We caught up with Yale women’s basketball coach Allison Guth, who is embarking on her fourth season helming the Bulldogs and fresh off a recent contract extension through the 2023-24 season.
Ivy Hoops Online: Not many teams have an opportunity to win their last game of the season. Yale did last year, winning the WBI. What was that experience like?
Allison Guth: Anytime your team can experience a “one and done” tournament setting is a benefit to the growth of your program. Having your back against the wall and needing to get the “W” to advance proves a mental toughness and fortitude. Our team was able to grow as a result of winning one in a row four times to earn a postseason championship.
IHO: You did suffer some major graduation losses. Can you assess how that impacts the team?
AG: Experience has proven an important contributing factor to success in Ivy play. We graduated a very talented class who all made huge contributions in our historic season last year. Every season has a life of its own, though, and I am looking forward to our talented group of players who will utilize their gifts and assume new responsibility for our program’s growth.
IHO: You have a freshman, Camilla Emsbo, who is the highest recruited player to ever come to Yale. She was a five-star recruit and rated No. 34 in the country. Tell us about both her game and her expected role this season.
AG: Camilla is an extremely talented player. Her strengths lie in the fact that she a special athlete at 6’5 who can affect the game both at the rim and beyond the arc. She is coachable, humble, and hungry to get better – which are attributes of GREAT players. She has immediately impacted the level of play in practice and no doubt will make major contributions when it comes to tip-off!
IHO: What does your out-of-conference schedule look like this season?
AG: We were selected for the first time in Yale history to the preseason WNIT tournament. (Highlights of nonconference outlined here.)
IHO: How would you assess the other Ivy League teams?
AG: The league is strong. We have consistently ranked in the top 10 RPI and this year will be no exception.
IHO: The Ivy tourney is at Yale in March. How much of a motivator is that for your team?
AG: Our team was extremely excited to learn of the news that we would be hosting the Ivy tourney. Where the tournament was being hosted didn’t change our motivation or goal for earning our way into the tournament. We believe that JLA (John J. Lee Amphitheater) is an incredible venue that will help showcase the fantastic talent that our league has to display in both men’s and women’s hoops.
IHO: Your captain this year is Gabby Nelson from Texas. Talk about her as a leader.
AG: Gabby is the consummate teammate and someone who personifies servant leadership. She is one of the only players that I have coached that has never missed a conditioning session, strength workout, practice, or game. She is someone who places the team’s success above her own and we are fortunate to have her leadership at the helm.
The highlight playing-wise was her first career start and contribution (in) our win versus TCU on the road last year.
IHO: Your staff has undergone quite a turnaround, as three assistants have moved on to other jobs since last season. Please say a few words about your new assistants.
AG: We are in the business of growing people. Success breeds success and it has been special to see our staff earn some incredible opportunities for themselves both professionally and personally. We are thrilled to have a talented group of coaches who are phenomenal teachers and more importantly, people!