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Transcript: Kelsey previews Big Ten Tournament


Kelsey

March 3, 2014

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MADISON, Wis.
- The Wisconsin women's basketball team will be the No. 11 seed in the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament and play 6th-seeded Minnesota on Thursday at approximately 8:00 p.m. (CT) at Banker's Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game will be televised by BTN. Head coach Bobbie Kelsey answered questions from the media on Monday as her team prepares to play in the tournament.

Archived video of the media session is available through the link above, and a complete transcript of Kelsey's remarks can be found below.


Opening Statement:We had Senior Day yesterday. Unfortunately, we lost in overtime, but I was hoping that Taylor (Wurtz) could hit that shot at the end. It would have been fitting for her to hit that shot and kind of go out in a blaze of glory, but it was not meant to be.

So we're going to get ready for Minnesota. Obviously, we know a lot about them, as they do us. That will be our third time seeing them. So we're looking for a different outcome in that game as well.

There was a sequence yesterday, I think it was in overtime, where Taylor Wurtz hits a layup and then nobody kind of got back on defense, and then Northwestern's Nia Coffey hit a layup. Does that kind of summarize how the season has gone so far?

You know, I mean, normally that does not happen. We had two letdowns there. I wouldn't say necessarily that summarizes the season. It just -- we just had a couple of breakdowns, and we can't afford to have those.

We have worked on getting back in transition, but, again, sometimes we just miscommunicate and folks are not on the same page. But I think the shot not going in is probably more of a summary of our season, just when we have the ball, it doesn't go in the basket when you really need it to.

Obviously, us not getting back in transition was part of it, but it's just been a myriad of things that have gone kind of south for us.

But again, I'll keep saying, to the kid’s credit, they don't give up. They keep playing. And we could have easily won that game yesterday as we lost it.

The season's still not over, though. You still get the tournament. Is there a run that can make this season better for you if you guys can go on a run in this tournament coming up?

Well, obviously for us, because we've lost, I think seven now, it would be very fitting for us to experience some joy instead of these losing stretches.

But like you said, the tournament is another opportunity. You have many opportunities during the season and it's just another one.

I'm hoping the ball will bounce our way at least one or two more times here. You hate for the seniors to go out with that long of a stretch of losing. Just it doesn't make you feel good.

Again, you just have to keep trying. You can't give up. These kids haven't given up. We haven't given up. You're just looking for answers, and you keep trying.

Bobbie, you gave Minnesota a couple of tough ball games. I know you're only worried about your club, but do you think the other teams that you potentially could be playing down in Indianapolis are thinking, this isn't going to be easy?

I would like to think so just because we've been in so many games, right there. We just figure at some point it's going to go your way. We've been waiting for a while for it to go our way and it hasn't.

But I wouldn't necessarily want to play us if we're playing the way we're supposed to be playing. Obviously, like I said, we've been right there.

So we'll see on Thursday. It will be interesting to see how we come out and if we keep pushing it and trying to get that win.

All-Conference honors are going to be coming out, which I don't know what you can do with your ballot... I don't know if you're allowed to vote for your own players, but which way would you think Michala Johnson or any of the other young ladies might fall as far as All-Conference?

I think Michala has the best chance just because she's been really steady. Whenever you command a double-team, I think that says a lot about your play. She does a nice job in there of making some post moves. Sometimes she gets to twirling too much in there, but to her credit, she's kind of by herself. She doesn't have another experienced post that can do what she can do.

So I kind of feel bad for her. She's got to score and defend these big girls on the other side. Malayna's not quite ready. Jacki is a little slight; she's not a bang-it-down-there post player. We have some, but they can't play this year. So it's a lot of stress on her, a lot of load on her.

I try to make things easier for her by doing some different stuff, doubling or playing zone or different things like that just to help her out. But we've had injuries these past two years that just haven’t given us an opportunity to have a full team that's healthy. But you don't make excuses. You just try to continue to figure it out as a coach.

But I think that for All-Conference she would probably have the best chance. I think Taylor and Morgan may get some consideration, but they've had up-and-down years. There's some players that are playing really well and have consistently done so throughout the season in our conference. But I'm always advocating for our players, as always.

You said the team hasn't given up at all, but has it been hard to keep their heads up during a time like this?

Not really, no. I haven't seen anybody moping around and having a pity party. I've been in many different situations at many different schools and some of those teams would have given up by now. I mean, they'd just pack it in, you know, be fussing at each other, bickering and snapping at one another. These kids just don't do that.

Now, I don't want to think they're comfortable with the situation. I don't think they are. But some of it is the coaches have to come in energetic too. It's hard for me to put my head down, but that's not my personality.

But one of the players did come in and check on me. You rarely hear that. She just wanted to know how I was doing. AnnMarie (Brown), actually. And I was like, ‘you're coming in to see me about how I'm doing?’ Normally, they come in for some issue that you're helping them with or something they want to talk to you about. But I really appreciated that from her because you don’t think the kids are really thinking about the coaches as much as you’re thinking about how you can help them.

That's the kind of kids we have on our team. I love coaching them. I just wish it was a little bit of a different situation. But this will teach everybody that when things aren't going your way, you still have to be positive and you have to have a good attitude, as hard as that may be.

Thank you.

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