WATERVILLE — Jasmine Bishop had already transferred to Thomas College when Ted Rioux, her former basketball coach at Waterville Senior High School, was hired to coach the Terriers. When she learned Rioux would be her coach, Bishop felt what had been a good decision to enroll at Thomas was now a great one.

“I was kind of excited to get into it,” Bishop said.

A 6-foot forward, Bishop is an integral piece of Rioux’s rebuilding plan. Thomas is 1-8, 1-3 in North Atlantic Conference play, and hosts conference foes Lyndon State and Johnson State this weekend.

“She comes in knowing exactly what I want,” said Rioux, who coached Waterville to three consecutive undefeated state championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009. “She understands what I’m trying to get done. She’s been a team leader in that sense.”

Bishop, a junior, came to Thomas from Newbury College. She started eight of the Terriers’ first nine games, averaging 4.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and is ranked sixth in the NAC in rebounding.

The only big difference Rioux sees in the player he coached in high school is Bishop’s ability.

“She’s basically the same type of player, just her skills are better,” Rioux said. “Her game relies on a lot of battling for position. The one place on the floor where finesse doesn’t matter as much is the low post. She’s gotten better at learning how to use her body.”

Added Bishop: “Rebounding and defense, that’s what I focus on. I think I’m an undersized post player, so I try and be more aggressive.”

Offensively, Rioux is trying to extend Bishop’s game outside of the paint. She has a 15-foot jump shot that Rioux would like Bishop to use more often.

“He yells at me,” Bishop said. “He thinks I should shoot it more.”

Added Rioux: “In high school, we never would have let her do that.”

Knowing the X’s and O’s of Rioux’s system helped, and in the preseason, Bishop tried to tutor her teammates on what to expect from their new coach.

“Before the season started, we would play pickup games, and I would show my teammates what I thought he’d do.”

In the fall, Bishop played goalie for the Thomas field hockey team. Despite the overlap in seasons, she enjoys playing two sports.

“I hadn’t played field hockey in a few years and I missed it, so I really wanted to try that,” Bishop said. “I just love both sports.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]


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