Michelle Clark-Heard previews Florida conference road swing

We met with WKU women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard today to preview the Lady Tops’ road swing this week at Florida Atlantic and Florida International.

Here are her thoughts on both upcoming games, WKU’s defense and the bottom of the conference getting high-profile wins:

MICHELLE CLARK-HEARD, coach

Road swing: “It’s an opportunity for us to get better. I think all the rest of these games are all about working on the things we need to get ready for conference. Every game is super-important.”

More on FAU: “Scary, scary basketball team because they shoot the 3, and they’re athletic. They’ve shot over 460 3s already this season, and they love to push the ball in transition. They’re going to press us, so we’ll have to take care of the basketball, guard individuals and know where every player is at all times.”

Guarding 3-point shot: “I want us to go back to the way we were focusing on guarding the 3. Normally, what happens is the dribble penetration. We sink in and help, and they kick it out.”

Playing FIU after beating the Golden Panthers in third game of the season: “It was really, really early, and we were fortunate that they came here and we played well. She didn’t have a very good first half. … When you guard a big-time player like that – she does so many things well. She can shoot the pull-up jumper, she can shoot the 3, she can get to the basket. We’re going to try to rotate different people on her and do different things so we can limit her touches as much as possible.”

Taking trip to Florida: “(Jalynn McClain’s) looking up the weather, saying, ‘Coach, it’s going to be 80 (degrees).’ What I have found out about this group is that we’ve been very resilient on the road, and we’ve found out how to maintain so that we can be successful.”

Importance of first win over FIU: “It was huge for confidence because we do have such a young group. It was also big to get them to understand that some of the things we had been working on were paying off.”

Do you look at seedings at this point? “I take one game at a time. That’s what we do as a staff and definitely do with our players. With a young team, you don’t want to get where you’re talking about seedings, and this and that. One game at a time, one day at a time.”

Bottom of the league playing better: “I knew there were going to be some of those teams – Monroe is playing way better now. All of those teams that were at the bottom half are starting to make some strides and get that chemistry. That’s all it takes. I’m thinking Troy is going to be a little scary for whoever they play, and I’m glad we’ve already got our two times that we play them out of the way.”

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