Michelle Clark-Heard previews WKU-Vanderbilt

I met with WKU women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard today to discuss the Lady Tops’ home game Tuesday against Vanderbilt.

We talked about Vandy, WKU’s 2-0 road swing to Louisiana-Monroe and Troy, as well as the emergence of sophomores Alexis Govan and Chastity Gooch.

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD, coach

What did you take away from that road swing? “We’re six games into the season, and the growth every day never ceases to amaze me. The kids have a will to fight and continue to fight. We’re not perfect. We turn it over. We do everything, and those are things we’re going to have to keep working on – taking care of the ball, being able to guard, understand situations like time and score. But I’ll take all of that with the effort they’re giving this coaching staff.”

Pulling out win at Troy: “Our kids could’ve folded, and they didn’t. In their eyes, I could see they had the belief that we were going to win.”

Is there where you expected to be heading into this Vanderbilt game: “I knew we would’ve made progress. We’ve gone through some ups and downs. Even though we’re 5-1, we’ve went through some situations where we’ve had to learn to grow up. I was hoping we could get to that point by this Vandy game, and I really think we’re there.”

On letting players make mistakes: “What I don’t want to do, and what I feel like from talking to the returners, they felt a little last year like they sometimes didn’t know which way to go, what pass to make. As a staff, we tried to evaluate everything we wanted to do. I know it’s hard when you make a mistake and get yanked out. I try not to do that. I try to let them play through those mistakes and correct, but I also understand that we have to keep growing.”

Govan and Gooch: “Their will to get better and want to be good is incredible to me. They don’t just watch film with me, they watch it with the assistant coaches. Alexis watches when she turns the ball over. Chastity watches with me so I can show how she can help this team defensively. They’ve committed to what we want to do here, and I’m happy they’ve had success early.”

On Vanderbilt: “They were in the top 25. They’ve got kids that can shoot it. They love to get up the floor in transition, and they have a big-time player in Clarke, who is hard to guard. She can face up and get to the basket, and their point guard, Lister, is one that we’re going to have to stop.

Goals for this game: “The biggest thing I want is for our team to compete, to see the level where we’re at right now and where we have to go.”

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