VESTAL (WBNG) -- The Binghamton women's basketball team is getting ready to begin play next month.
With non-conference competition up to the discretion of each university, Coach Bethann Shapiro Ord said as of right now they plan to play.
Shapiro Ord said they'll open the season November 25th, on the road. The women will play six non-conference games. She said Binghamton has been extremely detailed with COVID-19 testing and so far they've felt very safe.
"This is for both teams, we won't get on a bus until both teams are completely negative and there's no issues with that."
Conference play will begin December 18th. The format consists of a full double round-robin schedule with 18 games.
In addition to have a unique schedule, the team will feature a lot of new faces this season. Shapiro Ord said the team is working to develop chemistry on and off the court.
"My expectations are we are family, we are a close team," she said. "The new kids are understanding that pretty quick just from all of our conversations, and they're seeing it."
The Bearcats lost their starting five from last season, including star point guard Kai Moon.
Shapiro Ord said sophomore Denai Bowman and senior Kaylee Wasco are prepared to step into big roles after playing significant minutes last season.
She added Zahra Barnes, Cassidy Roberts and Hanna Strawn will likely be battling for the point guard spot, but with conference play consisting of back-to-back games, it will give everyone an opportunity to step up.
The Bearcats roster adds a handful of transfers. Sophomore Birna Benonysdottir joins Binghamton from Arizona. Shapiro Ord said she's a post player who "can really shoot it," and stretch the floor.
Sophomore Destiny Samuel transferred from Temple. Shapiro Ord described her as having length and a nice shot.
The lone freshman on the team is freshman Elena Delicado from Madrid, Spain. Shapiro Ord said said she's a "sponge," and gets better every day.
"We're excited about what we have. The older kids have been meshing well and teaching them the way we do things," she said.
Friday marked practice number eight for the Bearcats. Shapiro Ord said the they're starting out slowly and working their way up to full effort.
"Even one percent, or even little progress is great progress," she said. "I just keep reminding them it's about the process and that's what we have to do."
With unusual circumstances entering the season, Shapiro Ord said her expectations remain high.
"It might be a little different but same mindset. Getting our girls to be in the best position to be successful," she said.
The non-conference and conference schedules are still being finalized.