How long is the leash for coach Annette Watts and her women’s basketball program?
The Gamecocks are out to an 0-19 start in the 2012-13 season. The Gamecocks play Wednesday night, so by the time this issue is released on Thursday, Jan. 24, JSU may be 0-20. The game is at Tennessee State, who is 6-10 on the season. One of their six wins was a 20 point victory over JSU earlier in the season at The Pete.
Coach Watts took over a program that won 11, seven, and nine games the three seasons prior. The 2010-2011 season was coach Watts’ first at JSU and a 9-20 record slipped the Gamecocks into a late seed in the OVC tournament. JSU won their first game 57-55 over Tennessee State to advance to the second round, where they were ousted by Morehead State to finish 10-21.
Last season the Gamecocks went 4-25. Barring a win last night against TSU, an 0-20 team will be 1-39 in it’s last 40 games. The last win for the Gamecocks was a one point victory at Austin Peay last year on Jan. 14, 374 days ago. Luckily, of the four wins a year ago, one was against the rival Trojans of Troy. Monday night the Gamecocks will face Austin Peay for the first time since that last win. Hopefully history repeats itself.
In her first three seasons, coach Watts is 14-66 (or 15-65) and with the schedule coming to a close soon the Gamecocks are rivaling the worst season in the program’s history since the team went 2-31 in the 1984-1985 season, only the second year of the JSU women’s basketball program.
Compared to Coach Green, who is turning the men’s program around in his fifth season, coach Green was 27-61 during his first three seasons at JSU. Now in the middle of a 27-25 record in his last two seasons, and a 21 -11 record in the last 32 games it looks like the men’s program may claim their first winning season since 2005-2006.
So the leash may not be extremely tight with Coach Watts still to have time to put her players in the system, but it’s far from loose. With eight games left on the schedule a couple of wins is truly needed, even if for nothing more than building moral when next season rolls around.