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K-State WBB Takes Part in Annual Media Day


Oct. 16, 2013

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State women's basketball met with the media on Wednesday in the Basketball Training Facility as part of its annual media day. The following are quotes from head coach Deb Patterson and players.
 

K-State Media Day - Press Conference
Head Coach Deb Patterson

On the size of last year compared to this year and what style of play they are going to run this year…
“This season, we are trying to figure out what we want to do. Honestly, day by day in the gym. We came in with the idea of changing a little bit relative to a year ago where we ran a lot of dribble- drive offense and tried to build our game off of perimeters because our biggest post was 5-11. Now it is really exciting because we got Brie Lewis in there at 6’5” with long limbs, we have Erica Young at 6’3, Jessica Sheble at 6’3, Ashlynn Knoll and she is just about 6’2; coming off of injury she just started participating just this week. We are still trying to figure out exactly what style of play we are trying to bring to the floor. You can be sure that we are going to get a lot more post-touches, a lot of high- low action, trying to isolate our posts a significant amount; which obviously we did not do a year ago and take a little bit of pressure off of the perimeter players. It is great to take some pressure off of them, by having some of those big lanky, long, post players ready to catch and to take up space.”

On Kelly and Ashia’s injury status from last season and the player’s Italy basketball experience…
“Well, Kelly Thomson is for sure a go. She has had a great fall; she was able to play for the first time in some of those contests in Italy which was a big benefit of being on that Italy international trip. Katya Leick is in that same position; she started playing in Italy and now is full go and has been since our first day of practice. Ashia Woods is still out, we have not had her cleared for activity yet, and still anticipate it will still be a month or two at the most probably before we are able to integrate her in at a real competitive level, and that would be optimistic. She has made great strides. Ashlynn Knoll was unable to play in Italy but this week started some drill work and getting up and down a little bit in practice. It is neat to see it, we still have Stacey Malone and Ashia Woods that are completely out with injury or illness.”

On if there is any advantage at all this season from the momentum of last season…
”I think that the main momentum from that great postseason run for last year’s team was just the example that it serves for those young players coming in about the standard of excellence and resiliency and toughness, and the potential there is to succeed every day of the opportunity to compete. I think that was a great message for our team that is coming and is so young and are coming in from injury. Five freshmen, four people coming off of injury right now, so 9 on our roster had the opportunity to see that up close and personal and to watch the character and to watch the pride that those young people competed with. You cannot put a price on that. That does have great significance in terms of emotional momentum, and building expectations and an understanding of what hard work, and great character can bring to the table. I think that lives through players like Haley Texada, who was a big part of that. Chantay Caron, was a big part of that a year ago. It is exciting because the young people still talk about it.”

On what kind of impact she expects from Leti Romero this season…
“I would say Leticia, is still a very typical freshman. However, she is extremely talented; she has a great basketball IQ, a good feel and flow for the game itself. But, she is learning the American game, she is learning the language, she is learning the speed and physicality of our game. The game that she comes from in Spain is a finesse game. She had the opportunity to play at the international level where it does get more physical. She is learning a great deal, but she is such a great talent that as she becomes more aggressive and more confident. I think we will see her assume a greater level of playmaking. Right now, she is setting players up, she is tending to defer and distribute the ball. There was one day after practice that she came up to Coach Lehning and said ‘I do not know what you mean by cut, why are you cutting?’ So there is simple things that we take for granted. As you are coaching, it really is fun because you take a lot of things for granted. Quite frankly, she is probably asking a lot of questions that our freshmen are thinking anyway; even though they know the language. Leti is a great talent, she is going to be fun to watch. But she is still a freshman and is learning a great deal.”


K-State Media Day - Player Quotes

Junior Guard Haley Texada
On the strengths this season’s team possesses…
“I’d say we are a bit more confident not only because of the people we have coming in, but also because of the returners. Last year we had to step up and play a lot of roles but we gained a lot of experience on the court. Also, the height that the players coming in have-it is nice to have. I’d say we are comfortable, relaxed, not as worried about having seven players playing. “Now we have 13, so that is good.”

On having a full roster this season…
“We have so much hope, so much hope as far as everything goes. There are a lot of opportunities coming this year because of our height and the returning players, and those that were hurt are now healthy. Katya Leick is doing an amazing job coming off the ACL tear, and we have a lot of others doing a great job-it is nice to have.”

On how last season helped her…
“I experienced everything last year, it is nice to know what to expect exactly, and I think that I am prepared for that this upcoming season.”

Sophomore Guard Bri Craig
On how having a full roster affects the offense…
“It is going to open up the floor for us because we can go inside and then quickly go back to the outside. We have Leti (Romero) who is a great perimeter player, Haley (Texada), Kelly (Thomson) and I. It is really going to open up a lot of things for us and be good.”

On her mentality coming into this season…
“I am going to continue to work hard and I want to show a bit of something I didn’t really have last year which was driving the lane. I want to show that I am a versatile player and that I do have more to my game than just shooting threes.”

On her strengths as a player…
“One of my strengths is definitely my work ethic-bringing my best to the table everyday and working hard and never giving up.”

Redshirt Freshman Guard Kelly Thomson
Thoughts on the team this season…
“We have a really cool group of girls this year, everyone gets along really well, there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I think having so many new people and players who are trying to come back and get playing time makes it really competitive and there is something to be said to walking in the gym everyday and being able to compete with a group of girls and then at the end of the day we are still really good friends. It is fun to be able come into the gym and compete and learn from each other every single day.”

On returning from injury and missing the season last year…
“I am definitely anxious, I am ready to get back out there and I am excited to see what our team can bring;what I can bring. It is going to take a lot to work things out right now because I’m still in the learning and getting used to basketball again phase. I am anxious to get back on the court and be playing, but I definitely have some nerves about getting out there and playing again.”

Senior Forward Katya Leick
On what playing in Italy meant for the team…
“It was absolutely fabulous. The support we had, the way that we all played together, it was fun too. Think about it- we are in another country- what a great way to start your first game in two years. That was really exciting and I absolutely loved it. We were really fortunate to get those ten extra practices before Italy. It almost gives you a little bit of an advantage because you get to go through what practices are like and go through players and kind of get that chemistry going even more. In the summer we still play pick-up we still do those sorts of things but it is more like a game-like chemistry.”

On who has stood out in practices so far…
“One obvious thing is-we have height- we have three girls who are quite tall. Leti is playing great, she came in as the last freshman to sign and she had adjusted really well. Kindred (Wesemann) is also performing very, very well, and we got Jessica (Sheble), Erica (Young), and Breanna (Lewis) who all are doing great. They improve each and every single day and that is what we hope and ask for them to do. I am excited for games to start so that everyone can see what they have to bring.”

Senior Guard/Forward Chantay Caron
Thoughts on last year’s injuries…
“It is never a good thing to see your teammates and friends go down. It was really difficult. Last year we were supposed to have two really good three-point shooters and when they went down we had to sort of figure out where we were going to go from there. But now Kelly (Thomson) is back and other great players so hopefully we can get back to full strength.”

Thoughts on the senior leadership this year…
“There are three of us seniors and it has been a long road for us. For Ashlynn (Knoll) it has been a rougher road-she went to JUCO, then she came here and got hurt- but watching her go through rehab and improve and being on the court now is amazing. Hopefully she gets cleared and gets to play this year. Katya (Leick) is returning from injury as well and she looks better than ever. This will be her first year actually getting a chance to play so this is going to be a really exciting year for us.”