Feb. 6, 2004
Jamie Cavey was name the Big Ten Women's Basketball Player of the Week on February 2nd, as she led Iowa to consecutive Big Ten road wins, including an upset of 18th-ranked Michigan State. The junior center scored 24 points and notched eight rebounds against Northwestern, then put up 21 points on 19-29 shooting three days later against the favored Spartans. For the Hawkeyes, the win on Sunday was the first over a ranked opponent this season, and it moved Iowa into third place in the Big Ten standings. Cavey is currently ranked seventh in the Conference in overall and Big Ten scoring, averaging 16.8 and 17.2 points per game, respectively. Here is how Jamie answered some of our questions about winning on the road, improving her game, and playing in her home state.
Iowa just came off of two big Conference road wins, which is pretty tough in the Big Ten. Why is it so hard to win away games in the Big Ten?
I think the reason it's so hard to win is that people take a lot of pride in their home floor, even more so than when you go on the road because you have to protect it, it's like a sacred ground almost. I think that's why, and also when you're going into a place with a home crowd, like Michigan State did, it just gives them that much more to get themselves going.
What is the toughest arena to play in?
I would say that Purdue is one of the tougher places to play because they have a great fan base. I think that's a big thing because they can make it really tough to play.
Your scoring average has increased by over ten points from last season to this season. What do you attribute this impressive improvement to?
I attribute a lot of it to the different offense we're running this year, and we have different personnel and a different type of game than we did last year. I also didn't play as much last year, so it's just entirely different this season.
What part of your game has been the most improved?
I would say, hopefully, it has been defense. That hadn't always been something I really tried to pride myself in, always being ready to help your team out. But I guess statistically, it would be my shooting and my shooting percentage in general.
How would you describe your style of play?
My style is physical because that's something I can use, my body and my weight, and not a lot of girls have that in basketball. I just have to use what I have compared to other girls who are thinner than me and their quicker. So I have to use my strength in order to go up against them.
Who is the toughest player that you face in a season?
It's so hard to say because there are so many people who are so tough. Of course any of the centers in the Big Ten, like Janelle McCarville (Minnesota) who is about the same size as me. And then you go up against Cindy Dallas (Illinois) and she's quicker and more of an off the dribble player, so it's totally different. I think basically everyone you go up against is a hard post to play against.
The Big Ten tournament starts exactly one month from today (on March 4th). From a player's standpoint, how important is that event to success in the NCAA or WNIT tournaments?
I think it's huge. Just thinking about the Big Ten tournament coming up, it gets you flustered right now because we all know it's what is going to make us or break us. Even if we're in a bad position or a good position going into it, you always want to be the team that wins the entire thing because you know you're going to the NCAA tournament. It gives you a couple of weeks to relax more and you're not so uptight about it.
I noticed that you were also all-Conference in volleyball in high school, did you ever consider pursuing that sport at the college level?
I did during my freshman and sophomore year in high school. I decided my junior year that I wanted to do Division I basketball, which meant the seasons intertwined too much to ever contemplate doing both. I've always wanted to play, but it just didn't work out.
As an Iowa native, how does it feel to play in your home state?
It feels great to play in my home state. It's amazing the amount of support people give you. They'll come up to you and say how they watched you play throughout high school, and you had no idea the amount of people that support you. It's crazy.