Coach Kate Achter is approaching her second season for the Detroit Mercy women’s basketball team, and she is more than ready.
“We have much of what we finished the year with, and we were great in February,” Achter said. “We have eight new faces, and we feel that these newcomers really fill some voids that we were missing. We are going to be really fun to watch. We have a lot of energy, more competitiveness, more athleticism, and the hope is that more than five wins should be in store for this year.”
Achter has an aggressive and intense mindset when it comes to the game and is very strategic to make sure the team understands what needs to be improved, without making unreasonable demands or critiques.
On her coaching style, Achter said, “I use a combination because I do not think there is one true coaching style that fits the way all 15 players on my team learn and respond. Although there are certainties, they must stay consistent with demanding expectations and meet the requirements. I try and stay intense, but it is an observation-based game, in which we read what kids are having a difficult day and can handle more intensity, and which kids cannot. Overall, there is a lot of intensity in my coaching style, but we build great relationships as a staff.”
On that note, Achter saw several players ready to step up. That included Imani McNeal, who averaged 9.9 points per game last season, and Irene Murua, who tallied 12.1 ppg.
“One impact player is our fifth-year senior, Imani McNeal, who is a quiet leader,” Achter said. “By that, I mean she leads more by example. She is strong, a bit stoic at times, but you will see her on the floor a lot. We also have Irene Murua, who is a senior from Spain and a post player that led the team in scoring last year and I think she will have another strong year for us.”
There are also plenty of newcomers ready to make an impact.
“We have a transfer, Maddie Diabate, who is the most energetic and high motored kid I think I have ever coached,” Achter said. “I think she will be great. I also think our freshmen Paris Gilmore will be great too. She has a lot of energy, a lot of juice to her game and just a different dynamic from what we had last year.”
Both these players are focused on leading the team from the first game and are appreciative of Achter’s guidance.
“I think she is going to bring a lot of change, and she will bring a lot of positive and competitive surroundings to our team,” Gilmore said.
Diabete, who is originally from France, is also expecting a lot out of Achter too when it come to the competitive nature within the sport.
“Coach Achter really wants to compete and is very goal oriented when it comes to bringing out the best of her players,” Diabete said of her coach.
The team is focused on a successful season that brings the group to its fullest potential. The season begins at home on Nov. 1.