RICHMOND, Va. – Let’s get this out of the way. Marleen Stollings, introduced as the 13th women’s basketball coach in VCU history Wednesday, wants to put points on the board.
It’s not that she values scoring over everything else; she doesn’t. She wants to win first, but believes basketball is most interesting when you get out in transition, get to the rim, kick to open shooters for bushels of 3-pointers and just generally light up the scoreboard.
Stolling’s basketball worldview was shaped early in her career, when she discovered she had an innate score’s mentality. Judging by her 3,514 points as a prep star at Eastern High School in Ohio (the most in state history), she knows a thing or two about scoring the basketball.
Last year, in her first season at Winthrop, she led the Eagles to an 18-13 record, a five-win improvement over 2010-11 and the second most in the school’s 26-year Division I history. But it’s not just what she was able to do in one season at Winthrop, it’s how. It also shows us what VCU fans can expect on the court at the Verizon Wireless Arena in the future.
“I don’t think too many recruits get excited about a grind-it-out, 55-54 game,” Stollings, the 2012 Big South Coach of the Year, said Wednesday. “I think they’d much rather get involved in something where you’re scoring in the 70s and 80s.”
Here’s a comparison of Winthrop before and after Stollings took over: