Women's basketball hits the books on the road
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 13:11
With the end of the semester coming to a close and finals right around the corner, students around campus are gearing up for the final few weeks. Student athletes are no exception to that, especially those on the Utah State women’s basketball team.
“Being close to finals does add a little bit more pressure, but I try to juggle it and plan my days to where I can separate business from school,” said senior Jenna Johnson. “Basketball is definitely a priority for me, but so is school. Being a senior is crunch time to do what I need to get done and accomplish everything to get my straight A’s.”
The Aggies opened the season with eight of their first nine games on the road and are in the midst of playing six-straight away from the friendly confines of Logan.
“The first eight out of nine games are on the road, that is a brutal schedule,” said USU head coach Jerry Finkbeiner. “I think the home team has a 7-8 point advantage just right out of the gate, so for a college student on the road thinking about school and the game, its not a life of leisure that’s for sure.”
Despite playing so many away games to begin the season, the players have found time to stay ahead in school. Finkbeiner makes it a priority to recruit players who have high academic standards who know what it takes to stay on top and not get too far behind. The team also has an academic advisor in Jason Thompson who Finkbeiner said does a good job of getting players to get their work ahead of time.
During the 2011-12 season, Devyn Christensen, Jenna Johnson, Jennifer Schlott and Pua Furtado were all named to the Western Athletic Conference all-academic team. The coaching staff hopes to add more players to the team this season.
Many players on the team are taking online classes this semester, which eases the burden of missing classes while on the road. For those who don’t have online classes, Finkbeiner tells his players to attend class early in the year.
“We tell the girls early in the year go to class and stay on top because when basketball hits, you need to understand that’s who you are and what you need to go through,” Finkbeiner said.
Before leaving on their road trip, players contact their professors to get all the classwork and homework they will be missing while on the road so when they get back they aren’t too far behind.