WARRNAMBOOL Mermaids are learning to swim with a young roster.
Coach Lee Primmer has thrown a batch of talented juniors in the deep end and, with each Big V game, is noticing improvement.
The players' desire to get better is also evident with many already planning to train on during the off-season.
"The stats tell the story. They say we foul too much, we turn it over a little bit and we don't get to the foul line enough," Primmer said.
"They are all stats that indicate the team is a very young team learning their craft, learning their game as they play.
"The more times you bring it and up and show them and they more they work on it, the better they will get.
"We'll work on all those things over the summer. The girls are all keen to continue training and working on the little skill areas they need to work on.
"We don't know if there is a CBL (Country Basketball League) season going ahead but even (if there's not) the girls are going to work on different things on their own."
Primmer is pleased with the Mermaids' offensive rebounding efforts in season 2021.
They're averaging 13 a game after 12 games.
Their field goal percentage of 34 could be slightly higher but reflects their eagerness to shoot from long range.
"With the physicality we have as young kids, we don't get enough dribble penetration," Primmer said.
"When you get dribble penetration you can find receivers in spots.
"We don't get a lot of that; we're more reliant on the perimeter shot and that probably comes back to size, muscle and that little bit of presence to put it on the floor.
"Even someone as good as Amy Wormald is not someone who goes in and bashes people around. She's a real finesse type of player."
Free-throw percentage (59), assists (11) and steals (8.5) could be better, according to the long-time coach.
"I reckon if you could get between 15 and 20 assists a game it would be good but I have to remember I have a point guard (Mia Mills) who just turned 15 on Sunday," he said.
Fouls are costing the Mermaids, who have a 4-8 win-loss record and play Melbourne University on the road on Saturday night.
"That is a part of learning too, learning how to get into the passing lanes," he said.
"The pressure we put on, even though we're young we seem to bump and put our bodies into people close to the basket which means they're not giving that next pass a chance to be intercepted."
The Mermaids are averaging 62 points a game.
Primmer said anywhere between 60 and 70 was pleasing.
"We had a 92 against Mildura who had a very undermanned team and a very small team," he said.
"Most of the teams are in that 60 to 70-mark. Sixty-five to 70 for us would be a good score.
"Even the other night when Louise (Brown who is in her 30s) was the oldest and Ava Bishop the next oldest at 17, we still nearly had 50 points in that game.
"Ava had a standout game. I just think the more opportunities people get like that, the better they're becoming."
Primmer, who hopes to coach again in 2022, said Warrnambool was enjoying a "fun year".
He said experienced players, such as Amy Wormald and Marli Blackney-Noter, would help individuals at Tuesday night training in the latter stages of the season.
Thursdays will be reserved for team and opposition-focused analysis.
The Mermaids play Melbourne University in Melbourne at 8.30pm on Saturday. The Seahawks have a double-header. They play Melbourne University at 6.30pm Saturday on the road before hosting Camberwell Dragons at the Arc at 1pm on Sunday.
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