Nov. 25, 2013
• Watch Kelsey's News Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin head women's basketball coach Bobbie Kelsey spoke about the Badgers' tough road trip, Morgan Paige’s scoring ability and the team’s trip to Nashville 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: Just coming off our Alabama loss, very disappointing loss because we knew we weren't going to go undefeated. Obviously, that's not a goal to go undefeated. That's pretty unrealistic.
But we felt like we could have played a lot better, and we could have boxed out. The game changed on the second-chance points that Alabama was able to get and going to the free-throw line.
Morgan (Paige) had a great game. Michy (Michala Johnson) didn't have a great game. Taylor (Wurtz) didn't have a great game. When you don't have your full roster going out and doing what they can do, then it's going to be a tougher night.
And that's an SEC opponent. Give credit to Alabama. They hit some shots that we didn't think -- they would struggle to hit, but they got going a little bit. We tried to change our defense, but at that point they were able to like charge up there. They saw the ball and went and got it. We didn't keep them from getting it. That was kind of our Achilles heel in that game.
Question: Bobbie, how do you as a coach deal with that after the game and now moving forward? I mean, what irritated you the most about losing that game in that way?
Kelsey: Well, like I said, it's not that you lose, it’s how you lose. You know, you want to scrap to the end, and the kids did that, but we didn't take care of our business as far as boxing out. I mean, they had 19 O-boards. You just do the math, we lost by eight points.
Even if Mich (Michala Johnson) doesn't play very well or score like she can or Taylor (Wurtz) or Nicole (Bauman) or whomever, you can still box out. It doesn't require a lot of technique. It's just turning and making sure that your person didn't get the ball and then grabbing it. We have a tendency to tap at it. We have to grab the ball and snatch it.
That's just aggression and being hungry for it. You know, I tell the kids all the time, I can't make you aggressive. Either you are or you're not. No one has to make me aggressive. I'm just aggressive by nature.
So it's just a point where you have to make up your mind that you're going to get that ball, and until people do that on a consistent basis -- you know, if I'm the other team and I'm watching the tape, I'm saying go to the boards, they don't box out. Because we didn't in that game. Now, we're capable, but we have to do it.
So that's the most irritating thing. It's not that we lost the game, it's that we should have done better in those areas to keep them from taking that lead from us, which we had, I think, a 13-point lead at some point. Then we didn't score for seven minutes. So that hurts you.
Question: You guys have rebounded really well this season. How much does that keep you in games that otherwise you might not be as close at the end?
Kelsey: Well, if you have the ball, the other team does not. So then you can do something with it.
But, like I said, if you're giving up the easy baskets and not making that team earn or work or run a play or, you know, make it hard for them to score, then it becomes a harder situation for you to combat when you're trying to make sure that you're keeping people -- the score low and making it hard for them to score.
So we just have to do a better job and keep continuing to hit the glass but also box out and make sure that we -- we're giving ourselves every opportunity to gain possession of the ball.
That's on both ends. You want to O-board, because that's an easy shot, but you also want to get it and make that other team just have one opportunity to score. So one and done, you go on the other end, and then you make it hard for them.
Question: Bobbie, what sparked Morgan (Paige) on Thursday?
Kelsey: Her brother (Marcus Paige, North Carolina) did a nice job the other day against Louisville. I said, must be something in the Paige water they're drinking at home.
Morgan, she's a very good scorer. She just didn't find her niche early on in the first couple of games we played. Morgan plays well without the ball. Some people don't play well without the ball. They run to the ball. They crowd the ball. But Morgan does a nice job of picking her spots -- you know, creating offense for herself without pounding it, without dribbling a hundred times. She's going to make a decision and go for it.
She's really crafty getting around the basket. She did a nice job of shooting her three and then creating stuff off the dribble. You have to be able to do both. You can't just do one thing and be one-dimensional.
Hopefully, we can keep Morgan going, get Mich (Michala Johnson) back on track, get Taylor (Wurtz) -- you know, you've got to have two or three scorers out there that make it hard for the defense. Then they can't help -- it's hard to double off of shooters when they have people that can hit shots.
We just went cold in that game. We couldn't really hit a basket, and we gave up O-boards. So that hurts you, that's a double-whammy right there.
Question: How's this tournament set up for you down in Nashville?
Kelsey: Every game is individual. It is a back-to-back situation, more like a postseason-type setup, but we welcome that challenge. We need it. Because we need to prove to ourselves we can do the basic things and the fundamentals to win the game.
So Mercer is not something we're looking past. We have to play each individual game as such that any team can beat you on any given night. You can't go on what you did in the past or what you did last year against them, whatever the case may be.
You just have to take away their strengths and maximize yours and make sure you close out the game the way you're supposed to, and that's making the free throws and all the little things.
I think in our last game against Alabama, Morgan (Paige) had all our free throws. I don't think one player should have -- now, she hit them all. She was 13-for-13. She's a great free-throw shooter. But other people need to create offense by going to the basket and getting fouls. We need to cause them to foul us a little bit and get more people to the free-throw line.
Question: What's the policy on filling up on turkey the night before a game?
Kelsey: Well, now, you know, you want to be careful with that because there's some things that happen when the turkey gets in your system.
We're going to celebrate Thanksgiving, and I think we have a couple hours -- some hours before we have to get on that court. But we're not going to short-change ourselves on that turkey. We can't do it. It's just too good, too delicious.
But the kids are excited. Their families will be down. A lot of families are going to be there, and they're going to celebrate with us. So it's just a time to bond and be together as a group. We're excited about the opportunity to just go to Vandy and play two worthy opponents, or maybe -- you know, depending on who wins the other game.
It will be a fun trip for us. I'm jealous, the men are in Cancun. Nashville's not quite Cancun.