WACO, Texas — Western Kentucky wrapped its news conference at the women’s NCAA tournament at Baylor a little while ago, with coach Michelle Clark-Heard, guards Kendall Noble and Micah Jones, and forward Chastity Gooch on the podium.
A lot of the quotes are things you folks have heard before – most of it earlier this week on this blog – so I trimmed it down to some of the new information. Look for plenty of coverage in Saturday’s BGDN and bgdailynews.com, and there’s lots of content over the course of this week available here on the blog.
Getting team prepared to play at Baylor: “No matter what team you are, you still have to make sure your team is focused when they walk into wherever they’re at. I think the greatest thing about it is that Baylor has had a ton of success, but Western Kentucky, we have some trophies, too. It’s been a while, so what we try to talk about … is making sure we can get back to this point with our program and let our program grow.”
Trying to use past success on the road to help: “We tried to make sure we kept things as normal as we possibly could. Trying to make sure we got here early and got some practice in. We have to understand and know this is a whole different environment, but we played at Vanderbilt this year, we played at Puerto Rico. We did a lot of different things.”
Baylor’s other players beside Odyssey Sims: “Odyssey – it speaks for itself. But they have a ton of other players – Davis, who is really, really good, and Robertson, who can really shoot it. They get up and down the floor. They have players with unbelievable assist-to-turnover ratios, and they love to score a ton of points. We have to make sure we get back in defensive transition and we’re locating people. … We try to take a lot of pride in our defense. I think the biggest thing is our energy and our passion. We have to make sure we bring that from the beginning.”
Playing on this stage: “I think it’s finally sunk in. We’re excited that we have the opportunity to play in the tournament, and we’re going to go out and try our best to get the ‘W.'”
Using their multiple defenses: “It’s really big for us. Our defense obviously helps us get easy baskets and helps our offense get going. When we switch up our defenses, it’s hard on the other team, and most of the time they don’t really know what defense we’re in.”
Team’s confidence: “Coming off a 10-game winning streak, we’re coming in here very confident. Just keep playing the way we have been as a team and keep communicating and focusing on defense. That’s helped us with our confidence a lot.”
Playing program like Baylor: “We’re excited. They’ve had a lot of success over the past few years, and that’s what we’re trying to get back to with our program. It’s a great opportunity for us to come here and play Baylor.”