We checked in with the WKU women’s basketball team today as they prepare to leave Thursday for Waco, Texas, ahead of Saturday’s first-round NCAA tournament game at Baylor.
A few links for you:
- From the Waco Tribune-Herald, Baylor talks about the success it’s had in recent years at home. The Lady Bears are 89-4 over the last five seasons at the Ferrell Center.
- Also, espnW ranked all the teams in the tournament field. WKU comes in at 57, while Baylor is eighth.
- ESPN also released its television coverage map for the first-round games. WKU-Baylor, which airs at 5:30 p.m. CDT on ESPN2, will be market-protected in the state of Kentucky, which means it will be shown in its entirety. That’s not the case elsewhere.
We met with WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard, junior guard Chanell Lockhart and injured junior Alexis Govan today. First, here are Heard’s comments.
After watching Baylor more: “They’re very good. They’re a great team, and they play in a great conference. They play against great competition every day. They have an unbelievable player in Odyssey Sims, and they have a big kid that can score and rebound around the basket, and Kim Mulkey’s daughter who can shoot it really well from deep. They love to get up and down the floor and push the ball. I mean, they score 84 points a game. We’re going to have to try to limit their baskets in transition. We’ll have to sit down and guard and rebound, and make shots.”
How they handle the task: “I think our kids are excited about this journey. At the end of the day, it’s a big opportunity for us to go out and be the best we can be in an unbelievable atmosphere. It’s going to be on their home floor in front of thousands of people. As a player, I think that’s what you dream about.”
On Baylor’s Odyssey Sims: “She’s an unbelievable guard. She’s very, very good at being able to get to the basket. She’s got a strong body. She can shoot the 3. She’s very aggressive getting to the free-throw line. She shoots a lot of free throws. She can shoot the pull-up. She handles the ball very well, understanding when the traps are coming at her, how to handle it, how to get out.”
Baylor having several inexperienced players: “Being freshmen, it won’t make a difference. They’re on their home floor. They’ll have an opportunity and chance for them to have the chance to keep growing. … That’s the beauty of being able to play in the postseason. They’ll be ready.”
Enjoying the experience: “I remember my times being able to go to the NCAAs. There’s 64 teams left in the country, and we’re one of them. That’s a huge accomplishment, but I also know, too, we got the trophy. It’s sitting here, and we have that title now, but we have to keep building. We’re hungry.”
Importance of good start vs. Baylor: “We’ve been watching a ton of film. They can put up numbers fast. If you can’t withstand that first four minutes, it’s going to be crucial for us. It becomes crucial that we continue to have the confidence we’ve had. It’s going to be a different atmosphere, but the rim’s still the same. The floor’s going to be the same length, the rim’s the same height.”
Update on Govan: “She went back and got another X-ray, and I know this has been a very slow process. But you know what, the doctors have told her she’s definitely make a ton more progress. She’s going to be able to do a little bit more stuff with the trainers, and just working to make sure when we start to make the impact, we don’t go backwards. She’s doing great. She’s not released to play or anything yet, but we wanted to make sure we didn’t have a situation where we didn’t know what was going to happen – possible surgery. She is getting better, and everyone’s body’s different. She’s been incredible.”
With the way it’s going, does surgery look unlikely? “The way it’s going. That was the plan all along. You and I both know I’m not a doctor. I just go by what they tell us. She’s doing everything she’s supposed to do to make sure it continues to heal.”