Nov. 29, 2011
Watch Kelsey's press conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey recapped last week’s three-game road trip and discussed the upcoming Big Ten/ACC Challenge in this week’s 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.
QUESTION #1: What did you learn this weekend about your club? At all three games, I know they’re all different, and different things happened, but what did you learn about your club?
Bobbie Kelsey: It’s a resilient bunch. They really listen and try to do the things that we’re asking them to do on the court. It’s hard when you lose so many games in a row. They’re wondering when are we going to win? But, again, I just keep preaching, if you do the little things, the wins will come, so don’t worry so much about that, as opposed to boxing out and doing the things that you’re supposed to do throughout the game.
QUESTION #2: Has Taylor Wurtz taken an ownership or a leadership of this team in terms of her play both on the court and just from a leadership standpoint?
KELSEY: Taylor’s done a great job for us. She’s used to being one of the players that we ask to do a lot for our team. I know last year, she played big role, but she is playing a bigger role this year, obviously, with the graduation of the three players that were leading the team. Taylor’s a player. She’s a competitor. She really wants to win. She really wants to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful, and she has a knack for scoring. She can shoot the 3, she can handle the ball with both hands, she finishes at the rim and she makes her free throws. So she’s a hard cover for a lot of the teams that we’ve faced so far.
QUESTION #3: I think last week when we were here I asked you about rebounding. Was it just one game where Colorado kind of got the best of you there, or what were they doing differently that you weren’t able to handle?
KELSEY: They were doing what they always do, which is crash the boards. We just didn’t have our box out mentality going in that game. And once you give a team an opportunity to know that they can get the ball, and they don’t feel that you are really boxing them out, now you’ve got five people on the boards. And they’re not worried too much about transition, because they feel like they’re going to get the rebound, which they did. So we did a lot of ball watching, I call it, where the shot goes up, we watch the ball and then the person that we’re supposed to be boxing out gets the rebound. So it’s something we will watch and we will correct.
QUESTION #4: Is there a player who’s maybe surprised you in the last few games, who’s really stood out or shown anything that you hadn’t seen earlier in the season?
KELSEY: I think Cassie Rochel really showed in that Montana State game that she’s capable of giving us rebounds and scoring. She had her first double-double, 14 points, and 11 rebounds. I was surprised. I didn’t know she would break out that way. But she’s 6’4”, she’s long, but she’s not as aggressive as she probably should be. It’s not her personality.
You know, a lot of kids, I tell them, it’s a mean girl’s game, basketball. Not in a dirty way, not in an unsportsmanlike way, but definitely the more aggressive players seem to be able to get the ball more, whether that be on the boards, deflections or whatever it is, they seem to get it. And the more aggressive kids, that’s the ones you really want to coach. And she has it in her; she just has to bring it out.
QUESTION #5: Coach, it’s got to be nice to have six of your next seven at home for a change being on the road so much. How important are these home games, when it’s so difficult to win on the road?
KELSEY: It is. The home games are important for a lot of reasons. You are at home. You want your home crowd to be able to see you win some games, and we haven’t done that yet. But more than anything, we just want to play well, especially in the Kohl. It’s just a great arena, a great place to play.
I think the players understand that they need to come out and really be more aggressive, whomever we’re playing, it doesn’t matter, to get a win. And I think we learned a lot in these games that we’ve had so many close ones. That’s not a typical schedule to have 7 games in 15 days, but I think the kids really showed a lot of fortitude and perseverance to compete to the very end in all the games.
QUESTION #6: Can you teach grit or nastiness, aggressive, can you teach that?
KELSEY: No. I don’t think you can. I’ve not seen anyone do it successfully. You waste a lot of time. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say waste time, but you have to recruit that. And then I’d rather pull somebody back, have to tell them hold up, wait a minute instead of having to light the fire. It’s already lit. You just put the lighter fluid on it, so to speak.
And, again, the aggressive ones are the ones that get it done. Taylor’s aggressive. She makes mistakes, don’t get me wrong, she makes a lot of mistakes, but she makes up for it by hustling. She never puts her head down. She never has a pity party out there. She makes a mistake, she hustles down and tries to get the ball back or make a play on the other end of the floor. So a lot of the team could learn a lot from Taylor, and they do. They take a lot from her. But, again, if it’s not in you, it’s not going to be there. You’re either born with it, or you’re not.
QUESTION #7: You’ve got a couple of challenge games, these Big Ten/ACC, and the Big 12. Do you look forward to these types of things?
KELSEY: Oh, yeah. It’s a bragging right. You want your conference to do well. And when the other teams are playing these challenges, we cheer for them just as hard as we would for ourselves. Playing the other BCS conferences, it’s a good measuring stick for your team.
BC is a good, it’s a good ACC team. They have been in the past, and continue to be coached well by Sylvia Crawley and do the things that they do well. But it’s an opportunity for us to show that the Big Ten has some good teams as well. And when you play those ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 teams, they’re the ones that are at the top of the mountain, so to speak, and if you can knock them off and win the challenge, it just makes it even better for the Big Ten.