Big Ten Media Day - Sharon Versyp
Oct. 25, 2012
SHARON VERSYP: Well, we're just excited for the season to get going. We have quite a few returners, but we have a very good recruiting class that came in as freshmen that need to do some good things for us if we want to continue to be successful and have a good ride into the Big Ten and play well at the end of the year.
Q. Are there one or two freshmen that you look at that you think are capable of stepping in and having a significant impact right away?
And then maybe Hayden Hamby, who scored a lot of points in high school, hopefully she can come in and shoot the three very well. She's just a very physical 5'8", 5'9" guard.
Q. You've got Drey Mingo back for a sixth year, which is a good deal, but how much does it mean to your program to get her back for the sixth year after what she's gone through the two previous seasons, and how is she right now?
She's doing fantastic. She still has hearing loss in her left ear, so that will never come back. But for her playing and her ACL and all of that, she's very strong and pretty much has picked up where she left off and is very healthy.
Q. You look at the names on the preseason list, if Drey gets to the point where you think she can get to this year, is she a Player of the Year type of player? Is she a top five type of player? Could she have that kind of a year?
Q. Can you talk about replacing the production that Brittany Rayburn brought last year now that she's graduated?
The scoring we can try to replace with two or three different people. That will be big. But I'm really relying on KK Houser to really understand, her and Courtney Moses, of having the mentality that Brittany had of understanding what we need in game situations and just understanding my mind.
Q. We've talked a lot about the improvements you've tried to make offensively in the off season, but where is your team at defensively right now, and how far do they need to go to get to the level that you want?
So we can do some run and jump; we can do a lot of different things. We just have more depth, so hopefully we can play that 9, 10 rotation defensively. And obviously working on offense we put a lot of shots up this summer and hopefully we can put some more points on the board.
Q. The dynamics that you use between KK Houser and Courtney Moses last year, will you use them in a similar way or tweak it?
We have four players that can play the point guard, which is great, so we have a lot of ball handlers, including Dee Dee Williams, in that group. But Courtney needs to score the ball. She's our three point shooter. She has to take up the slack for Brittany's loss, and she just has an amazing mentality.
With those two on the floor, we're energized; the excitement is there, and they both understand, obviously, what we want on the court defensively and offensively.
Q. I'm sorry to switch gears for a second, but you've got three new coaches in the conference. Can you talk about the impact that's going to be on the season and future recruiting?
Hopefully now we can keep our coaches solid now for 5 to 10 years in their careers, and that's when the Big Ten is really going to kick off.
Q. Specifically with the new coaches, can you talk about Curt Miller? He said he wants to close the borders in the state of Indiana. How do you see him building that program and maybe competing with you to get some of those kids down the road in Indiana and trying to renew what hasn't been much of a rivalry recently, has been more one sided in your favor?
In any institution you just have to know what your brand is. You have to know what your system is and the type of student athletes you can recruit at each school. That's where all of us kind of lose sight. We try to maybe go and do something different, but we are who we are. I have a lot of respect for Curt. He's a great guy, a great coach, and he will turn it around there.
Q. You guys made a great run last year in the Big Ten Tournament. How have you built off of that in the off season and then in this preseason?
We have to be stronger, and we have to be more athletic. We want to be the best in the Big Ten, but we want to be one of the best in the country, just like everybody else that comes up here and talks. Our Big Ten has to continue to prove and win in the NCAA Tournament. We've had a game that we really look back on a lot.
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