Q & A with Arlon Beadles
Head Coach Assesses the Lady Lions
Optimism reigns; home games Fri/Sat PM
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- His eyes filled with insights and the richness of know-how, Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s veteran hand at basketball, Head Coach Arlon Beadles, speaks like a past master who hasn’t lost a step.
Having coached at most every level, from high school to junior college to four-year institutions, both men and women, the veteran is nearing two milestones at SAGU this season.
With three more victories he will have 100 wins while on the sideline at SAGU as well as hitting the career 200 mark in coaching wins on the collegiate level with women.
It is likely to happen late in November or in early December, hopefully at home.
Under his guidance the club has produced winning seasons in four of the past five years, have defeated an NCAA Division I team, and have qualified for a berth in the NAIA national tournament.
Two years ago his Lady Lions took third in the nation in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Pretty impressive considering the program had only one winning season ever before he came to town.
This year’s squad is young and is meshing in new players with veterans and is certain to gel down the stretch.
The clued-up veteran with Southern charm recently addressed this year’s Lady Lions college basketball team. He answered a baker’s dozen of queries regarding this, his seventh campaign with the purple and gold.
Q1) Why do you think the RRAC coaches picked SAGU to finish sixth this season?
Coach Beadles: Our team improved throughout the season and was playing really well at the end. That’s why I believe they picked us sixth.
Q2) What are the major differences in this year’s team, compared to last season?
Beadles: We are much quicker and we shoot the ball better as well.
Q3) The team will have six players who weren’t playing last winter. Tell us about them.
Beadles: Bethany Krock is quick, a hard-nosed player and she is great on defense. Taylor Hill is an all-around guard. She can really pass the ball well. A very good defensive player.
Jessica Sodich has a nice three-pointer and is a good rebounder. Shaina Tanks is clearly a team-player and has a great three-point shot.
Mallorie Lough (pronounced like LO) comes with a great attitude and will add depth to our bench. She, too, has a nice shot. Gloria Lozano will be a strong rebounder and has range up to 15-feet.
Q4) Three players will join the team following their fall sports season; Lozano (women’s soccer) and Sodich and Kassy Cox. How long will it take them to adjust?
Beadles: It will not take Kassy any time at all. She plays at the post (center) and her game is rebounding. The others will need a few weeks to learn the offense and to get in basketball shape.
Q5) Nia Winston led the team in scoring in 2011. How is she looking so far?
Beadles: Nia (NEE-yah) is out of sight! She is free to score this year as a wing player (since she is not the point guard again). She will be one of the best in the RRAC!
Q6) One of the players you were hoping to have, Jirah Rodriquez, is requiring a medical redshirt this season. How tough is that?
Beadles: It is very tough to lose Jirah (JY-rah). We really miss her ball-handling and passing skills. Plus, she is a great three-point shooter at forward.
Q7) Who are some of the returning players who are showing the most improvement?
Beadles: Nia and Keevie (Bratchett) have really improved their shooting and ball-handling abilities. Brittany (Griffin) is playing much better as well.
Q8) Have you announced the starting line-up yet?
Beadles: The first tournament was Keevie, Taylor (Hill), Nia, Cordia (Harvatin) and Sierra (Hankins). Andrea (Lugo) will be the first one to come off the bench at guard, with Shaina and Brittany coming in next.
Q9) What do you hope to be the strengths of this year’s team?
Beadles: Our greatest strengths will be our quickness and ball-handling. I don’t think we will turn it over nearly as much this year, even though we’ll play at a faster pace than before.
Q10) The addition Kory Henry as Assistant Coach this year. How has his arrival benefitted the team and its defense?
Beadles: Coach Henry is a wonderful Christian man that the team has come to love and appreciate over the past few months. He is a great man-to-man defensive coach. That will help our team against the many three-point shooters in our conference.
Q11) A year ago the team had a very young backcourt. They made great strides after an enduring start. What will fans notice the most about this year’s guards?
Beadles: We can break the press. We will drive. We’ll shoot the ball. This year, this is the strongest area of our team!
Q12) Without Gabby Bruner, Shaquita Roberts and Jirah along the frontcourt this season, how will the team approach that void?
Beadles: This will be a challenge. Kassy and Sierra will do real well at the #5 (center) spot. We are going to need someone to step up at the 4 (power forward) if we are going to be a top team in the Red River.
Help could come from Cordia, Shaina, Gloria and Jessica.
If one of them becomes a force, we could be tough.
Q13) With tournaments to start the season, how will you look to use those opening games?
Beadles: I look at just improving every game. We will not have the volleyball and soccer girls early, so this gives other players a greater chance to improve.
Spoken like a coach who has seen his share of players do just that.
The Lady Lions have added Lozano to the active roster. She was a strong defender for the SAGU women’s soccer team, who recently completed their best season since beginning the program in 2006.
Cox and Sodich are still several weeks away.
Krock, who missed the first two games following an injury in a scrimmage with Hill College, is expected back for the SAGU Classic this weekend.
Noteworthy Team Statistics from 2011
Scoring Offense 50.8 ppg (13th)
Scoring Defense 58.9 ppg (2nd)
Free Throw Accuracy .611 (10th)
Shooting Percentage .345 (13th )
Shooting Defense .343 (2nd)
Three Point Accuracy .276 (8th)
Threes per Game 4.0 (9th)
Rebounds per Game 37.8 (9th)
Rebounds Allowed 37.7 (1st)
Blocked Shots per Gm 5.1 (1st)
Turnovers per Gm 22.6 (11th)
Turnovers Forced pgm 18.8 (9th)
Fouls pgm 16.3 (4th least)