PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - The UMPI women's basketball team will be starting the regular season soon. Last year they doubled the win total from 4 to 8, and are hoping that progress continues this season. The team has a new coach and only returns four players. I recently was able to catch up with the Owls, who will have some youth this year and some new team leaders.
"Definitely different. It's kind of like a big step up. I was always kind of quiet. Did my own thing and did what coach said. But now having to lead the team and being in control of different things and stuff, it's a lot different and feels good," said senior Brianna Losee.
"More the speed. I try to pick it up in practice as much as game like so they understand it's way different than high school," added senior Jessy Dickison.
Gavin Kane replaces Traci Halvorson as head coach and the New England Basketball Hall of Famer is looking to bring his signature style to the County.
"Love to play a lot of man to man pressure defense. We like to run and get out in transition. Obviously at times you have to adapt to your personnel, but I'm certainly looking forward to bringing that style here to UMPI," Kane said.
The team will get some athletes from fall sports back this week and have enjoyed working with their new coach.
"I think he connects really well with the team and with the girls. The way he's put everything together the way he has is making a huge difference," Losee said.
"He's very tough on us, which is what we need structure. We get things done and I feel more productive throughout our practices," Dickison explained.
Kane has enjoyed a lot of success at the high school level. He thinks his coaching philosophies will translate because he says basketball is basketball, no matter what the level.
"A lot of times people think there's a huge difference. As far as the actual coaching I don't think it matters what level you're at. We're teaching a lot of the same things we taught at Dirigo and Mt. Blue high school. Same philosophy," Kane added.