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Carly Graham (right), temporary coach of the women's Cougars, was interviewed this week by CBC Morning Edition host Sheila Coles. (Eric Anderson/CBC)

Former basketball star and master's student Carly Graham says she was a little overwhelmed when she was asked to step in as head coach of the University of Regina's women's Cougars. 

The 24-year-old assistant coach is filling in for Dave Taylor, who remains in quarantine after being exposed to measles. 

"It was definitely a shock, but it ended up working out well," Graham said. "Dave's been helping me a ton so it hasn't been too bad. I didn't really have a choice. I wasn't going to let the girls fend for themselves." 

Graham admits the role has had its challenges. She's been spending four hours a day reviewing footage from previous games to prepare the team. 

"I think every coach has to have their own flavour to things," she said. "For example, I decided I wasn't going to stand up during pregame talks because I thought I was towering over them and I don't feel like I am any more important than they are."

Graham graduated from the university two years ago and played with some of the girls on the team. Even though she's only a year older than some of the players she said the team respects her in the position. 

The men's coach Steve Burrows, who Graham calls her basketball guru, as well as her dad Stu have been helping out. 

But one of the biggest challenges for Graham has been balancing coaching with her master's program in molecular genetics. 

"I'm very busy," Graham said. "I don't really have a life, but that's the way I like it. I definitely love both, but I do see myself pursuing my science just because it is very interesting to me and it's always evolving."

So far Graham has led the team to a 4-0 record. 

The Cougars host the University of Calgary on Friday and Saturday night.  

The Cougars are tied for 1st place in the CIS Canada West Division with a 16-2 record.