FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington women’s basketball coach Jamie Beaudoin doesn’t need to take inventory of his players to know he has a surplus of guards.

“We have six returning guards with the aspect that they have been through it (up-and-down season) and they are all experienced,” Beaudoin said. “Sara Lamb is a sophomore. Morgan Crocker is a junior and the rest are seniors.

“And their roles have all varied, but they have gotten minutes. And for us to make a jump, and I say that for us is to get back in the (North Atlantic Conference) tournament, because we missed it a year ago.

“We have to play with more confidence with the ball, especially with six returning guards. With that confidence with the ball, there is the aspect of finding a way to get somebody else a shot.”

Beaudoin also knows an abundance of backcourt players gives him options like playing four guards during a game.

“Maybe sometimes, we might have to play five guards,” Beaudoin said. “Depending on matchups or foul troubles, we are going to do something different.

“We are going to force someone to match up a little bit just to switch it up, and if that is going to be one of our strengths, you have to play to it. It doesn’t make sense to have a couple of kids on the bench that could be helping me in a different way.”

Beaudoin explained that UMF’s strengths came from interior play in the past and he might use those assets this season.

“This year might be a little bit different,” Beaudoin said. “Some of things that we are doing in practice are things I did 15 years ago with teams that were a little bit more guard orientated in terms of pushing the ball at a faster pace.

“At the same point in time, the game has changed and that aspect now, as you know, there are more 3-pointers taken. The metrics is that you’ve got to take so many 3’s. You have to make so many 3’s. If you do, you have a good chance of winning.

“I think the game has changed in that aspect, but trying to play at a faster pace, to be a little bit more efficient and to take advantage of not necessarily a transition game, but just seeing if we can find an opportunity to use a hockey term — an odd-man rush — and create a shot that way.”

A faster tempo might work for the Beavers, but Beaudoin also knows taking 3-pointers is also necessary for UMF’s survival in the NAC.

“I don’t think we are going to be the current state of the NBA with 3-point shots,” Beaudoin said. “Obviously, those players are at a really high level and can create their own shot, where women’s Division III basketball, those players are not on every team.”

“We have to find a way to get a teammate open for the best that we can get.”

There are a handful of players that Beaudoin expects to produce in the backcourt.

I think (senior guard) Cheyenne Malloy will be a key player for us,” Beaudoin. “She’s kind of been forced to play point guard even though I think would rather much play off the ball. She’s really good shooter for us. She has a really high basketball IQ.

“(Junior guard) Morgan Crocker has the ability to get by players and I think that is definitely one of strengths, and I think the area that she has improved the most, especially over the last two years …if she is open to catch and shoot, she could be really dangerous. She has the ability to get into the lane and create some opportunities.”

“Paige Carter has a great sophomore campaign for us. Last year, she came off the bench for us and really stepped up her game in terms of being a stretch player for us…She is long-armed defender.”

Beaudoin points the finger at Husson College, Colby-Sawyer and Castleton as being the top competitors in he NAC.

“Looking to get to get into the top six (in the league) is going to be key to the postseason,” Beaudoin said.

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