Big Ten Media Day - Coquese Washington
Oct. 25, 2012
Q. With your team, with the kids coming back, basically that's a great thing. Who among the newer kids is stepping up right now to maybe fill the void of the one you did lose?
Q. Two of your kids are actually were on the All-Big Ten team last year, your two guards. But the kid last year who seemed to make the biggest strides was Nikki Greene, at least from the outside looking in. How did she change last year and what can she add to what you do this year?
Q. Everyone thinks you're the best in the conference. Do you try to take what you've always done and just get better at it, or do you try to expand your repertoire and kind of push the envelope and do some different things?
But this year we want to be a team that has more balance. With our post crew having more experience and getting more comfortable and confident in the way that they can contribute on the floor, that's going to be something that's important for our development if we're going to continue to get better.
Q. I know that Alex Bentley was a preseason Player of the Year last year and is again this year, but you also felt last year she kind of disappeared at times. What will be different with her going into this year?
Having a better understanding, having a better feel for when to kind of stray away and take over the game and when to keep the team involved, keep the team running, keep the team going as a well oiled machine, hopefully this year she'll have a better sense and a better feel for being able to do that.
Q. It's been some time now since the football scandal erupted at Penn State. How difficult has it been to sell Penn State and sell your program?
Q. Three new coaches in the league. What kind of impact do you see them having with either their style or their recruiting?
We want our conference to be strong, and we like having strong coaches, competent coaches, credible coaches that are going to come in and add value to the conference. You look at some of the kids that they've been bringing in in this early part of their tenures, and it's going to be good. Their presence is going to be really strong and really powerful for our conference.
Q. I know when a coach takes over a program, they sort of have a five year plan of where they want to take it, and usually there are a lot of detours and it never really pans out. As you sit here in your fifth year, yours has panned out pretty nicely. Has it progressed sort of the way when you came you thought it would?
To look back over five years, we're very pleased with how we've grown the program, and we just want to continue to get better every year and continue to grow the program in a number of ways.
Q. I know last year you said chemistry was a huge deal with this team in terms of relating it to its success, and you said this team is fun, so with a lot of people back, how do you characterize this year's team?
One of the things that's happened is they've learned how to transfer the fun, their personalities off the court, and add that work ethic on the court and have fun on the court in the middle of working hard.
That was a challenge early on. It was, okay, we're having fun; okay, now we've got to go to work. And now they're learning you can work hard and have fun at the same tie. It makes your productivity in practice better. We can get more done when we're having fun through working hard.
Some of that has to do with maturity and growth, because our team is juniors and seniors. They've been through a lot together, and they're excited about this year.
Q. Do you mind being the preseason favorite with the media and the other coaches, and how do you see the league from maybe like seven or eight up to the top coming into this season?
I don't mind it. It's good for our program. It's good for our kids to have that kind of recognition from the rest of the coaches and the media for what they've done and how much work they've put in.
But it doesn't impact how our work ethic and what we do. So we just want to continue to get better.
What was the second part of your question? It's going to be the same. It's going to be the same. Our conference is really competitive. I think last year we had like three teams tied or four teams tied for third place, and most of those players are back. The best players off of those top six, seven, eight teams are returning.
It's going to be the same thing. It's going to be a tough conference race and probably won't figure out who's going to be on top until the last week of the season.
Q. Coach Geno was proposing some changes, lower rim, shorter shot clock, bigger ball. Where do you stand on that? Do you think the game needs change or do you like it the way it is?
I'm all for that. I'm all for progress. I'm all for experimenting with new rules, experimenting with new ways of playing the game. We have to continue to do that, and the Big Ten conference has a commissioner, Jim Delany, who's a fan of women's basketball, who's a fan of the game, and will encourage us to do whatever we can to continue to make the game exciting for fans. I'm open to anything.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports.