Provided by Wayland Baptist University
It's been a month since Alesha Robertson was named head coach of the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, and since then it's been a busy time for the Queens' bench boss coach.
"It's been a whirlwind," Robertson said. "Just trying to get my feet under me."
From evaluating current Flying Queens players to recruiting new talent, from putting a schedule together to organizing summer camps, there's been no shortage of things to do for Robertson. Oh, and she's also in the process of buying a house while scrambling to finish her taxes.
While Robertson remains a ways away from dotting all the "I's" and crossing all the "T's" on many of those matters, one huge task she's finalized is finding an assistant coach, and it's someone folks in this area are already familiar with: Melynn Hunt.
Hunt is a proven high school girls' basketball coach, including a stint at Hale Center High School. For the past several years, she's served as assistant director for personnel, business and high school sports for the Lubbock Independent School District, but she has plans to retire from that post at the end of the current school year.
Robertson is excited to have someone with Hunt's background and knowledge join her at Wayland. Robertson said she and Hunt go way back, starting when Hunt coached her as a youngster.
"I am really happy we were able to get her," Robertson said, adding that Marsha Sharp, Robertson's coach at Texas Tech, helped arrange the deal to bring Hunt to Wayland where Sharp once coached the Queen Bees, WBU's junior varsity team at the time.
And speaking of Wayland's past, Robertson said that's another area with which she's becoming more familiar. Although Robertson grew up watching the Flying Queens, she said there's a lot she doesn't know about the storied history of the program, and she's looking forward to learning that past and meeting the former players who made it all possible.
In the meantime, there are lots of other things to accomplish, including figuring out who will be on the team next year. That process starts by evaluating the players currently on the roster, which last season featured eight juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. In other words, there were no seniors on the 2012 squad.
Robertson has been watching those players in practice and on film, as well as meeting with each of them one-on-one.
"I'm finishing those up," she said late last week of her individual player interviews.
The new coach also has brought a handful of player prospects in to work out with the team, and although Robertson can't be on the floor actively coaching at this time (she'll conduct actual spring workouts later), she said she can get a good idea of how everyone measures up just by watching.
"We're still evaluating everything," she said.
While unsure how many she'll end up signing, Robertson said she's considering at least three or four new players and is in the process of officially signing one of them.
As she said during her March 18 press conference when introduced as coach, Robertson is focusing on West Texas talent – both high school seniors and junior college transfers.
"I want those kids who want to stick around home. I think that's an advantage when a player is comfortable and familiar with her surroundings," she explained. "There are good players out there who don't want to go anywhere but close to home. Plus, it brings in bigger fan support."
That was Robertson's story after she graduated from Plainview High School, where she helped the Lady Bulldogs to three straight Class 4A state championships. While Robertson opted to play at Texas Tech, as Wayland's coach she said she won't assume the top players automatically will favor larger programs.
"I'm going to recruit (NCAA) Division I talent," she said. "At least I'm going to give it a shot."
Robertson said the NAIA has a lot fewer restrictions than the NCAA when it comes to recruiting and many other issues.
"I feel like we have a lot of freedom at this level," she said. "There's all kinds of stuff you can do to get a player in here. The sky's the limit."
And though Robertson is always on the lookout for obviously talented players, she also said she enjoys developing players and helping them realize potential even they didn't know they had.
"It's very fulfilling to me to turn a ‘C' player into an ‘A' player," she said. "I love that."
Regardless of which players end up on her team, one common trait they'll all have is an ability to play up-tempo basketball. Robertson has made it clear she enjoys a fast-paced, transition game.
"I like quick players who can get up and down the floor," she said. "I love the inside-outside game."
Robertson also likes a team that rebounds well, she said.
"We need to work on that."