Western Kentucky hosted its basketball media day Wednesday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
From the women’s team, coach Michelle Clark-Heard spoke along with junior guard Chaney Means, sophomore guard Alexis Govan and freshman guard Kendall Noble.
One quick note: Heard said she hopes to have freshman guard LeAsia Wright, who’s currently sidelined with a torn ligament in her thumb, back by the home opener Nov. 19 against Northern Kentucky.
I’ll have the players’ thoughts in a few minutes, but for now, here’s what Heard had to say on her first media day as head coach:
On being realistic about this season: “I think the biggest thing is making sure that every day, we come out and compete – that’s there nothing left on the floor. We talk about that constantly with the ladies, and I think the biggest thing is understanding that there are going to be ups and downs. But we have to continue learning so we can be the best we can be every day.”
On style of play: “We run a lot and do a lot of different things, but in order for us to overcome our size differential compared to some of the other teams, we’re going to have to do those things. I think they’ve embraced it.”
On who has stood out: “I must say that Alexis has grown incredibly since I got here. I was really pleased to hear her talk about how they embraced my open-door policy, and she was one of the main ones that started that. At that point, I knew she could be one of the leaders.”
Being picked fifth in East: “We lost five seniors. It’s pretty realistic. We understand and know we’re going to have a battle on our hands every day. But I also think that if we continue to prepare, we’ll have the opportunity to surprise some people. … When it’s all over, we don’t want to be fifth on the East side at the end of the season. That’s our goal.”
On having 10 active players right now: “Thank goodness for the opportunity to have some practice players. There’s been a lot of adjustment, but it’s been really good for those 10 girls. We have to get better fundamentally, and for them to get the repetition every day, they’re not having to wait for me to sub five more players in.”
Surprises with this team: “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’m really close with this team. It happened really naturally. For them to be young ladies of their age and go through the change they went through, I commend them on that. That really is a big surprise to me, because I understand how important it is that you have relationships with your players.”
On the first scrimmage Nov. 2: “I’m excited for the fans to be able to see how hard the young ladies play and how they compete. I’m looking forward to being able to see the different things we’ve worked on. We talk a lot about playing fast-paced and getting the balls up the floor, and I know there will be some turnovers, but we talk a lot about taking care of possessions. We’ll be looking for, along with just being able to guard.”
More on style of play: “I want the girls to be able to embrace this four-out, one-in offense and be able to have some fun, too. You how excited Alexis was because that’s one of her strengths.”