Shaw heading back to Queens bench
PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens basketball team will have a familiar face on the bench next season as Stephanie Shaw returns to fill the assistant coach position. Shaw will take over for Sheena Maples, who accepted a coaching position at Lockney.
Shaw, who graduated from Wayland in 2005, spent last season as a graduate assistant coach at Oklahoma City University. A 5-8 guard, Shaw was a high school standout in Plainview and played one season at the University of New Mexico before transferring to Wayland in 2002. In three seasons with the Queens, Shaw became the 39th player to join the 1,000 Point Club, scoring 1,002 points in her career.
Queens coach Will Flemons said Shaw will bring a knowledge of the game and the Queens’ system to the bench, along with a little attitude and confidence that may have been missing last season.
“You look at teams like Oklahoma City. When they walk into the gym they have a certain swagger,” Flemons said. “She has that swagger and we need it because we have lost it.”
The Queens struggled to a 9-22 record last season, losing to Oklahoma Christian in the second round of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament.
Flemons said Shaw’s biggest responsibility will be to provide intensity and a hard-nosed attitude to the team’s defense.
“We are going back to hard-nosed fundamentals,” Flemons said. “We are going to get in your face defensively and Shaw is going to have a lot to say about that.”
“My specialty will be defense,” Shaw said. “I think we have to turn up the pressure on defense and mix it up. We have to be intense and work hard. We are not going to be as big as Oklahoma City or Oklahoma Baptist, but we can be as fast and get up in your face and put pressure on you.”
Shaw said spending a year in Oklahoma City, a perennial NAIA powerhouse, has instilled in her a true sense of what it takes to be at the top of the Sooner Athletic Conference.
“(OCU) was obviously successful and talented,” Shaw said. “I understand what you have to do at practice and how hard you have to go and what it takes to be at the top. I think knowing that is something I can bring to this team.”
Being only one season removed from the Queens, Shaw is familiar with several of the returning players. She played a full season with guards Katie Donaldson and Anastasia Okolo and half a season with Miki Mays.
“The biggest adjustment for them is calling me Coach Shaw,” she said. “As far as me telling them what to do, I think they were kind of used to it when they played with me. I don’t think that will be a big change.
Also returning to the team are guard Edite Kresa, post players Jaimie Graham and Sara Broome and forward Miranda Damiano.
Flemons has also signed a new crop of talent including transfer students Crystal Schmalzried, a 5-8 point guard from Tyler Junior College, and Tomisha Martin, a 5-10 post from Howard Junior College. Brittany Spradling, a 6-1 forward, joins the Queens after sitting out last season as a red-shirt at Midwestern State University. Freshmen Macey Sheumaker, a 5-8 guard from Trinity Christian, and Erica Rodriguez, a 5-7 guard from Sterling City will also join the team.
Flemons is expecting a lot from the new team members. He compared Schmalzried to Shaw saying, “she is quick, she understands the game and she is physical.” He expects Martin to be aggressive in the paint and Rodriguez is a player who will take care of the ball and cut down on turnovers, a problem that plagued the team last season.
Shaw got a chance to meet the players earlier this summer while working the Queens’ basketball camps and she is ready for the season to start.
“I’m excited about the team,” Shaw said. “The girls who are coming back that I know and then the girls I have gotten to know at camp seem to be really good. I’m so ready for the season to be here.
“I don’t think they are going to like me in the preseason. That’s for sure!”