Next Steps

Senior forward Jasmine Franklin celebrates a big moment in the Lady Bear’s 61-44 win over conference rival Southern Illinois in January 2021.

They were also poised to make a March Madness run in 2020 before COVID-19 forced the tournament’s cancellation.

With seven seniors and loads of underclassmen talent, the Lady Bears are set to complete those accomplishments for a third straight season. 

“First of all, getting to the Sweet 16 is not easy,”  Mox said. “We kind of put ourselves in the position where that is the expectation, which is great. But for us, we don’t want to focus on the end goal right now.”

Getting to the Sweet 16 is no small feat. It takes a lot of determination, veteran leadership and talent to make it that far in the tournament.

To get that far, you have to cross some other things off your checklist. 

“I think the expectation now is to be great and get to the Sweet 16,” said senior guard Abby Hipp. “As far as team goals, we want to surpass what we’ve done over the last two years. Whether that be going undefeated at home or going undefeated in conference play. For March Madness, we want to make it to the Elite Eight and the Final Four.”

The championship mentality is ever-present in the Lady Bear program. The expectations and aspirations are lofty, but Mox doesn’t want to fixate on the lofty goals and expectations. 

“We would love to get back to the Sweet 16 and get further,” Mox said. “But if you focus on that, I don’t think that’s the right way to do it. Just focus on the little goals along the way.” 

The Lady Bears truly have their sights set on the little goals, but there is one big goal that everyone in the program wants to achieve.

“Obviously we want to win championships here,” Mox said. “You come here to be a Lady Bear. We tell our players ‘You’re coming here to pursue championships every year.’”

The next step for the program would be making the Elite Eight, but they’re focused on what’s in front of them right now, and that will lead them to their next step.   

Follow TJ Scott on Twitter, @iamtjs_

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