Nov. 26, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – Head women’s basketball coach Bobbie Kelsey spoke at the UW’s weekly news conference today to talk about her team. The Badgers are off to a 3-2 start and take to the road for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday, playing at Virginia Tech (2-2). Tip-off is at 6 p.m. from Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
Wisconsin returns home on Saturday to kick off a four-game home stand. The Badgers host Alabama (5-0) at 2 p.m. in the Kohl Center.
A complete transcription of Kelsey’s comments is below.
Opening Statement: We obviously split our games this past week. We would have liked to have won both of those games. We're a young team, work in progress. I think the kids have really improved from last year. Not that we're satisfied, but we're certainly happier than we were this time last year.
We're going to continue to work on the deficiencies that we're experiencing with our boxing out and taking care of the ball. Those are two areas we have to shore up if we're going to continue to be in these games.
Bobbie, you and Stacy (Cantley) and Jill (Jameson) worked at Virginia Tech. What do you think it's going to be like going back there? What are some of your memories?
I have fond memories of being back there. I was there a short time. They were there much longer than I was. It's a great school. They have great school spirit.
The team is going to be very aggressive. They play in the ACC, you have to have a certain type of kid to play in that league, and they certainly have those kids. We have to do what we're supposed to do to win the game.
I think there's certain things you have to do against athletic teams that will give you an opportunity to be in it at the end. You never know if you're going to win or lose, but you go in with the game plan, and if you follow that plan, then you have a better opportunity than if you just rolled the ball out and said go play.
Our kids, they like to know what they're supposed to be doing. They're better when they know, and we're better when we know as coaches. We're going to scheme it out and see what we can come up with. Again, it's all about making shots, either team. If you don't make shots, like Bo was just referencing, the fact that, if you're shooting bricks, and the ball is bouncing out to half-court, basically, you're starting someone else's fast break. So we have to make sure we take good shots and knock them down.
Is that the only key to countering an athletic team like you'll be facing?
Not the only key. That's certainly one of them. If you hit open shots, they're going to be pressing and trapping. So you have opportunities to have open looks, but, again, it's taking care of the ball. Not doing too much with the dribble because then you get in trouble there. But just moving and cutting and moving without the ball, not standing and watching.
And sometimes people get stagnant, feet get in mud, and they just stand. That's when the defense rips past the lane, and they get steals. At least that's our experience when we don't move and help the person getting trapped. They're watching them getting trapped, and oh, my God, it's too late.
Again, these are things we have to work on and we do in practice. The biggest thing with an athletic team, you must box them out because they're not going to make the first shot, they're going to make the third one if you let them, and you wind up fouling them, and it just takes the wind out of your sails. But if you get that one stop, get a good box-out, get the ball back, you make your life easier.
You were talking about making shots. Tiera had her best offensive game (vs. Evansville). You talked a little bit about her shot before. What technically is she trying to do to improve that?
I think Tiera, she hasn't been called upon to really shoot a lot in her career. She's more of a slasher, get-to-the-rim type kid. But if you're going to be a good player and develop your whole game, you have to take what the defense gives you and you're not going to always have a layup.
I think when she concentrates and gets her feet under her and really follows through like she's supposed to, when you see her shooting in the game and she's making shots that she's getting hit on and getting fouled, it just shows you how far she's come with her offensive development. We've worked on it for the last year and a half with her to stress how important it is for her to be not only a distributor but someone that you can count on for a shot here and there.
She's not a big scorer, and we don't expect her to be, and she knows that. But you have to be a threat out there to even make a basket. Otherwise, you're not guarded. Tiera's put in the work. She works on her shot constantly, and we're very proud of her and the development she's made to at least help our team in that area.
You mentioned trying to get better rebounding and taking care of the ball. Do you think you maybe started in the right direction with that yesterday?
I think so. Obviously, Evansville wasn't a big team, but you take the good and you take it and use it, and we're going to throw a party about it because we're not very big. When you're not big, you must box out. It's not even a question of whether you should or not, you have to if you're going to secure the basketball, at least get them coming over your back.
But if we stand and try to out-jump these athletic teams, it's not going to happen. We have to be disciplined and really focus in on, when the shot goes up, locating your player and not ball watch because that's when you get in trouble.
Your team set records last year with your three-point shooting attempts and makes. It's been a bit of a struggle thus far. What do you attribute that to? Are you getting the looks you want?
We're getting the looks. I think we do shoot every day in practice. We got away from it a little bit. So I've been making sure that we get our shots up in practice. We do fives by threes. We're going to do that every day, and I think last year, when we did it every day, it really helped the kids to focus in on getting their footwork correct and then releasing the ball properly.
But I always tell them, you have to get in the gym on your own too. You can't wait for practice to try to get shots up. If you have a break or you have some time, you might not have but one class, you have to get in here early or stay late and get extra shots up. When we have people doing that, we tend to shoot a lot better.
I know our free-throw shooting, we're 95 percent, I think Morgan is, and our team is right up there in free-throw shooting. That really helps because the game comes down to free throws a lot of times, and if you can knock them down, you give yourself a chance.
You discussed Virginia Tech a little bit. What do you anticipate from Alabama later in the week?
Pretty much the same thing. That's SEC. ACC, it's about the same. They play a very similar style, very aggressive, very athletic. They'll jump over you if you don't do the little things.
This week is going to be a challenge for us, but I know our kids are up to it. We're up to it. It's on the schedule, so you've got to play.
But we have our work cut out for us, we do. With discipline and concentration, you can take care of a lot of mistakes.