“And then when I heard she was coming to ACU, I really thought that was great. If we couldn’t play for [Coach Lavender] I was glad to get the chance to play for Coach Goodenough.”
Goodenough brought her own brand of ball into the ACU mix, boding well for the Wildcats, who held a No. 3 ranking in the regional poll at the conclusion of their conference schedule, likely enough to offset their early exit from the conference tournament.
“Everything changed [under Goodenough],” Lankford said. “The way we play, especially on defense. We have been much more focused on all of the little things. It has been really good for our program, overall.”
With the entire ACU roster comprised of Texas-resident women, many relatively near Abilene, many of the athletes on the team already knew each other even before donning Wildcats’ purple. Lankford feels the familiarity has helped promote a positive chemistry among her teammates.
“We have very good team unity and are just good friends, on and off the court,” she said.
And she attributes her many individual successes to the hard work of her teammates, as well.
Mack’s decision to play at ACU, heavily influenced by its proximity to her home town, has paid off for the junior. And the successes of the team, and her individual accomplishments have made the first-hand sharing of her basketball prowess all the sweeter.
“I’m just so happy that most all of our games are close enough for my family and my friends to come to the games,” she said. “And not just the home games. Having family at most of our games is just huge. Having that kind of support is really special, and I feel very fortunate.”
The Wildcats hope their season is not yet over, and have the opportunity to make more good memories in the 2012-13 season. The announcement for the NCAA national tournament field, with established opponents and dates, will be made on Sunday, available at or around 9 p.m. (CST) at ncaasports.com.
Regardless of the postseason outcome, Mack will look to her senior year, in a new conference, with new experiences. Best of all though, her “old,” or rather, established and familiar talents that have served so well, will still be with her.