Shauna Green And Staff Eye A Third-Straight A-10 Championship

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James Dronzek
Contributing Writer

The 2016-2017 Dayton Flyers Women’s Basketball team was the first team to sweep both the regular season and Atlantic-10 conference championships in the history of the program. That team earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 12 seed.

The 2017-2018 team repeated as regular season conference champions, posting a 15-1 record in conference play and earning another berth in the NCAA tournament. The Flyers lost only one game at home last season and went on a 16-game winning streak at one point during the winter.

Aside from players and opponents, what do these two dominant seasons have in common?

Head coach Shauna Green.

Green is entering her third season as head coach of the women’s basketball team. She is 45-17 overall and was named WBCA’s 2017 National Rookie Coach of the Year and the 2018 A-10 Coach of the Year. With back-to-back regular season championships as well as one conference championship under her belt, it seems as though Green had no trouble establishing herself as a premier coach in the A-10. But she begs to differ.

“When I took over in mid-September [2016], that year was a whirlwind,” said Green. “Practices were already started, I get hired; trying to establish our culture, my way of playing and how we do things [was difficult].”

Despite the initial chaos of taking over, Green knew that putting in hard work on her part would pay off, so long as the team followed her lead.

“We struggled early,” said Green. “Then, [the players] just completely bought in. We ended up winning the [regular season] conference championship, the A-10 Tournament, and going to the NCAA tournament, which was an unbelievable year.”

That 2016-2017 squad was something special; that conference tournament victory was their first since 2013, and their performance that season dispelled any notion that former head coach Jim Jabir’s resignation would disturb the success the program enjoyed during his tenure. But Green’s positive impact pushed beyond her inaugural year.

“To follow [the 2016-2017 season] up, last year, when we had a ton of injuries, the perseverance and what that team showed; it’s been an amazing two years,” said Green. “A lot of people expect us to win again, but we try not to think about that. We try to just focus in. My focus is on how I can lead this team today, what are the things we need to practice so we can get better and can compete for championships.”

Green is right about the buzz; the Flyers have made quite a lot of noise over the past two seasons in terms of success, and everyone is waiting to see how they will follow it up in the coach’s third year. But one may also look to Green and wonder how she will follow up her coach of the year honors this season. While her hard work and attention to detail can be seen both on-and-off the court, Green insists that she owes a lot of her success to her players and coaching staff.

“Any coach’s award is really about our team and our staff,” Green said. “There’s no way that I could get that award if I didn’t have great players, didn’t have great assistant coaches or didn’t have great support staff. It’s really a team award…any award for me—I was humbled by it.”

Green commented further on the impact that her staff and players have had on her throughout her young tenure as head coach.

“I’m very blessed to have a really good staff that helps our players to get better on-and-off the floor. Then, you have really good players; they make you look like a lot better of a coach,” Green said.

As the Flyer women gear up for the 2018-2019 season, momentum is on their side; the Flyers were ranked second behind Duquesne in the A-10 preseason poll, receiving two first-place votes and 183 points in the poll overall. They’ll face off against the Dukes on Feb 10, in Pittsburgh as they head into the back half of regular season play.

The 2016-2017 Dayton Flyers Women’s Basketball team was the first to sweep both the regular season and Atlantic 10 conference championships in the history of the program. The team earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 12 seed.

The 2017-2018 team repeated as regular season conference champions, posting a 15-1 record in conference play and earning another berth in the NCAA tournament in the process. The Flyers lost only one game at home last season and went on a 16-game winning streak at one point during the winter.

Aside from players and opponents, what do these two dominant seasons have in common?

Head coach Shauna Green.

Green is entering her third season as head coach of the women’s basketball team, enjoying great success over the past two years. She is 45-17 overall in that stint and was named WBCA’s 2017 National Rookie Coach of the Year and the 2018 A-10 Coach of the Year. With back to back regular season championships as well as one conference championship under her belt, it seems as though Green had no trouble establishing herself as a premier coach in the A-10. But she begs to differ.

“When I took over in mid-September [2016], that year was a whirlwind,” said Green. “Practices were already started, I get hired; trying to establish our culture, my way of playing and how we do things [was difficult].”

Despite the initial chaos of taking over, Green knew that putting in hard work on her part would pay off, so long as the team followed her lead.

“That team, we struggled early,” said Green. “Then, [the players] just completely bought in. We ended up winning the [regular season] conference championship, the A-10 Tournament, and going to the NCAA tournament, which was an unbelievable year.”

That 2016-2017 squad was something special; that conference tournament victory was their first since 2013, and their performance that season dispelled any notion that former head coach Jim Jabir’s resignation would disturb the success the program enjoyed during his tenure. But Green’s positive impact pushed beyond her inaugural year.

“To follow [the 2016-2017 season] up, last year, when we had a ton of injuries, the perseverance and what that team showed; it’s been an amazing two years,” said Green. “A lot of people expect us to win again, but we try not to think about that. We try to just focus in. My focus is on how I can lead this team today, what are the things we need to practice so we can get better and can compete for championships.”

Green is right about the buzz; the Flyers have made quite a lot of noise over the past two seasons in terms of success, and everyone is waiting to see how they will follow it up in the coach’s third year. But one may also look to Green and wonder how she will follow up her coach of the year honors this season. While her hard work and attention to detail can be seen both on and off the court, Green insists that she owes a lot of her success to her players and coaching staff.

“Any coach’s award is really about our team and our staff,” said Green. “There’s no way that I could get that award if I didn’t have great players, didn’t have great assistant coaches or didn’t have great support staff. It’s really a team award…any award for me—I was humbled by it.”

Green commented further on the impact that her staff and players have had on her throughout her young tenure as head coach.

“I’m very blessed to have a really good staff that helps our players to get better on and off the floor. Then, you have really good players; they make you look like a lot better of a coach.”

As the Flyer women gear up for the 2018-2019 season, momentum is on their side; the Flyers were ranked second behind Duquesne in the A-10 preseason poll, receiving two first-place votes and 183 points in the poll overall. The team returns junior guard Jayla Scaife and senior guard Lauren Cannatelli, starters who averaged 14.5 and 13.3 points respectively.

While the polls predict one thing, Green believes in her team and its unchanging goal; win.

“The vision is consistent,” said Green. “Every year, we want to win an A-10 regular season championship. We want to contend and win the [conference] tournament championship. And the NCAA tournament…obviously we love being there…but we want to win a game, get out of that first round, get to a Sweet Sixteen. That’s never going to change.”

While Duquesne may have the edge in the preseason rankings (the Dukes are returning all five of their starters from last season), Green welcomes the challenge of good competition. While the Flyers are faced with some daunting nonconference road trips, the coach knows how much the team can benefit from that type of adversity.

“Competing against the best with our schedule this year—going to Maryland, going to South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech—beating a couple of those guys will really solidify Dayton basketball and that we can contend.”

Flyer fans should feel confident in a leader like Green; her cool-handed and confident approach speaks volumes on a Flyer team that has done nothing but impress since she took over in 2016. With her third season fast-approaching, the excitement is building for what could be in store for this talented team.

“We’ve got a lot of new pieces and people playing different roles,” said Green. “It’ll be a work in progress of all coming together and gelling together. What we’re capable of, I’m really excited about.”

Photos courtesy of Griffin Quinn and Christian Cubacub.