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Kelsey previews Purdue game

<b>Head coach Bobbie Kelsey talks to her team during a time out.</b>

Head coach Bobbie Kelsey talks to her team during a time out.

Feb. 11, 2013

Watch the news conference

MADISON, Wis. – Only five games remain in the regular season for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team and the Badgers (11-13 overall, 3-8 Big Ten) wrap up a two-game home stand by hosting No. 18 Purdue (18-5, 7-3) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Kohl Center. UW has the weekend off before playing at Illinois (14-9, 7-4) on Feb. 18.  

Head coach Bobbie Kelsey addressed the media on Monday at the UW’s weekly news conference, previewing the Purdue game as well as looking back at last week’s games.

A complete transcript of her comments is below. You can also watch the video at the link above.

Opening Statement:  (I was) pleased with our team's effort this week to split our games, Ohio State and Indiana.  Obviously, we had a tough one up there at Ohio State, but when I looked out to see who was out on the court, I was still very pleased because we had some folks out there that weren't used to playing and they persevered and gave us a chance to win the game.  We just came up a little bit short.

But the kids rallied, and we got the one yesterday against Indiana, and we're happy about that.  So we have a tough one coming up against Purdue.  They lost yesterday, but, again, they're going to come in a little hungry to try to get them a win, and we need it as well.

So we'll prepare as we always do and get ready to play the Boilermakers.

What are the challenges that Purdue presents?  It seems like they're a very good rebounding team.

(They are a) very good rebounding team.  They have two young ladies in Drey Mingo and Sam Ostarello that average almost 16 rebounds between the two, I think 10 and six.  They're a couple of beasts on the boards.  They're capable of getting a lot of rebounds.

Our plan won't change.  We have to box out.  We did a good job yesterday of boxing out and not letting Indiana get second and third looks at the basket, and we got a couple of fouls with them coming over the back.  So we have to continue to do that and make sure that we are attentive to that portion of the game.

Now, some other stuff may go awry, but we'll at least have that down hopefully in this game against Purdue.

Diane Nordstrom has an interesting note here in your release, that you played the 17th toughest schedule in the nation and the second toughest schedule in the Big Ten.

I didn't know that.

Does that matter to you?  What do you think?

It's impressive considering the adversity we've been through, for the kids to rally and really -- they don't know that, so don't tell them.  They don't need to know anything else that might be a stepping stone for them.

It doesn't matter to me necessarily.  It's nice to know that we can play some tough teams and come out on top in some of these games.  But no matter who you're playing, you want to win the game.

The schedule, it gives you a feather in your cap, so to speak.  If you're losing, it doesn't help you.  If you're winning, it helps you a little bit.  It's nice to know we can rally and really have a game plan for each individual opponent that we face.  We follow that plan, we have a chance to win the game.  But that's good information.

Obviously, injuries aside have affected the team, but would you say this team is better than a month ago, two months ago, the players that you do have on the floor now?

I'd say so.  That's a goal to always be improving.  I think if we played some teams we played in the beginning of the year now, it might be a different situation, I don't know.  But you want your team to always be getting better throughout the year.  You don't want them to go the other way.  That's why we have the “Finish Strong” bracelets.

I always ask, is anybody packing it in?  Just let me know so I won't play you.  I just need people that are going to finish strong and have the mindset that we need to finish strong.  No matter how far we can go, we don't know, but the games we do have left, which is six guaranteed games, your five left and then one in the conference tournament.  You don't know what you're going to get after that because you have to keep winning to get those.

And Tiera (Stephen) is our only senior and we want to finish strong for her especially because she doesn't have another opportunity. A lot of these other kids are coming back. She's a senior. For seniors, it's always a different mindset when you're coming to the end, and I always tell them, you'll be there soon, the ones that are underclassmen. You'll know how she feels in a couple of years, but finish strong for her.  If you don't finish strong for any other reason, go out and play your heart out because you know she won't have another opportunity next year.

(Indiana head coach) Curt Miller came into the room after you all were in here, and he praised you for your Xs and Os work and for the team's conditioning that the top-five players are playing all the time and playing hard at both ends. How do you feel about those two points?  And just kind of your development as a coach in your second year.

Curt's a very -- I've always had a lot of respect for him and what he's done in the past, being at Bowling Green and some of the other places.  He's an excellent coach.  He's going through what I went through last year, just not having all the pieces in place.  You're working with a new group, and you don't know them, they don't know you.  You have a different coaching style.

Last year was hard, and I know what he's going through, but he was very complimentary of us after the game and he said some nice things when I shook his hand.  And he's always been very gracious and kind and humble about giving opponents compliments.

I would think I'm the same.  Win or lose, you want to be professional and very complimentary of other people, what they're doing, because we're all doing the same thing.  We're fighting to get our teams to play well.  Somebody's always going to win the game, and somebody's always going to lose the game.

For him to say those things about us, it tells me that our staff and players and myself and everybody – Ray (Eady), our strength coach, Diane (Nordstrom) helping us with the media, just Holli (Dietrick) in the trainer room -- it's not just me.  It's a lot of people that help us -- me look good when I come in here by myself, and you all praise me, but it's not just me.  It's always people behind the scenes helping me to do my job, which is to get these kids playing and believing in myself.

