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K-State Women Looking Forward to... Pasta

Click here for the K-State Women's Basketball video special: Preparing for Italy 

 August 4, 2013 
By Mark Janssen 

 Deb Patterson calls it a "wonderful high quality life experience and educational experience" that her Kansas State women's basketball team is preparing for in Italy.

"Traveling internationally is an experience of a lifetime," said the K-State coach. "I can't emphasize how enriching it is in the sense of world history, culture and architecture, and how young America is from a world perspective."

The Wildcat team will be leaving on August 9 for what will be a 10-day trip. In the middle days of the journey, K-State will be playing the Italy All-Stars in Milan and then travel to Mestre (near Venice) to play the Vicenz All-Stars, and finally to Rome where ASD Bull Basket will serve as the foe.

The K-State travel party will also visit Florence where it will visit the Accademia Gallery, which houses Michelangelo's David, and to Pisa to view the Leaning Tower.

"These young people will actually walk into the Coliseum and experience the finest art in the history of the world. It's a priceless opportunity," said Patterson. "We will have the finest in tour guides, which will make it truly is a jaw-dropping experience."

But what are the players looking forward to most?

"Pasta is my favorite," said Bri Craig.

"The Italian food. I just love pasta," added Chantay Caron.

Oh yes, there will also be the opportunity to play International basketball.

While saying she knows little of the competition, Patterson knows that "...the players will be older, and with that experience, smarter than the young team that we will take to the floor. It will be absolutely a great experience from every aspect."

TEAM WON'T BE COMPLETE: It takes almost less time for Patterson to list the players who will play on the trip than those who will not.

Several Wildcats are still recovering from the well documented injury-plagued 2012-13 season, which includes Ashia Woods (Achilles), Ashlynn Knoll (knee) and Stacey Malone (nervous system disorder).

In addition, not with the team yet is Leticia Romero, a freshman from Las Palmas, Spain, where she is currently playing for one of her country's national teams. And, freshman Kindred Wesemann recently underwent a medical procedure and will not be able to play.

The good news, however, is that Kelly Thomson and Katya Leick, both who underwent knee surgeries last year will get their first game experience as Wildcats. "How much we don't know," said Patterson.

While Wesemann, a 5-foot-8 product of Pleasant Hill, Mo., will not play, four other freshmen will in Jai Murphy, a 5-foot-9 guard from Nashville, Tenn., Jessica Sheble, a 6-foot-3 forward from Olathe, Kan., Breanna Lewis, a 6-foot-5 forward from Milwaukee, Wis., and Erica Young, a 6-foot-3 forward from Tampa, Fla.

"I'm really pleased with this freshman class," said Patterson. "They've worked extremely hard."

Overall, Patterson said, "We'll have a team that is night and day from last year. The ball will be going inside a lot this year, plus we will not have a Brittany Chambers, who can score off the dribble. Haley Texada can be a great scorer from the perimeter, but we don't have anyone who can dominate the ball prior to getting a shot."

Returning front-line players from last year will be Texada, a 5-foot-7 guard, plus 5-foot-11 senior Chantay Caron, 5-foot-10 guard Bri Craig and 5-foot-11 junior Heidi Brown.

10-SECOND RULE FOR 2013-14: Women's basketball will join the men and play with a 10-second backcourt rule this season.

To the rule, Patterson says, "I'm not a fan of it because I think it's going to make for a more messy game. It's going to be a huge advantage to teams that have quicker defenses, which can cause more sporadic play.

"I don't like a lot of turnovers, and this rule could cause more turnovers because of hyper-activity in the backcourt," said Patterson. "I think it's going to create more panic plays when our game needs to be concentrating on a higher shooting percentage."

BEST OF LUCK: Here's wishing the best to Danielle Zanotti, who is leaving her position as Director of Team Operations for the women's team to pursue her Ph. D in clinical psychology at Tulsa University.

A former Wildcat standout from 2005-09, the three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection has served her current post on Deb Patterson's staff the last four years.

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.