Basketball team hires familiar face; Foley sees promise in young players
Asriel Rolfe, who graduated from UALR in May, was recently named the director of basketball operations for the Lady Trojan basketball team.
Rolfe, former Trojan point guard, is the all-time career assists leader at UALR with 558.
She will be responsible for coordinating team travel, scheduling, overseeing the academic progress of the student athletes through monitoring study hall and conducting class checks, while also helping the student athletes to reach out to the community through various programs.
“I was happy to be able to stay here and work up there with the coaches,” she said in an interview for the ualrtrojans.com website. “I’m glad that I can still be a part of the team. I am happy I can come back and help this year. ”
Head coach Joe Foley believes that Rolfe can be a conduit in helping him get across just how much effort is needed to compete at this level. “I think that Asriel will make it easier for these young kids to make an adjustment to having a new coach and playing at such a high level,” he said.
Foley understands that Rolfe will make it clear to the new players there are no plays taken off in this league. “I think she’s gonna be relating to them, ‘this is what you gotta do to be successful at the college level,’” he said.
One thing Foley doesn’t wanna see in his players is a fear of failure. “You’re gonna fail some out there on the floor,” he said, “but once they get some good experience, they’re gonna develop into a good ball club.”
The team will have one thing that perhaps it lacked last year; more flexibility in substitution. Foley is looking at the added depth as a positive.
“You’ll see a lot more movement between players, in and out,” he said. “I think it’s gonna give us more flexibility.”
One thing hasn’t changed and will likely never change on any team that Joe Foley coaches; defense is where it’s at, period.
“People don’t realize how hard it is to be a good defensive team,” he said. ” You can have a kid score 30 or 40 points but defense is harder to teach.”
And he’s quick to point out that in losing Chastity Reed, Shanika Butler and Asriel Rolfe, it’s not only their points that will be missed.
“Chas and Nik and Asriel were great defensive college players,” he said
So where does the answer lie for this team, with 5 new faces and several players who played sparingly last year and will now be counted on to play serious minutes? Foley believes the answer is not a complicated one; get the players to buy into the system and show a real desire to improve.
“I think that’s the hardest thing for players,” he said, “they’ve gotta want to improve. You’ve gotta be willing to make adjustments in your game.”
What does it all boil down to in the end? “Experience,” he said, ” is the best teacher.”