July 30, 2010
The 2009-10 athletic year at Northwestern University was one to remember. Filled with memorable wins, honors and championships, there was much to be celebrated this past year in Evanston. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com through August 6 as we take a look back at some of the very best highlights the Wildcats experienced last season.
Coach McKeown Talks About Postseason Play
EVANSTON, Ill.-- When Joe McKeown was hired as the Wildcats' mentor in June 2008, the task before him was anything but small: turn around a program which had not achieved a winning season or a postseason appearance since 1996. In just his second season, McKeown led Northwestern, 18-15, to the WNIT round of 16 and changed the culture of women's basketball in Evanston.
"To be able to play in the postseason in our second year as a coaching staff and being together with this team, I thought it was a great accomplishment for everyone involved, McKeown said. "I feel really good about the way we played in February and March this year and I think it sets us up well for the future. I also hope the experience of the WNIT gave our players a taste of what it's like to win a couple games, to play in March and allowed them to set their goals to be part of the NCAA Tournament in their career at Northwestern."
The landmark season was not only significant for the program but also made waves across the women's basketball national scene. The 'Cats' improvement from 2008-09 to 2009-10 was tied for the 10th best turnaround in the nation and ranked fourth among BCS schools. In winning percentage comparison, the Wildcats' above-.500 mark (.545) was a 31.2 percent improvement from last season
"We did the best we could this past season and we had a huge impact on Northwestern," freshman Kendall Hackney said. "I think students get a little more involved and a little more excited about women's basketball now. That influences me, and it's been great to see that support. Being part of the successful team has been great. From here out we aren't going to expect anything less than a winning season."
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