Coach Buscaglia: Preparation stays the same for Louisville

Samuel Anthony and Michael Sciulli

Samuel Anthony, Digital Content Manager

MOON TOWNSHIP — The University of Louisville Cardinals have lost just three games all season. Two of those losses have come at the hands of the Notre Dame Irish, a team currently ranked third in the nation and is one of the three other one-seeds besides UL. The last time the Colonials squared off against a top five team was the Irish in the 2017 NCAA tournament. It was in South Bend where RMU fell by a score of 79-49.

But despite the stage getting bigger, RMU women’s basketball head coach Charlie Buscaglia insists that his team’s preparation will remain the same.

“We’ll do the same for any team we to play,” said Buscaglia. “We get into practice and we focus, we work on getting our pace right, making sure we’re hungry. Obviously know the opponent, know the personnel, know what they like to do…and just prepare like we would for any game.”

Despite sporting the tournament’s lowest seed, the Colonials ride into Louisville with the 12th best defense in the nation and a 16-2 record in conference after dominating the NEC in the regular season.

RMU is a team that has certainly built themselves a culture of success, reaching the conference title game each of the past six years and representing the NEC in the NCAA tournament in four of those seasons. And with his three straight NEC coach of the year awards, coach Buscaglia sees no reason to change things up now.

“We focus on the game,” said Buscaglia. “You’re going to have people that are calling your phone, texting you that you haven’t heard from in five years. And you really got to keep your circle tight even with all respect to those people that want to celebrate with you. You’ve got to keep your circle tight and you’ve got to focus on the game.”

For Buscaglia, the challenges that come with the bigger stages are maintaining the routines and methods that got them there while avoiding all the distractions that come with success.

For players like star center and 2019 NEC tournament MVP Nneka Ezeigbo, the focus for her comes with improving her play where she lacked in their previous games.

“Focus on finishing,” said Ezeigbo. “I think whoever watched the game (NEC championship) realized that I didn’t have a great day finishing during the championship game. So focusing on finishing, staying on balance, continue to be relentless on the boards and hustle plays. Things like that.”.

The philosophy for the Colonials is to have a belief in their system, and that the best way for RMU to compete with the nation’s best is to continue what got them to this point in the season.