January 23, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Anita Howard and Georgia Southern play faster, rebound harder than you

'I love to live life to the fullest, and so I also like to coach to the fullest'

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, Georgia Southern head coach Anita Howard joins host Howard Megdal to discuss her team’s high-flying offense, her path to coaching the Eagles and more. The Eagles are 13–6 overall and 3–4 in Sunbelt Conference play. They are currently first in the country in both pace (82.1 possessions per team per 40 minutes) and offensive rebounds per game.

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First, the two discussed Howard’s favorite style of basketball, and how she’s translated the fast-paced, transition-based play from team to team over the years. “Anyone that knows me knows I love to live life to the fullest, and so I also like to coach to the fullest,” Howard explained. ” I don’t want to see a slow brand of basketball, I want an exciting brand of basketball. And to do that, [we] can’t walk the ball up the floor. And so that’s one of the first things we try to implement is our pace of play…The more times we have the ball, the more shot attempts we get to take.”

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Megdal and Howard then discussed Howard’s path to coaching at Georgia Southern, which involved stops at nearly every level of the sport. “I started out as a Div. III head coach at Salem College in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and we also turned that program around,” Howard said. “I just love all the levels, you know, I don’t think I would have enjoyed where I am today had I not going through the different stages of collegiate athletics — Div. III level, Div. II level, HBCUs, PWIs, I’ve done it all. And I think I’m able to connect with our players, our families, our fans, because I’ve been through all walks of life.”

They also talked about Howard’s recruitment methods and how she approaches bringing new players to her teams, especially in the transfer portal era. She described the process of recruiting and coaching the team’s leading scorer, Terren Ward:

“She wasn’t in the limelight like most athletes that are heavily recruited, but I knew when I saw her, she was a big guard that was doing everything for her team. It’s almost like she was taking the ball back out of bounds and inbounding it to herself,” Howard explained. “[She was] the point guard, the post player, she could shoot the three shoot the mid range, she could rebound. She was slow though, and so one thing we talked about … is her motor coming in to college definitely had to change.”

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

“She was Freshman of the Year her first year. Didn’t start her her sophomore year, but she was the sixth Woman of the Year in the conference her sophomore year. And then she made first team all-Sunbelt, her junior year. And now she’s trying to vouch for that Player of the Year status in the Sunbelt. And so she’s done it the right way. I appreciate that she didn’t jump in the portal and transfer on us,” Howard said. “She will graduate this May with her degree from Georgia Southern. So she’s helped me turn around this program with all the other young ladies, and she’s done it the right way.”

Tune in to hear more about how the Eagles are taking on the tough Sunbelt conference and where Howard hopes they’ll continue to improve as the season continues. Listen to Locked On Women’s Basketball every day to learn more about women’s basketball history, the game and its players, and much more!

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