Nov. 12, 2012
• Watch Kelsey News Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin women's basketball head coach Bobbie Kelsey spoke about the season-opening win and the trip west in this week's Monday press conference.
Archived video of the media session is available through the link above, and a complete transcript of Kelsey's remarks can be found below.
Kelsey: Everything Bo (Ryan) just said is what I would say as well. No, just kidding.
I’m very pleased with our team's performance. We came out a little sluggish, a little slow. Milwaukee was very prepared, as I knew they would be, and they hit some shots early. I think the halftime we got a chance to assess what we were doing wrong and come back out and really assert ourselves, and that made all the difference in the game.
So I'm very pleased with the performances out there last night.
Question: Coach, Gonzaga has been strong in recent years. You know about the Washington schools. How much does that familiarity help you in your preparation for these upcoming games?
Kelsey: It may help a little bit. Gonzaga graduated a lot of their heavy, heavy hitters. We would not have scheduled them had they had who they had a couple of years ago. That's not to say they're not a great team. They're still very highly regarded with their past history of getting to the NCAA tournament.
It will be a good test for us. They're a good measuring stick for where we want to be and where we have to be to compete in the Big Ten. I think it will be a very good game for us. It's a very raucous environment out there. They sell out 4,500; I think their gym seats about that many fans. And the women get, if not more than the men, fans to their game as well. It will give us an opportunity to play in front of a great crowd and a great team. We're looking forward to that.
Washington State, they beat us last year. They did graduate some of their heavy hitters as well. So we're looking forward to playing them. They always play well, very well coached team, and they will play hard.
So we have to match the intensity, exceed the intensity of both of those games and see if we can come back with two wins.
Question: You put up a lot of points yesterday, but how nice was it to have Taylor Wurtz back on the court just with her leadership?
Kelsey: It's always nice to have a player of Taylor's caliber on the court. We did score points. Taylor scored 16 of those 74 points, I believe. We look to her for leadership and for scoring and just being out there. She commands a lot of attention when she gets the ball. Two or three people are paying attention.
She's got to learn to get her head up and not get those charges. We talked about that. I think she made the adjustment in the second half not to do that and just avoid some of those plays where the girl is clearly standing there. You cannot go through her to get to the basket. And the ref they're going to call that.
So it was something that she made the adjustment on, and we're looking for her to do a lot more for us as she gets back into the groove of being out there and playing.
Question: Can you just tell me a little bit about your history with the triangle offense, who introduced it to you, the coaching influences, and why you like it.
Kelsey: The triangle, obviously, everybody knows Phil Jackson for the Bulls and Lakers ran it. I really learned it at Stanford. We ran it for the years that we got to the Final Four. It worked for that team.
And so I like it because it's not just isolating two people to play and the other three are just standing around. It's a lot of cutting, a lot of back door opportunities. When people deny you, it's an option for the kids to really be able to still get the ball.
And, obviously, it gives everyone a chance to work the offense without, like I said, two people dominating and are playing just pick and roll or running a lot of set plays. I think you can flow right into triangle if you don't have a fast break opportunity to get a layup. Just wherever the ball goes, kids kind of know where they're supposed to be and what they're supposed to be doing. So that's why I like it.
They like it. So that's always good when they like what you're running. When kids don't like it, they don't run it very well. Anything, whatever you're running, they don't do it very well if they don't believe in it. So we do have the buy in from the kids.
And they start making things up on their own, which is nice to see they're thinking through and kind of adlibbing as they go because that's what basketball is really all about. You can't be a robot out there. You have to be able to adjust to what the defense is doing.
So the more we run it, the longer they run it, it looks better. It doesn't look as good now as it probably will be in the future.
Question: You talked last night about Tiera's (Stephen) defense and her conditioning. How do you think she's doing running the offense, the club the way you want?
Kelsey: Tiera is doing much better this year. She was not our primary ball handler last year. That was Jade Davis, who's in the back of the room.
Tiera has really worked hard over the off season to improve her conditioning, to improve her ball handling. She still is not the prototypical point guard. She plays the position, but it takes a lot of intangibles to run a point guard and to be at this level.
But Tiera does a great job for us. We depend on her to get us in our offense. She's a senior. She knows what she's doing out there. I think she gets a little nervous sometimes, but, you know, that's individual.
But she does bring a lot to us from the defensive standpoint, as you could tell last night with eight steals. When she really wants to do it and she makes up her mind to get up and guard somebody, it makes it difficult for them to either dribble or make a pass. She gets her hands on it, or she helps a teammate to get their hands on it with the pass.
Tiera is going to be someone we're going to depend on a lot throughout the season to really start the defense with the pressure we need on the ball.
Question: I don't know how much of a hand you have in scheduling, but three straight schools, games against schools from the state of Washington. That can't be very common, can it?
Kelsey: No. Washington State was a returning game. That was on the schedule when I got the job. And the Washington game, the University of Washington is a part of the Big Ten/Pac 12 challenge that was on the boards previous. So it kind of worked out that way.
If you're going out there, you may as well get another game. You don't want to just play one and go right back.
So Gonzaga is a worthy opponent. They're very good for what we need to prepare ourselves, and they always make the NCAA tournament. They win their conference. So it's a worthy opponent, and we're looking forward to playing them. But that's not common, no. It's not.
Question: I think you were heartened by the board work last night. You mentioned that as a point of emphasis, especially the offensive rebounding. What was the key there?
Kelsey: Well, I think, when you show it to them and then you drill it, they kind of understand that that's the emphasis. We could not give up 20 boards plus to a team that we know they depend a lot on getting rebounds to fuel some of their offensive production, and we know what's coming. We know a lot bigger teams are coming, and we have to get in the habit of boxing out and making sure that we secure the ball on both ends of the floor, but certainly not giving the other team additional opportunities to make baskets.
And we focused on it. It was emphasized, and it will continue to be emphasized throughout the season because we're undersized. So we cannot give up those rebounds to teams that are a little bit bigger than us.