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Women's College Basketball: State's process of evaluation

NICK CASTILLO
Daily Record Sports

A sheet of paper tells Texas State head coach Zenarae Antoine what she needs to know after a game.

Antoine gives her players a sheet of paper with two questions on it after each game: “How do you feel about the game? What is your truth?” She got the idea from Oklahoma’s Sherri Coale. Antoine says the exercise allows her players to voice how they feel about how they performed or how the team played overall. 

“It really allows me to have a good understanding of the questions you ask, like, where are you at after a loss or right after a win,” Antoine said. “Then my goal is to respond always positively never negatively. I always have to respond positive no matter what, which can be tough. Sometimes I have to relax. I do it before I start scouting the next game so my mind is clear and focused.”

The evaluation has been key after the Bobcats’ back-to-back Sun Belt losses to Appalachian State and UT Arlington. As a coach, Antoine said she thought her struggled against the Lady Mavericks. 

“But going back looking at it now, we actually played worse than I thought (against UTA),” she said. “I thought it was just we didn’t do a good job of making adjustments we needed to with (UTA’s) Rebekah (VanDijk). And, no matter what you said, you know, we just never did that. But after going back and looking at it, we did not play well. We did not play well. We were out of sync offensively.”

But through the evaluation, her players said they were more prepared than she thought. 

“After UTA, a lot of them said, ‘Wow, you guys really prepared us, like, we were prepared. We had everything and we didn’t follow through. We gave Rebekah (VanDijk) too many scores,’” Antoine said. “I thought that was huge because now there’s an accountability piece for them saying, ‘We didn’t do our job.’”

Antoine added that the team is still confident about conference play despite the two early losses. 

“I think that tells you where their focus is that they’re not willing to punt – give in – that they’re going to keep on working to improve on areas that we’re not so good at,” Antoine said. 

Antoine said the team looks to build consistency as it progress through the conference. Texas State still believes it can finish the season strong with 15 regular season games remaining. 

“I know that this team is still hungry to win,” Antoine said. 

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