Lady Topper updates: youth camp, schedule, recruiting

Today was the first day of the Western Kentucky women’s basketball team’s Individual Camp for children in grades 6-12. The camp runs through Thursday.

The camp had about 34 participants today, WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard said, which is a number she said she’d like to see double or triple next year.

We also talked to Heard about a range of subjects other than the camp itself, and those comments are available below, as well as some thoughts from junior guard Chaney Means. Heard touched on recruiting, the recently passed texting rule for men’s coaches and the 2012-13 schedule.

Heard said the Lady Toppers will start a home-and-home series with Vanderbilt this season at E.A. Diddle Arena. They will also play at Morehead State and in a tournament at Wright State. The full schedule should be released in a few weeks, she said.

Michelle Clark-Heard

On having the returning players on campus. The six new players arrive for the next summer school session, which begins July 9: “My door has kind of been like a revolving door when I’m here. They’re getting a chance to know me a lot more. Joey (Carnes) , the strength and conditioning guy, he’s kind of the bad guy right now, and I’m kind of the good person right now. I can be whatever they need me to be, but when it comes time to hit the court and school starts back, it’s going to be a different relationship.”

On having a full year to recruit: “We were really anxious when April came, and it’s really awesome now because we’ve been able to sit down and put our plan together, as far as what we’re looking for in 2013 and future-wise. 2014 and 2015 are huge for us because we have to keep building this program.”

On men’s coaches being able to send unlimited text messages to recruits, and the likelihood that the rule also comes to the womens’ game: “That’s what normally happens. Normally, the men get it, and then it trickles over to women’s basketball. There are pros and cons. A lot of the student-athletes will like the opportunity not to talk on the telephone, and they can just text us. But when you talk about unlimited, I think it’s going to get out of control. I hope if the rule gets passed for us, there’s a limit, or maybe not the juniors. I have mixed feelings. But at the end of the day, no matter what the rule is, my staff will go to work and work just as hard as the next staff and everyone else in the country.”

On this year’s schedule: “It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be awesome. I’m looking forward to putting everything together and putting our product on the floor.”

On having more doubleheaders with men’s program: “I’m excited about it, and I think coach Harper is. The biggest thing is to get the fans. Coach Harper has done a phenomenal job with the program, and what I want to be able to do is for his fans to be able to come, and if they just see what we’re trying to do – the hard work, the effort – hopefully that will get them back to our games.”

Chaney Means

On coach Heard: “We got to work out with her for four weeks in the postseason workouts. It’s been going great. She brings a lot of energy, and I think she’s brought in a great coaching staff with different strengths. It feels like everybody has their role, and I think everyone’s excited about it.”

On the role returnees played in recruitment of six signees: “We wanted them to feel welcome and that we’re a family. We wanted to let them know what it’s really going to be like, day in and day out. It’s fun to hang out with them before they’re officially here. They’ve all been here, and we’re ready for them to get here.”

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