Rogers started the first five games of the season, came off the bench for the following six games, and has started the past six games. Parkinson said he was looking to find the best lineups to play together, while also hinting that Rogers’ defense needed improvement.
“We don’t compromise our defensive foundation,” Parkinson said. “Whether it’s Nicole or anybody else, sometimes we have to re-emphasize that, which we have. But she’s continued to improve defensively.”
In the long run, Parkinson is confident the 5-foot-11 Rogers will be a solid defensive player.
“Nicole has the ability to defend physically, but she has to continue to improve her beliefs that she has the abilities to do it,” Parkinson said. “... Nicole is probably one of the smartest players I’ve been around. She’s highly, highly intelligent. That can be a double-edge sword. It can be very good, but sometimes she’s really hard on herself. If she’ll continue to believe in herself then she will keep getting better defensively.”
IUPUI went 20-12 last season and was selected to play in the WNIT. With a strong returning nucleus and freshman class, the Jaguars were picked to finish second in the preseason Summit League poll.
“Nobody is taking us for granted, which has been a learning process for our kids on how you play with those expectations,” Parkinson said. “... Our goal is to win a championship and we feel we’re taking steps in that direction. We talk about doing the little things, and it sounds simple, but boxing out on every position and playing good transition defense. If we’re able to do things consistently, we think we’ll give ourselves a chance to win more often than not.”