IU Women's Basketball at 2010 Big Ten Basketball Media Day
Oct. 28, 2010
CHICAGO, Ill. - Indiana head women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack, along with seniors Jori Davis and Whitney Lindsay and redshirt sophomore Sasha Chaplin took part in the 2010 Big Ten Basketball Media Day at Crowne Plaza O'Hare in Chicago on Thursday, Oct. 28.
Felisha Legette-Jack Press Conference Transcript
I'm just really excited about our team this year. This is the first recruiting class that I signed to Indiana when I first got there, and now they're all seniors, Andrea McGuirt, Whitney Lindsay and Jori Davis. So this really would be neat for it to be a circular thing where they came in with their legacies and they go out accomplishing them. I'm excited about our rookies willing to help and Sasha Chaplin is healthy and excited to be out there for hopefully a full season. Indiana is practicing hard right now. We are excited about where we are and looking forward to a great year.
Q. When you look over your schedule, can you pinpoint a couple games that you can already see are kind of going to be critical for your team's success this season?
Yeah, Alaska Anchorage, our exhibition game. We don't look ahead. We're not that in depth where we can see what game is going to change our season. We've just never been that kind of a coaching staff or team. So we're taking it day by day and we're excited about next Tuesday when we have our first challenge with another opponent. Alaska Anchorage is an unbelievable Division II school that won 31 games last year and vying for a championship again this year. It's going to be a great opportunity for us to see where we are.
Q. Can you briefly talk about the off season and additionally what you've seen so far from the team during the preseason.
From what Tom Morris, our strength and conditioning trainer has said to us, they came in and they worked really hard and did some really great things. They challenged themselves for a lot of things. We've changed. We usually run the mile and a half when we get back from summer vacation, and we do a lot of distance things. But that seemed to not work well for us, so we made a major change in our strategy and we took out all the running and made it more basketball impact. It took us a while to get caught up because they went and trained for something totally different than what we began in September. Although we were excited, it did take some time to catch up with the quickness of the drills that we implemented right away.
I like the strength of our young ladies. I think Jori Davis might be the strongest young lady that I've ever coached. She's really you look at her frame, she doesn't look like she's strong but you challenge her, you might be in trouble. I think our strength and conditioning guy did a great job of getting them strong, and I believe that we're going to be okay.
Now, one kid stayed away from us all summer and we did that calculatedly. Whitney Lindsay, our point guard, went back home, she went to point guard camp. She became a coach. She coached an AAU team and she really was on her own island, and that's what we wanted for her, to understand what it's like to be a head coach, so hopefully she can be that general for us this year. It worked out well so far, and I hope that the strategy works during the season.
Q. A lot of your newcomers have more size than you've been able to enjoy in your tenure at Indiana. You were a post player yourself. Do you feel like you're going to be able to play a style that you would rather play this year because you have that size up front?
I really enjoy having size for a change. Whitney Thomas is quite jealous right now because she's 5'11", had to go up someone at 6'9" and a young lady at Michigan that was 6'7", and she would have loved to have been out on that perimeter and attacking from the perimeter but we had no size. Now we do have Simone Deloach, Sasha Chaplin and Georgie Jones who will join us in December, and Danilsa Andujar, who all over 6'2".
The neat thing is we're tall. The uncomfortable thing is that we're not as fast as I would like us to be. So I have to balance in my head how quick a big kid is supposed to be because I never had that. We had Sasha a little bit for two years but not for an entire season. I have to back up a little bit and allow them to get down the floor, but when they get down the floor I think the wingspan is going to be quite interesting.
I like the way we're playing defense this year. We certainly don't know what we're doing on the defensive end, but for some reason they manage to still get the deflections, their hand on the ball, the steals, and I think it's because of the wingspan that we have right now. So it's going to be fun to see, but I must say I'm cautiously optimistic.
Q. People that see Jori play a lot really appreciate what a great player she is. Is it frustrating at all to you that sort of on a national basis that if you said Jori Davis most people around the country wouldn't know who she is? And is there anything you guys can do to elevate her or is it just the way it is?
Well, I'm disappointed in a sense. We certainly don't live on individual accolades, but I thought she did enough work in our conference to get a little bit of notoriety. But again, it's Indiana. We have not done much in our conference through the changing of the guard so many times and now we have a strong foundation. She's the one that's been caught in the crossfire, in my opinion. The only way that we can go out there and show her greatness and her ability is to go out there and compete and not just compete but to win, and we really need to do that because Jori Davis is absolutely a special young lady and not too many people can stop that individual and stop the entire team. That's our challenge, to make the team more successful and shine the light on somebody that helped get our program truly out of the basement.
Q. You spoke earlier about it's your first recruiting class and this is all coming full circle. Had some of those senior leaders communicated to you what their goals are for this year?
Their goals are bigger than basketball, and that's one reason why I'm excited to have those ladies in our program. They certainly want to win and really bring that great feeling towards Indiana. But what they want to talk about is what they stand for, the things that are really bigger than basketball, the challenges they face in their life that really nobody cares about until you can get that audience to stop and watch. In order to do that, you have to win a lot of games.
The first and foremost thing is to win enough basketball games where we can seize the crowd and allow them to listen and then we want to tell our story, and our story has never been about basketball. Our story has been about the microcosm of living and things we want people to know about, but not right now because there are not enough people to listen, so we've got to do our part. NCAA is always a goal, and I think that we have said to our team, and I'll share this with you, that we can't just kind of continue to go on saying, oh, it's Indiana, we're in the basement. We're coming out of that. We've got to have a little swagger, a little more confidence about ourselves and we've got to have a lot more fun, and changing our thought process from the defensive side to the offensive side. And hopefully through this process our young ladies will win enough games where they can tell their story.
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