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UCI hire has list of demands

BASKETBALL: ’Eaters’ women’s basketball coach Goodenbour proved to be an acquired taste at Chico State.

August 07, 2008|By Barry Faulkner

Molly Goodenbour came to UC Irvine to embrace a challenge and the Anteaters’ newly hired women’s basketball coach said Wednesday her players should expect to be challenged by her and her future staff.

“I told them they were going to be challenged in ways they probably hadn’t been challenged before,” said Goodenbour, the 2008 California Collegiate Athletic Assn. Coach of the Year at Chico State, where she led the Wildcats to a school-record win total in a 28-6 season that included a conference title and the program’s sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Goodenbour, 36, a former All-American shooting guard at Stanford who played professionally in the WNBA, the American Basketball League and in Europe, met with six Anteaters players Tuesday, her first day on campus as head coach.

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“I told them this next year would be their audition,” said Goodenbour, who was 52-11 at Chico State in her first two seasons as head coach at a four-year college. “I told them I would not tell anyone they could not come back, because I want to get a feel for what their strengths and weaknesses are and see what we have. Everyone starts out in the same place with me. We have no history. I think there is a team in there somewhere.”

The Anteaters, who begin preparing for next season on Sept. 15, have 10 players with remaining eligibility from last season, in which UCI finished 7-24. Foremost among the returners is senior Kelly Cochran, who averaged 11.5 points and 7.2 rebounds last season, when she received honorable mention in All-Big West Conference voting. Cochran was a second-team all-conference pick in 2005-06, when she made the Big West All-Freshman team.

Starting guards Rebecca Maessen (7.0 points per game) and Kirian Ishizaki (4.9 points and a team-best 2.2 assists per contest) are also set to return.

Goodenbour, who planned to interview Chris Ellis and Jessica Sell, both assistants under former coach Molly Tuter, as she prepares to name her three full-time assistants, said she has scholarships available, but has no plans to issue any for next season.

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