Alexis Govan, Chanell Lockhart talk WKU’s NCAA tournament trip to Baylor

Injured WKU guard Alexis Govan talks to reporters for the first time since mid-December on Wednesday at E.A. Diddle Arena. (Photo by Zach Greenwell)

Injured WKU guard Alexis Govan talks to reporters for the first time since mid-December on Wednesday at E.A. Diddle Arena. (Photo by Zach Greenwell)

For the first time since mid-December, Alexis Govan met with the media Wednesday.

The injured WKU guard has still not been cleared to play because of the stress fracture in her leg, but her latest tests showed she’s making improvement, and she talked with reporters about what it’s been like to sit out as the Lady Tops made their run to the NCAA tournament.

We also talked with junior guard Chanell Lockhart about getting to the tournament and what to expect from Baylor.

ALEXIS GOVAN

Sitting out all of conference play: “It’s definitely been fun. I’ve had to sit and watch, but I think that’s made it even better. I told (Chastity Gooch) the other day that all the times we’ve talked about how I wanted to be on the court, I think it was better that I got to sit and watch them play that championship game and not be a part of it because I would’ve missed all the fun parts.”

Learning on the bench: “Every play that happens, when there’s a big defensive stop or someone misses an assignment, coach Collins is in my ear, like, ‘You see that rotation?’ or ‘You see that gap we need to close up?’ Coach Collins has been helping me a lot, and I feel like I’ve learned a ton in just the few months I’ve been out.”

Being loud on the bench: “We always talk about energy has to lead to great defense, so I try to bring a little energy on the bench. I try to cheer them on and keep them positive. All the coaches get on them so much. I know what it’s like, so I’ve got to be that positive thing in their ear.”

When did injury actually happen? “It was just something that sort of plagued me a little bit. I’d limp around practice, and coach Heard would go, ‘What’s going on with you?’ I’d just say, ‘I think I’m just getting old.’ But after Puerto Rico, she said I needed to go to the doctor.”

First loss without her at South Alabama: “I felt bad, just because of the timing that everything happened. I remember when we got back, coach Heard and I talked, and I asked, ‘Can we not tell the team yet? I don’t want them to know yet. Can we wait it out?’ Ever since that game, I was doing whatever I could to remind them it’s about the game. It’s not about me being hurt. It’s about this program, winning games and getting the championship. I’m as positive as I can so they can know I’m fine, and they just have to worry about winning games.”

What’s kept you going? “Coach Heard talks to me every day. We meet every week about it, and she reminds me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. When the time does come, I’ll be more than ready and excited. It’s tough, but when it’s time, I’ll be the happiest kid around.”

Wanting to get out there: “It makes me hungry for next year. I want us to finish out this year as strong as possible, and next year, I’m going to be ready to go right there with them. I’m so excited to start workouts. I ask them every day if I can run, and every day they tell me no. When I get to run, that’s going to be even more run. Basketball’s great, and I love it, and I can’t wait to get out there.”

Heading to home state to face Baylor: “Everybody knows we’ve just got to be up and positive. It’s a big game and big opportunity. I keep telling them, ‘It’s Texas.’ Nothing’s better than Texas.”

CHANELL LOCKHART

What this week has been like: “It’s been fun. Just enjoying the moment. Not trying to overdo nothing at all. Just enjoying the moment and preparing to play Baylor.”

Enjoying the moment: “Sixty-four teams left, and we’re blessed to be one of them. Only thing you can do is stay in the moment.”

Transferring in, playing in tournament first year: “It’s very special. It’s exciting. It’s everything.”

On Baylor and star Odyssey Sims: “Just to contain. No easy baskets. … She’s an offensive-minded player. She can score, but we’re not going to try to do anything extra. We just want to contain her.”

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