Kansas State Player Quotes

Junior Guard Kimberly Dietz
On this years schedule...
"Every year our schedule is competitive and we are ready for it. We are just doing our best in practice right now to get ready for the season, and I think that we are ready."

On post and perimeter play...
"We have been working on that a lot in practice and we do have a strong outside game but it seems like we are all going to the boards too. So we have to get someone back each time to help not get those fast break lay-ups down. There is definitely a lot of pressure, but I think we can do it. Our posts are working well and getting into the groove of the game."

Sophomore Guard Shalee Lehning
On the team's size...
"That's where we are really going to use our quickness. We are a really undersized team and if you look at our posts, we are smaller than a lot of the posts in the Big 12. So, that is where we are going to be using our quickness. Our transition game is going to be huge, but we are also going to need girls to step in and battle with them and be physical. We can't let them push us around. We have to establish a presence in the inside post."

On her personal improvement this season...
"There is always room for improvement in every aspect of any person's game. I'm looking be more of a scoring factor this year. But like you said, I need to be able to lead this team and push the ball and establish the presence that we are going to get out and run."

On the confidence of the team after the WNIT Championship...
"It's awesome to have the opportunity to play five extra games. Having the chance to prove to ourselves and gain confidence that we can finish games, when it gets close and goes into overtime, that we will be able to pull together and come out on top. It has defiantly propelled us with our attitudes, we are very excited about this season. It is almost like we didn't even leave the court. We stepped on the court for practice and we were ready to play."

Sophomore Forward Marlies Gipson
On the expectations for this year...
"I just expect the whole team to come into practice and work hard everyday. We just want to finish as high as we can and at the end of the season we just want to be better as a team in all aspects of the game."

On stepping up as a leader this year...
"Playing last year as a freshman, I have experience and know what to expect this year. Just coming into it I'm doing whatever the coaches need me to do for the team."

Senior Guard Claire Coggins
On what got her going at the end of last year...
"I think it was a mental decision for me. Coach Patterson had a lot of confidence in me toward the end of the season and all year but really voiced it toward the end of the season. I just gained confidence for myself."
 
On assuming the role of the go-to player...
"It's just basketball to me. It's just one of those things where whoever is coming together at the right time, that's just how it works. I'm happy to be that person. If I am that person, I want to be the best I can be."

On if she's ready to be playing heavy minutes...
"Anytime I can play as much as possible, that's fun for me. I love to play basketball. I love to play a lot of it."

On the rush of winning the WNIT Tournament...
"It was a huge rush. Our whole team was very excited and pumped for the end of the season."

On how tough the off-season was...
"Our team did a good job of staying focused and not letting media issues or personal issues of any kind affect our team. We had to come together and keep working hard at our game, individually and collectively. Some things, if you let them be tough, they can be tough. But I don't think we let them."

Junior Forward Shana Wheeler
On if she's ready to contribute more on offense this year...
"I'm ready, yes. Coach Jones, our new post coach, she's been working a lot with us. You'll see more offensive scoring from me. That will probably be the biggest thing you'll see. I'll still be playing hard on defense."

On the media attention over the summer...
"We didn't really concentrate on that too much. I mean, it comes and goes. It's just a phase we had to wait out. So we're just looking forward to this season and concentrating on getting healthy and getting better for now."

On the importance of staying healthy...
"It's very important. There are only 10 of us, so it's very important for all of us to stay healthy and stay on top of our game and contribute. Our depth is pretty deep with five players, but it's not as deep as a lot of other teams."

Senior Forward Naytanda Smith
On how the team dealt with the off-season media attention...
"We're just shaking all that stuff off this year and focusing on just making it to the NCAA (Tournament) and fighting and competing every game."

On what she brings to this team...
"Anytime I get the opportunity to step on the floor, I'm going to go out there and do what I've been trying to do every year - rebounding, setting screens for my teammates, making plays, and working hard."

On taking the next step to make the NCAA Tournament...
"We just need to be more consistent in what we do. Last year, I think we got in a downward slope and we had to fight back up. This year, we're looking to be more consistent and just continue to work hard and do our best."