JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - I had a chance to chat with Arkansas State women’s basketball coach Matt Daniel. It’s been a busy summer on and off the floor, headlined by new signees
“Lizzie Nessling was an assistant at her junior college. I didn’t ask Lizzie about a player, because I don’t hire for players. I was just interested in Lizzie being a part of our staff. Lizzie actually brought it up in conversation, and it was icing on the cake for us. Carolina Sydlowska is a great talent, very excited about her being here, she can play multiple positions. But her and the other junior college kids that we got, Zeyna Thiam, 6′6, 6′7 with shoes out of McClennan. And then Jordyn Brown out of Fresno City. She’s a sharpshooter, shot 42 percent from 3. They’re all a good combination, good additions to our roster.”
Nessling is one of three new assistant coaches Daniel hired last week. Weston Jameson & McGhee Mann are the other new faces on the Red Wolves staff.
“I wanted energy, hunger, and positivity,” Daniel said. “Everything else I can mold into what we do, because everybody does things differently. But there is energy. Everybody on our staff is 30 or under. Our associate head coach Destinee Rogers is 30 years old, which goes to show how eager they are. And how excited they are with what we’re doing. We just had our first real staff meeting this morning. And they’re still working on IDs and things of that nature as best you can on campus. The ideas that we’ve come up with in the last 2 hours this morning have been phenomenal for our first team meeting that we’ll have today.”
July 20th will be the next offseason milestone. That’s the first day the Red Wolves will have on-court instruction.
“A lot of air high fives, teach them how to air high five,” Daniel added. “We’ll just break down the offense and defense. Really kind of establishing our identity of who we want to be, and setting that tone early. And then set the standard of how we’re going to operate on and off the floor. And the standards they expect of themselves. We’re going to have a program that’s very accountable.”
I also asked Daniel about his conversations with his players during the Black Lives Matter movement, scheduling, and much more. He mentioned that the Red Wolves will open the 2020-21 season at Missouri, they’ll have non-conference road games at Iowa and Butler.
The 2021-22 non-conference slate will be headlined by Arkansas State’s first regular season matchup vs. Arkansas. The contract “is going through the process of being agreed upon. It will be a multi-year deal.”