K-State Women Host Media Day
K-State Women Host Media Day
MANHATTAN, KAN. - Kansas State women's basketball participated in its annual media day on Wednesday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum. The following is a transcript from K-State head coach Deb Patterson's press conference in the Legend's Room, with player quotes in the link above.
Head Coach Deb Patterson
“We are very excited about the start of the 07-08 season. It’s exciting to see so many returners back in the gym with experience under their belts. We will look to the fact that a lot of our returners posted some very good minutes and production down the stretch. We will try to build off of that great finish in the WNIT tournament. There is a lot of excitement day in and day out in our gym by everybody -- in large part because we understood that we finished well. We have a very challenging non-conference plate; one of our toughest non-conference schedules in a long time. We will look to open up to a very good basketball team against
On getting into the NCAA tournament...
“That is the challenge before us is to strive day in and day out to find a way to finish in the upper half of this league. If you put yourself in the position to finish one through six in the Big 12 you should get into the NCAA tournament. It’s a great league and it is very hard to do that, but that’s the goal. I said at the Big 12 media day that there is not a team in this league that does not aspire to that goal. I know we will have at least four if not five teams all year long from our league in the top 25. It will be a great challenge. The hunger, the experience that we are bringing to the floor certainly makes us encouraged that we can compete for that quality of a finish. Day by day we will learn a little bit more about our team in that respect. That’s why I spoke about our non-conference schedule because when it’s all said and done we will be important as is that top 6 finish. I am extremely disappointed in any year if the Big 12 doesn’t have six admitted into the NCAA tournament. I think that should be almost etched in stone, it should be a given. As we saw two years ago that doesn’t always happen or we would have been a NCAA team two years ago.”
On how tough the South is...“There is no question that the talent and athleticism in the South teams is extraordinary. Not only that but you have programs that have been in Final Fours or national championships. We haven’t seen that from North division teams yet. Everyone in the country understands that with Courtney Paris in particular and the roster that
real high quality returners there. You just toss it up and say not who’s not good,’ you just say who on any night is hot, who’s putting it all together, who is playing the best basketball, who can sustain it over the longest period of time, who is healthy, where are the home games and where are the away games when you do play those South division teams relative to the match up. Who is the better match up for you on the road? In our case is it going to Texas A&M or is it having Texas A&M up here? You look at the schedule a million different ways, and whatever way you shake it, it’s going to be hard.”
On how Jackie Stanley will change the coaching style...
“Jackie has been very fun to coach in the early season practices. She is different from the post players that we have had in our program in that she is very strong, physical and tough minded mentally. She is absorbing a great deal in a short deal of time. She is just flat out one of those post players that have a don’t-back-down mentality. We have had players like Shana Wheeler and Ashley Sweat in the post, and Marlies Gipson as an undersized post player. Jackie brings a size dimension. She is a very solid strong body; she runs the floor extremely hard. When you bump into her, you bump into a wall. She tends to get the best of impact. I look for her to be a presence very early, she is going to be a player that we can rely on to pound it in and go up strong and she’ll get to the foul line a lot.”
On replacing Claire Coggins' ability to score off the dribble...
“That is something that is going to be a challenge for us. Claire was that player in the open court and on the perimeter had that jump shot. She could catch the ball in the open floor and finish very athletic at the rim and get to the rim. I look for Kimberly Dietz to step up in that roll. She showed great ability last season to penetrate and get to the rim in situations where we put the ball in her hands. Because of the personnel that we have this year there will be less of a responsibility on Kimberly’s shoulders to be just a three-point shooter possession by possession. She will become more of a penetration, someone who gets to the line. I have every confidence that she can; she’s big, strong, and physical and has great handle skills to do that. I look to her more than any other player as that replacement as that aggressive get to the rim, go strong player that we had in Claire. I think the ability of players like McCullough, Kincaid, Nelson, and younger players like Spani to come in and hit the three ball for us more than Kimberly this year. We know Kimberly can do both.”
On how much better you will be with Marlies Gipson back...
“Marlies changes the game for us because she is a great passing post player, great target in the post, steady influence. Anytime you put a player back on the floor that has potential to score double figures and rebound at a clip of over five to six rebounds a game you’re better; it doesn’t matter what the situation is. Marlies brings that to us. She is very fundamental. She has a very solid jump hook, nice turn around where she elevates and scores over defense. She’s great at creating space on her catch and score moves in the post. The versatility that she brings, from how she can score and pass in offense, to rebounding and passing, changes the game in the post. It also changes the game on the perimeter. It takes a lot of pressure off of your guards. We are better because we are deep, and because she is a high percentage scorer that makes quality basketball decisions. Marlies very rarely makes mistakes; she is a very smart intelligent player off the catch. It is fun to play around her. She is someone you know is very dependable as a player on the floor and as a coach on the sidelines.”
On Ashley Sweat’s experience coming into the season...“There are two things that are huge for Ashley Sweat. She grew up mentally at a rapid pace once we lost Marlies. Ashley was having the classic freshman year with a lot of adjustments of changing positions and rolls. We were asking her to do something she had never done before which was to play big, strong, and physical in the post. She was a finesse player at heart and we asked her to change everything that she knew. Prior to losing Marlies, mentally that was very tough for her. Physically that was very overwhelming. Once we said to Ashley Sweat you have got to step in and provide production in every game, minutes, defense, offense’ she took that to heart. She grew up very fast, and got tougher very fast. Instead of mid-January, February, and March like a freshman she played like a sophomore deep into their sophomore season. She brought a responsibility to the floor every game. That’s huge, every coach and player will tell you that. As we head into this year what does she have behind her, she has a great deal of confidence, significantly higher expectation on herself in production, just flat out getting the job done. She understands what that means. I look at her as if she finished the season as well as anybody in Big 12 play. The last three weeks of her season she played better than any other freshman. She comes in this year with knowledge of what she is capable of bringing to the floor. More than anything a sense of responsibility and accountability for bringing that game day in and day out, game in and game out. That is what is going to make Ashley Sweat a great player. The versatility, physical skills and instincts that she brings combined with that gives her the chance to be one of the premiere players that we have seen here at