What are your thoughts about the team after the first couple of games?
I like the level of intensity that our team has shown through the first couple of games. We are far from a finished product, but it’s nice to win games while trying to get better.
What adjustments have you had to make from being an assistant coach to a new head coach?
The preparation for practice or a game is much more detail oriented. It’s a much faster pace when you are the one trying to decide what to do for two and a half hours.
What do you think your team’s strengths are this early in the season?
So far we have been a balanced team. We have six juniors and seniors that know how to lead and win ball games, and they have played well early this year. Just as important though, we have been fortunate to have some of our underclassmen step as well. We have players that on any given day can step up and be leaders. This team really doesn’t have an ego or care who gets the attention as long as we are playing well.
Who are the main leaders of this year’s team?
Certainly Alli Volkens as she has been a big part of the program for a couple of years now. Ashley Ferrell is a leader by example rather than being a vocal leader. Rachel Hanf and Jocelyn Cummings have filled in nicely for some of the players that left last year. Each practice and game we might see a different leader.
What do you see as being a weakness for this team this year?
We don’t have a lot of game experience as a team. There are only two players with one full year of game experience. There is a certain feel for situations which you just can’t simulate in practice.
How do you and the team stay focused with such high expectations such as defending national champion and a #6 ranking in the polls?
This program has been good for awhile now, and we realize that we are going to get everyone’s best shot all season long. Our players understand they were recruited to win every night, and those expectations don’t bother them. They expect to do well all the time.
What are your expectations for the MIAA this season in women’s basketball? Who do you see being the major competitors this season?
It’s the toughest league in the country, no doubt. If we don’t play well, the bottom three teams of the conference are capable of beating us. Missouri Western, Washburn, and Southwest Missouri are always really tough, and I expect it will be those three plus us battling for a conference title.