In my mind, he's just not complimenting me.  He's complimenting everybody within our athletic department and our program.  But it makes me feel good that people recognize your hard work.  And I know everyone in our league and around the country is working hard, or they should be, for their group, and giving those kids something to remember their college experience.

You want to be able to walk away and say, ‘Hey, I'd do that over again, even with the adversity and all the things that come up because in life, life's going to kick in your head.’  You've got to keep it moving, and you can't cry about what happened before.  You've just got to keep it moving.

I think these kids recognize that, and they realize that, and that's why they can play -- I mean, the conditioning's big.  I played for a coach that coached the Olympic team.  So I know conditioning, trust me.  I thought we were a track team one time.  I'm like, are we a basketball team or a track team?  Which one?

When you're beating people by 40 and 50 points, in my experience, it pays off.  You know why you're running, and when you can execute your skill set and not be tired and fatigued -- because fatigue makes a fool of us all.  It doesn't matter what you can do if you're tired.

So when we're running the beginning of the year, I said, guys, it's going to pay off.  Just trust me.  It's going to pay off.  When Jacki's (Gulczynski) playing 50 minutes in a game and looking fresh.  Morgan (Paige) -- I don't ever have to take Morgan out.  I take her out because I feel like she needs a break, but she doesn't.

For Tiera to play 40-plus minutes every game, she couldn't do that last year, but she wasn't in shape.  So conditioning is probably the biggest key to being a good basketball player.  You can do anything when you're in shape.  You can mess up and chase a girl down and get the steal, get the ball back.  You can execute a crossover move when you need to.  So conditioning is big, big.

Can you just talk about the play of Jacki Gulczynski, especially at Ohio State, and just what she's done during the Big Ten season.

Jacki is a pleasant surprise.  I did not know she had this in her.  I know she's a very talented shooter, but for her to put the team on her back up at Ohio State in that big-time environment with a team that, even though they're down, it's still Ohio State.  Let's not confuse things.  They're a power in women's basketball.

But for her to put the team on her back, 32 points, 15 rebounds, that says a lot about Jacki, and now we can hold her to that standard.  Now you can hold people to standards they didn't know they had before, and we expect that from her now.

Maybe not that same performance, but we'd like it.  It would be nice.

There's been much discussion since the men's game on Saturday for both teams about when to foul, when not to foul in end of game situations. You obviously had your own experience last week.  I'm wondering what your philosophy is and whether the situation that happened at Ohio State or what you've seen over the weekend has changed it in any way.

Morgan's a coach's daughter.  Again, I think it was my fault because the last thing you say in the huddle is the last thing they remember.  I'm asking about time outs because I'm thinking you've got to use one if we can't get the ball in, whatever the case may be, how many of those do we have?  Because you always see where kids call them and you don't have them.  And possession arrow because, if they tie it up, do they get the ball back?

Those were the two things I was thinking about because, in my mind, I'm thinking everybody knows the score.  I've got to think Morgan probably wasn't sure what the score was.  I don't know that to be true, but I've got to think she knows, if we're up by four, you can't foul the girl.

Again, I should have just reminded them.  That's my job, to remind them.  And everybody remind them.  Don't foul.  There's no need to foul.  Get away from people.  If they throw it up, just get away from them.  She bumped her a little bit, and it was a foul.

Again, with fouling at the end of the game, it's hard because, if you foul, you've got to know when to do it, and some kids are good at, when they think you're going to foul, they throw the ball up.  So if it go in and they get the free throw, that's four points.

So I can kind of understand why you don't do it and you're not used to doing it.  Players aren't used to hacking people just to hack them.  You're usually trying to get the ball or trying to go for the steal or trying to do something other than foul, and you just happen to foul.

But if you foul, they make the first one, miss the second one, they get the rebound, like what happened in our game.  They kick it out and get a three, you foul them there.  A lot can go wrong when you foul people.  I don't know.  I'm not big on just fouling.  But, again, that doesn't come up very often.  It's not every game where you see, well, people have to foul.

Now, fouls-to-give is something different.  When the game's not on the line like that or if you're up by more than three points or down by more than three, but to tie the game, that's a little shaky.

Again, when Ben (Brust) got the ball, he just took one dribble and turned to shoot it.  I don't even know if (Tim) Hardaway, who was on him, I don't know if he had time to foul him at that point.  So I'm not sure.  That's a hard one.  Bo (Ryan) gets the big bucks to answer that.  Ask him.  I hope I'm not in that situation, but it's a good learning situation.  Everybody is going to be analyzing when to foul and when not to foul.

Since we're talking about fouls, I think you only had three yesterday.  Was that a good defensive positioning or the refs had somewhere to go?

We never want (the refs) involved in the game.  That's something you just don't want.  I don't think I've ever been in a game where there was only three, that's low.  The game was fast.  We look up, the game's over.  I've never been in a faster game.

I think part of us not fouling is we provided help on the screens.  The post players helped.  So the guard didn't feel like they had to come over and start whacking at people.  It was always kind of double-teaming the ball.  Not trying to steal it.  Just trying to provide some cover until that guard could get open.  On Indiana, if you go into the screen, it's lights out.  We can shoot.

We made sure to tell the guards to go over the screen no matter what.  To provide some help from the post players.  I think that's why we didn't foul, but you never know.  Officials sometimes, they want to get involved, so foul.  But we were glad the game was very low fouls called in the game.  That was nice.

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