Oct. 31, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – When the Wisconsin women’s basketball team take to the court for two exhibition games this week, head coach Bobbie Kelsey knows what to expect from her team.
“This year it's a little more relaxed because they know most of what we're going to do,” said Kelsey, who opens her second year at Wisconsin and her second year as a head coach. “They know my personality. I know them a lot better. So the second year it's a little bit more of a let's get better as far as working together type deal, not let's learn the new offense or let's learn the new coaching style. “
In their first exhibition game, the Badgers face UW-La Crosse on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Kohl Center. The Eagles return five players, which contributed to their 16-10 finish in the 2011-12 season. This is the first matchup for the teams since 1982.
The Badgers host Concordia- St. Paul on Sunday at 1 p.m. for their second exhibition game before the season opener against Milwaukee on Nov. 11. The Golden Bears return all five starters from their 2011-12 season. Concordia-St. Paul went 11-17 last season under head coach Paul Fessler, who returns for his 13th season.
“You definitely want to win exhibition games,” said Kelsey. “But the things we're looking for, different lineup combinations, executing on offense, trying to get that going. Offense takes a lot longer than defense to get fluid and smooth.”
The Badgers welcome seven newcomers to the team, comprised of five freshmen and two juniors. Michala Johnson, a transfer from Connecticut, will sit out this season due to transfer rules. Daria Kryuchkova, a junior from Moscow, Russia, transferred from Jacksonville College and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
“We're expecting the returners to lead the young ones and show them, not just tell them,” said Kelsey. “But show them what they need to be doing out there because they've never played in a college basketball game.”
The regular season opener is against Milwaukee at the Kohl Center on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. The Panthers are coached by former UW player and assistant coach Kyle (Black) Rechlicz.