Lady Commodores easing newcomers into classroom and practice

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The summer grind isn't nearly as time-consuming and physically grueling as the regular season, but the Gulf Coast Lady Commodores women's basketball team is easing into the new season.

Gulf Coast practices eight hours a week until the fall semester begins. For now, the team is missing certain pieces from the projected roster, but a handful of players are present and soaking up the environment.

"In the summertime, you have sophomores who are trying to get ahead academically and they're staying here," head coach Roonie Scovel said. "For this particular session, we only have two sophomores that stayed and then we brought in some freshman. So for us, it's just an introduction for the freshman to be able to get acclimated to college life, take a course, get in the gym, get into workouts, and realize that it's a different game."

And part of the process of getting acclimated, get the new student athletes into the mode of classroom life, slowly but surely.

"A great opportunity because they're only going to take one class, one three hour class." coach Scovel told us. "And so I can put all my effort into that one and learn how much I have to study on the college level and how different. You know course work is usually a lot faster and more material over a shorter period of time. So it gives them a great opportunity to get the learning curve, and I only have to concentrate on one thing."

The Lady Commodores lose serious firepower from last season, including the foursome of Shayla Bennett, Jhileiya Dunlap, Kionna Jeter and Janesha Green which averaged 62 points per game.

Bennett and Dunlap are playing together at North Carolina, while Jeter debuts at Towson.