UMass Minutewomen basketball preparing for new season under new head coach

The Minutewomen are looking for strong results after not making last year’s NCAA tournament.
Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 1:52 PM EDT
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AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The UMass women’s basketball team is gearing up for tip-off with their first game in a few days and the Minutewomen are looking for strong results after not making last year’s NCAA tournament.

Clutch shots and the thrill of another basketball season are on the way for the UMass women’s team and new head coach Mike Leflar told Western Mass News that he and his players are excited to get started.

“We haven’t been in very many adverse situations yet, but I know that will test us and I’m excited to see how we respond as a staff and how we respond as a team when we are tested on the court together,” Leflar explained.

Leflar was officially named head coach in April after joining the program as an assistant coach in 2018. Last season, UMass lost in the Atlantic-10 conference finals, missing the cut to play in the NCAA national tournament.

With lots of new talent added to their squad, including graduate transfers Brelynn Bellamy and Tori Hyduke, the team is looking for redemption and achieve personal goals.

“I’m just expecting a lot of fun on the court and a team that’s all bought in,” Bellamy said.

“I’m really just looking to have fun and play with my teammates,” Hyduke added. “It would be great to win the whole thing and go to the tournament. It is an entirely different team, except for three returning players.”

This season also marks the first one without some key players, including the program’s all-time points leader Sam Breen. The Minutewomen did some training and exhibition in Croatia in August, while also taking the time to build chemistry.

“It’s been great. Practices really have lots of high energy, (and) we all share the ball,” Hyduke explained.

“Our bond has been really strong so far. I think you could really see it during our exhibition game…we played together. Leflar always says that he wants us to be together and I think that we really embrace that,” Bellamy said.

The Minutewomen have posted a combined 105-49 record since Leflar joined the staff. Now in the big job, he expects a winning attitude and good effort.

“we do things the right way every day, and the scoreboard will take care of itself,” Leflar explained.

The UMass Minutewomen host Saint Peter’s on Monday night, with the tip scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Mullins Center.