K-State Basketball Media Day

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The defending Big 12 regular season women's basketball champion Kansas State Wildcats addressed the media on Wednesday in Bramlage Coliseum.

The following is a transcript from head coach Deb Patterson's press conference. To read player quotes from Wednesday, please see the link above.

Head Coach Deb Patterson

Opening Statement...

”It is exciting to get back into the gym and start practice. We have integrated four new freshman and they are working very hard to learning what division one women’s basketball is all about. It has been baby steps for them but we are excited about the new mix of players.”

 

On what she expects from Marlies Gipson...

“She is phenomenal. It is amazing to think that you have a 5’11’’ player that plays the five position in Big 12 women’s basketball and really has only had two competitive seasons is now averaging about 12 points a game in Big 12 play. Her numbers as a re-bounder and her scoring numbers in a year in which I consider the comeback player in our league hands down, were just outstanding numbers. I think she is a great offensive presence. She has on of the best basketball IQ’s that I think we have had in our program for our frontline. She really understands the game and has a great instinct and feel for what is happening on the court. She is great at making adjustments and communicating them to all of her teammates. She is very much like having a coach on the frontcourt out on the floor. Her talents really speak for herself. She is very significant to us through the way that we want to play. So far this year she has emerged this year as a more vocal leader and is communicating a great deal to her teammates and that is just an added bonus.”

 

On senior Shalee Lehning...

“I think for Shalee the game will change a little bit because we lost (Kimberly) Dietz. I do believe that will in some ways change the way the game feels to her. They had such a tremendous chemistry and balance in their skills and abilities. I would like to see her to just continue to be the great playmaker that she is. There is no question that she is going to compete as hard as anyone else and she is a great leader. Hopefully she will be able to assume a little more responsibility for scoring early in possessions as she did in the second half of the season. If she could build off of that then she should be fine. I am always amused on what people think scoring is or isn’t but the pressure she puts on the rim creates baskets. So, when you look at a player like Shalee Lehning you could almost double or sometimes triple her point production because it is her play that is producing other baskets. I think that gets sort of lost in the new wave of basketball. She is a throwback, old school, constant player-maker type of player that shoots over 50% from the floor. I hope she will grow a little bit in her three-point shooting this year if and as we need it but I don’t look as that to be a preoccupation to me and I know she doesn’t either. The reality is that your point guard should make everyone else better.”

 

On how the backcourt changes with Kimberly Dietz gone...

“I think obviously Kimberly was very confident in her senior year with her ball handling. She would assume the responsibility at point guard when we needed to change the game. Everyone in the league and everyone we play knows they have to focus on Lehning and that she makes the whole thing go. That was very tough to do with Dietz on the floor because she was such a threat to score at every position and she could handle the ball as well. It remains to be seen how our team can adjust. Someone obviously is going to have to step up and want the responsibility of being a second ball handler. Most teams have that kind of depth and for us it will be a major opportunity and a major need.”