Lady Tigers emphasizing details

You might think LSU women's head basketball coach Sue Gunter would spend her days preparing for the 2002-03 season in blissful state with ehr team ranked in the Top 5.<br><br>But practice sessions under Gunter are no day at the beach for the Lady Tigers these days, especially when the head coach or one of her assistants catches someone falling off the pace.

That's exactly what happened last Friday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center when Gunter didn't like what she saw from her team during a full-court passing drill. Groups of five ran up and down the court, passing the ball without dribbling it to set up a lay-up for the point guard.


The drill this day consisted of 4-6 repetitions of the run – or as many as three trips up and down the court -- with very little break time before having to perform another set.


When one of the Lady Tigers incorrectly assumed she wasn't due for another set, Gunter made a mental note of it. Once the entire team had completed the exercise (or so they thought), the coach gathered her team around her and made it crystal clear that she wasn't going to tolerate anyone assuming someone else would pick up the slack.


"I think we're a real talented basketball team," Gunter told Tiger Rag. "I think we have the ability to get up and down the floor and do things very well. But the difference will be our ability to focus and concentrate on what we've got to do. Every drill has a meaning.


"It's a game-like drill and you've got to approach that drill as if it were in a game. If you do that, when it comes to the game, it's going to work. You'll respond the same way that you did in practice."


Gunter reports good progress being made in the preseason thanks largely to the roster loaded with veterans. Freshmen swing player Seimone Augustus amd forward Treynell Clavelle are the only newcomers. Even the physical and academic casualties were able to take part in practice last season, cutting down the repetitions needed this year and enabling the coaching staff to install more of its schemes.


But just because the system is old hat to most of the team, Gunter says that doesn't mean she will let the Lady Tigers coast through the preseason.


"We can't leave any details out," said Gunter. "Right now we have to reduce our turnovers. We've got to clean up our game. We've got to do a better job on the boards. It's the little things we're going to have to focus on."


Gunter says she is very pleased with the work ethic of the players, who offered no complaints later in Friday's practice when the head coach threw in a couple extra sets of full court "suicides" after a couple of players missed the assigned cut-off time.


"I wonder what Arizona is doing," Gunter pondered loud enough for the team to hear. LSU will face the Pac-10 Wildcats in Tuscon, Ariz., on Nov. 22 to open its regular season.


The Lady Tigers have an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 8, against the Basketball Travelers and play the Houston Jaguars in a warm-up game on Nov. 14.


INJURIES: Trainers are taking a day-by-day approach with senior center DeTrina White, who was held out of Friday's practice as a precautionary measure. White redshirted last season due to a stress fracture of the foot, but the ailment forcing her to miss practice is the back problem she's battled for the last couple of years.


Elsewhere, Gunter reports good health for all three players who suffered ACL tears last season – Kisha James, Wendlyn Jones and Tillie Willis.

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