Oct. 24, 2005
USD Women's Basketball Facts/Roster/Schedule 2005-06
By, Amanda Piechowski
USD Media Relations
For the University of San Diego women's basketball team, the 2005-2006 season promises to be unlike any other. This year, the word around the Jenny Craig Pavilion is "new": new coaching, new players, new program, an overall new freshness and vivacity for the Torero program.
The new Torero vision begins, first and foremost, with newly appointed head coach Cindy Fisher who was announced to the position in April of 2005. Fisher comes to San Diego after making three consecutive postseason tournament appearances, first as head coach at Wyoming and more recently spending the past two seasons as the top assistant at the University of Nebraska.
"USD was the right job I have always been interested in," says Fisher. "It has a high academic standard and, having been raised Catholic, it fits my spiritual side too. It was just a good fit. I didn't know if the opportunity would ever open up, but I'm really glad it did."
With Fisher comes an entirely new coaching staff that she knows well, with all three of San Diego's new assistants having worked with Fisher at some point during her collegiate coaching career that spans 16 seasons. Top assistant, Mary Ann Falcosky, worked with Fisher during her entire five-year campaign at Wyoming, as did assistant Aubrey Eblin. Niecee Nelson served as graduate assistant for Fisher at Wyoming.
"To bring in staff from before, I knew exactly what to expect as far as their work ethic, their strengths, their weaknesses," comments Fisher. "I knew exactly where to put them to use. Some people spend their entire lives looking for a great staff and I have mine right here with me."
The key this year for the Toreros, says Fisher, will be defense. With the season-ending injury to 6-foot-5 all-league sophomore Amber Sprague, an issue the San Diego women face will be their size, or lack thereof.
"We have to make up for our size," says Fisher. "We'll use our size to our advantage on offense and defense to pull people away from the basket. We have really good scorers even though we're undersized. The key is to let the defense create the offense."
Fisher inherits a Torero team that returns four starters, including senior guard Tiara Harris, another 2004-2005 All-WCC selection.
"Everyone is extremely open to the new changes," says Harris. "Our overall vision is to win the WCC and to do so by being in great condition. As a senior, I want to lead by example. This is a great starting point to some great things."
A new determination and a more intense work ethic highlight every San Diego practice and will be the basis for the entire 2005-2006 season.
"I'm in the best shape of my life!" says six-foot freshman forward Kiva Herman, who is one of four new players on Fisher's roster this fall.
The Torero season tips-off on November 9 with a pre-season exhibition match against Point Loma Nazarene. Their schedule includes home games against No. 7 Duke and NCAA Sweet-16 qualifier Arizona State as well as road contests against Georgia Tech and UC Riverside. West Coast Conference action begins in early January.
"It's a new beginning," says Herman. "I can tell things are changing."