach is in.

We have to get a new AD. One that is more than a bean counter and fund raiser. He has no freaking clue. And thanks to him, this girls basketball program is exactly where the SEC wants it and will try to keep it there. So now this coach has to go fight that battle also.

As far as this current coach and team, I want to see her recruit studs (or get thru transfer portal). Utilize NIL, ties to WNBA, whatever it takes. That's why you pay for an elite coach. Anyone can coach x's and o's. We need the players!!!!!! Go get them. That is what she's getting paid for.


giggitygigem
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So you know she got the #4 player in the class of '22, highest ever for A&M (injured) and the top player in the state of Texas in '23 for the first time in program history. Blair won the SEC regular season title two years ago, was Bjork supposed to fire him after the at season?

As far as the competitive nature of the team, I'm not sure what you want. You said you want her to recruit studs she got the job in April and got girls that were committed to play for her at UGA to come out to College Station a month later. And you say, "transfer portal" ok so she got the job at the beginning of April, she doesn't even know what she has with the girls Blair left over, to even know what she should be looking for in the portal, until most of the transfers are committed. I'm sure she also thought she would've had Jordan Nixon on the roster, who played most of last season on one leg but was still I believe 3rd in the conference in APG. So the program loses its top 5 scorers. Joni comes in with 12 players loses one in the summer, starts 4-1 then loses their leading scorer and rebounder, next game loses their leading dime-dropper and now here we are in the meat of conference play, with 7 players available, (2/3 Blair leftovers who probably don't belong in this conference) and they can only compete for 2 or 3 quarters against good teams, in the conference that's all about speed and physicality, that's just called basketball. Unfortunate circumstance but obviously now she knows what she needs, she has said they'll be going in the portal this spring also bringing in the #20 class in the nation.

"Anybody can coach X's and O's" is not true. It's just hard to win games in this league w/ 7 players who have basically no experience. You'll say I'm making excuses and yeah I am but dudeā€¦ 7 players? You say go get em and she's already started her tenure by getting em. I mean geez NBA coaches get more than 14 games before fans start complaining but you can't give that to a coach playing with SEVEN PLAYERS? But you should be pleased because they're playing like Aggies, they haven't quit in one game this season, Mulkey pressed the girls fresh out the 4th because she wanted them to quit and they didn't. These girls won't forget that. It really sucks because we got two games against bad teams cancelled, that the girls probably would've won. Wow tho, 14 games down half a roster and already calling it a weak hire. Pick any team in the nation and take away 5 of their top 8, losses pile up. You hire coaches that fit your program and year or two from now when Joni's shaking Vic's hand after an Aggie win remember this post buddy. #GigEm
Bucketrunner
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^^^^

What he/she said.
jigsaw87
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