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Kelsey addresses media on Monday

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Jan. 27, 2014

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MADISON, Wis. – Head women’s basketball coach Bobbie Kelsey talked to the media at the Badgers’ weekly news conference on Monday to talk about her teams’ play.

The Badgers (9-10 overall, 2-5 Big Ten) wrap up the first half of the Big Ten Conference season on the road at Michigan State (13-7, 5-2) on Thursday. The game starts at 6 p.m. from the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.

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Wisconsin returns home on Sunday, kicking off the second half of the Big Ten season vs. Ohio State (13-10, 3-4). Tip-off is at 2 p.m. Sunday’s game is the Badgers’ Think Pink promotion where all general admission tickets are only $1 in advance and proceeds benefit the Madison chapter of Susan G. Komen. It is also team day with all basketball teams able to purchase tickets for only $1.

A complete transcript of Kelsey’s comments is below.  

Opening Statement:  We dropped the one last night to a very good team in Michigan. They're playing very well. We've had our troubles on offense. We fixed a couple things, and then something else goes wrong.

But I'm encouraged by the kids' attitudes and their ability and willingness to continue to improve.

We've had some lulls before, so we know how to get through them. We've just got to get it all together at one time -- the scoring, the rebounding, the turnovers, free throws – try to get to the line a little bit more.

I thought we took too many threes last night, but that's what we were getting, and we know, if those were going in, we would not be complaining.

But we're encouraged by the fact that we're going to keep fighting and try to get some games here to go our way.

I would assume you're encouraged by the way your team is handling the ball.  I mean, you're getting chances to score. And the turnovers are few and far between, which is nice.

We are. We're getting our chances. We've just got to knock them down. I think that, when the ball is not going in, it's easy to let them get down about it. I keep telling them you're taking good shots. That's a big part of the battle. You don't want to take bad shots because then you feel worse.

We are getting our opportunities. We've just got to knock them down. So those shots will go in. A lot of them last night were in the rim. I thought they were going in, and they came out. It goes like that sometimes, it ebbs and flows. You can't get discouraged if you're a good shooter. You just have to keep shooting them.

In that regard, do you put additional emphasis on putting the ball in the hole when you have other things that obviously you need to work out, scouting report, whatever the case may be?

Not any additional emphasis. Like I said, the kids are pretty good shooters. Right now everybody's struggling to find the flow.  Even Morgan (Paige) yesterday didn't hit any shots. That's rare for her to not hit any shots.

But you don't want to overstate something. Like Mick (Johnson) didn't make her free throws.  She normally does. You don't want to put it in her head you've got to make them. Just keep shooting them.  She's getting to the line. She's done a nice job of improving her free throw shooting. Yesterday was the first time she really didn't make them like she has in the past.

We don't want to overstate things, but we certainly want to make sure they are mindful of the fact we need to have a complete game, which is offensively, defensively, free throws. Like football, offense, defense, special teams, that's what I hear all the time when I'm watching.

So if one area is not going well, you're going to have some problems.

(Do you) feel pretty good with your point guard situation, both Nicole (Bauman) and Dakota (Whyte)?  It seems like they're going to continue to get better, obviously, at the age or the class that they're in.

Right.  Dakota, I think it's better for her to come off the bench. I think she looks like a different player when she's not asked to start the game. For some kids, it's just not conducive to them looking good.  So we want them all to look good.

Nicole has her demeanor. She doesn't get too rattled.  I know, when she made that shot against Green Bay, everybody is going nuts, except Nicole, who made the shot. So that's just a part of her demeanor. I like it because you need someone up there who's not so emotional and get caught up in the frenziness of the beginning of the game.  So Dakota is better when everything is calmed down.

Nicole, even though she's not a point guard, she's really stepped in to fill that role for us and is doing it very well. She looks a lot more confident now than she did in the beginning. I don't think she expected to be up there, but, Nicole, we need you up here. She's willing and able to do whatever we ask her to do.

I think she knows what we want. So I would rather her at the two because she shoots better at the two.  But, for now, that's what we have.

Whether it's the shooting or not getting the team result that you want, what signs do you look for to see if frustration is setting in on some of the players, and how do you try to help guard against that?

We try to be -- when you lose, it's easy to be, “negative.” Even if you're not, they take it that way from coaches. So you have to be really careful to make sure that you still are letting them know you believe in them, that you know things are going to turn around.

If we don't believe it as coaches, our players -- you will see it.  I think you'll see our kids still play hard.

I don't see any frustration outwardly. I know some of them inside are dying, as I am, and everybody else. But you can't let what happened before affect the next game. And we have a game on Thursday against a very good opponent in Michigan State. But we've won big games like that before. So we just remind them of that. We go back to the basics. We're trying to simplify everything and make it very easy for people so they don't have to think too much. When you get them thinking too much, they start paralysis by analysis type deal.

So we're trying to really simplify what we're running, make sure everyone knows it, because you've got three that know it and two that don't, well, then, that doesn't do you any good. So we really try to make it as easy as possible for them without dumbing it down. They're very intelligent kids.

Sometimes when you're not getting the result you want, you have to really make sure you're giving yourself the best chance to win the game.

We were right there in that game yesterday. It just kind of got away from us, and the ball just didn't drop for us when we needed it to. Otherwise, that's a tie game or we have maybe even the lead at that point.

Kind of a two-part.  What type of challenges does Michigan State pose?  And, secondly, every team in the Big Ten has a loss.  So a win or two in a row, and all of a sudden things kind of swing in the standings, don't they?

Sure, that's encouraging. There's no one head and shoulders above. But Michigan State has done very well, but they've even lost to people we beat.

You can't get discouraged. That's the biggest thing. We lost three in a row. We don't feel good about it. We know we could have played better in some of those games. Again, the season is not over. It's a lot of games left. The opportunity is there. We just have to seize it and take advantage of it.

Michigan State, they're a very experienced team. They have a lot of people that have played. They have a lot of fire power at every position. But you still play the game. They don't play a perfect game every time; I'm sure (Michigan State head coach) Suzy (Merchant) would say that.

They look strong. But we'll try to take advantage of some of the stuff maybe that they don't do well. I'm sure they'll do the same thing to us. I'm just hoping our shots go in. Because if the shots go in, then you have a chance. But if they're not, then it makes it a little bit harder.

But we're trying not to dig ourselves a hole. We try not to turn the ball over. Those are the two things we can control. We're going to do the things we can control. And the other stuff, we're not going to worry about it.

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