Preview: Greg Collins discusses FIU matchup

Head coach Greg Collins snarls at his players during the women’s basketball game against Marshall on Thursday, Feb. 20. The Lady Toppers defeated the Thundering Herd 79-65.

Drew Toennies

Prior to the Lady Topper’s conference series against the FIU Panthers, WKU head coach Greg Collins addressed the media regarding the upcoming series.

The Lady Toppers series against the North Texas Mean Green was cancelled indefinitely due to inclement weather this past weekend.. 

“We were playing well going into the Rice game and coming out of the Rice game, we were excited and ready to play,” Collins said. “They were disappointed we didn’t get to play North Texas.

Collins talked about how the FIU Panthers are a tough matchup and that this next series is going to be a challenge.

“It’s obviously a challenge,” Collins said. “Not just one of the best offensive teams, one of the best transition offensive teams in the country. It’s a big challenge for us.”

Furthermore, FIU’s offense is so explosive because of players like redshirt junior Jiselle Thomas who leads FIU in scoring and sits at 10th place in the conference in scoring.

“Jiselle is really good at getting to the basket and finding players,” Collins said. “She’s really continued to improve her game over the years.”

Collins said his team needs to play at their pace against FIU this weekend.

“We gotta make sure that our possessions are intentional and that we’re not running up and down the floor shooting quick bad shots,” Collins said. 

WKU senior Raneem Elgedawy who turned a year older today is who Collins said would be an important factor to WKU’s offense in this series.

“I think Raneem is still improving every day,” Collins said. “She’s obviously played well since she’s been back, but she’s getting stronger, she’s getting more confident, and she’s getting more settled and patient on offense.”

Collins also talked about how freshman Hope Sivori has been a huge factor in the Lady Topper’s offense recently.

“One of the reasons we played so well at Rice, especially in the second game was because Hope Sivori played really well offensively,” Collins said. “That’s still an area we need to continue to work at.”

With two weeks left in the regular season, Collins also talked about how important this series is going to be regarding his team’s placements prior to the Conference USA Tournament.

“Every game is critical at this point, they’re all important,” Collins said. “Now, they’re critical, because one game can make a big difference between finishing in third or finishing in sixth.”

The Lady Toppers will be on the road to play FIU this weekend. Friday night’s game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. Saturday afternoon’s game will tip off at 3 p.m.

Women’s basketball beat reporter Drew Toennies can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @drew_toennies.