VALPARAISO

Scouting the 2013-14 Valparaiso Vikings girls basketball team

2013-11-09T00:00:00Z Scouting the 2013-14 Valparaiso Vikings girls basketball team nwitimes.com
November 09, 2013 12:00 am

Last year: 3-18 1-13 (DAC)

Team breakdown

At some point (Joe Otis hopes sooner than later) the story will be about the team and not all the new coaches. From his first day, the emphasis has been on shot selection and taking care of the ball. "A lot of the mistakes were due to their youth," Otis said. "They were really, really young." The core of the team is a big junior class. "We're not overly talented. Everybody's pretty equal," Otis said. "We've got a lot of guard depth, which is good because we want to play uptempo, apply pressure as much as possible. We'll play a lot of kids." Otis believes a winning season is a realistic goal. "There's a mental toughness here," he said. "They're already a better team in terms of those things. They're really good students. From day one, they've been fun to be around." — Jim Peters

Last season finish

Lost in first round of Class 4A Portage Sectional to Hobart

Leading returning scorer

Grace Withrow, 13 ppg.

Leading returning rebounder

Kristina Veljovic, 3 rpg.

Star power

Grace Withrow, Jr., G: Withrow carried the team last season as a sophomore, showing a veteran's poise in a challenging situation. Otis hopes she can facilitate more with improved talent around her. His focus on a more productive offense begins with his point guard.

Newcomer to watch

Stephanie Parker, Jr., C: Otis raves about the progress of Parker, who averaged 1.4 ppg. last season. "We have to get the ball in her hands inside," he said. "She's our most improved player without a doubt. She's 6-1, she moves well in either direction and she can shoot out to 17 feet. She's a lot more polished."

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