Utah Utes guard Tori Williams (2) is introduced before the University of Utah hosts Purdue University at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.

Every year, college teams welcome new freshmen to their programs.The University of Utah women’s basketball team received the addition of six Utes who have begun their first year of collegiate play this season. Utah has a strong lineup of returning players, but the U’s game changer has been the powerful freshmen who have been stepping up.

These freshmen have made it challenging for head coach Lynne Roberts to solidify her starting lineup early in the season, a problem she said she has not had in a long time. The competitiveness and positive attitude the freshmen possess are attributes that stand out forward Maurane Corbin knows are helping Utah both on and off the court.

“We bring something good to the team,” Corbin said. “We are always cheering and bringing a good mindset to practice and games.”

Corbin has been enjoying her time at Utah and the close relationships she has developed with her new teammates and coaches. She is finding that college basketball is a fast-paced game, but she feels that she is making plenty of strides as a player and a person. Corbin is looking forward to Pac-12 conference action where the Utes will be faced with some stiffer opponents.

“Every day it is the opportunity to get better,” Corbin said. “I love the coaches and players, and I love being with them all the time.”

Another freshman, point guard Tori Williams, who is from Boise, Idaho, has made an immediate impact for the Utes. She is proving herself to be a strong component of the team because of her aggressiveness and confidence.

Williams is a team player, and she echoed the same words of Corbin — she has a deep love for the team, coaching staff and the game itself. She even sees her teammates as sisters. Williams is appreciative of the bond that the team has formed in a short amount of time. As the season progresses, Williams knows Utah will be tested, but the family-like connection they have will benefit the team come win or loss.

“I’m excited to go through adversity and tough games with them and to be there for them during those rough times,” Williams said.

The depth of the freshmen class has equally impressed Williams, but she is especially grateful for the upperclassmen. Williams and Corbin agreed that the upperclassmen unhesitatingly accepted the new players and their new skill sets. The upperclassmen’s acknowledgement of the new players has contributed to the comfortable environment the team has created.

“The older players have been very friendly and nice toward the new players,” Corbin said. “They make everyone feel very welcome.”

c.overfield@dailyutahchronicle.com

@Casey_Overfield

Casey Overfield
Casey Overfield is in her second year at the University of Utah. This is her second year as a sports writer for the Chronicle, where she is the assistant editor for the sports desk. Casey is also a member of the Pride of Utah marching band, and hopes to be a sports writer after graduation.

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