Freshman Cassie Harberts has started every game for the women’s basketball team this season — the only player to do so. The San Clemente, Calif. forward averages 9.4 points per game for the Women of Troy. The Daily Trojan sat down with Harberts and asked to share her thoughts on the season and how the team will prepare for what’s to come.
Daily Trojan: Have you always wanted to go to USC? What other schools did you consider during your recruitment process.
Harberts: I actually committed previously in my junior year. Then there was a coaching staff change, so I opened myself back up [to other schools]. USC wasn’t my top choice after that, I actually committed to Arizona State first. Then I was like, “Oh I want to go to USC,” so then I de-committed [from Arizona State] and ended up here.
DT: What were your goals coming into the season? Have they been achieved?
Harberts: We wanted to go undefeated at home, and we did that up until our Arizona State and UCLA losses [two weeks ago]. We also wanted to get to the [NCAA] tournament, and we have a really good chance of doing that. So we’re still working toward that one.
DT: What are your biggest accomplishments on and off the court?
Harberts: Probably playing for the under-18 USA team [in high school]. That was a pretty big accomplishment. Off the court … [pauses] Probably just getting [to USC] and doing well in classes so far at USC — it’s a great school.
DT: Did you expect to be in the starting line-up this soon? How do you see your role on the team?
Harberts: I actually didn’t think I would start. I came in wanting to work hard and get some playing time, whether off the bench or starting, it didn’t matter. But to have this success, the belief in my coaching staff has really helped me on the floor. I just see my role as doing anything to help my team win.
DT: What do you think the team has to do to get in the NCAA tournament?
Harberts: We just have to continue the way we have been playing. Against UCLA, we turned a corner in our team mentality. We just can’t lose any more games.
DT: What adjustments have you had to make in the transition from high school to college basketball?
Harberts: Coming into college, all five of us out there are really good players. We’ve all been All-American, we’ve all been on the USA team or whatever. But I think we all work really well together. I’m not looking to score every time. I have a different role now, and I’ve learned that throughout the year.
DT: How has the team grown over the season?
Harberts: I think we’ve grown a lot. Starting off, we were kind of shaky, depending on what team showed up that night. But after the UCLA game, I think we’ve really turned a corner.