I had the chance to talk today with Western Kentucky women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard about the Lady Toppers’ 2014-15 schedule, which was released Tuesday.
You can see more about the schedule and the way the opponents stack up based on last year’s RPIs and records here.
Here are Heard’s comments about the schedule:
Schedule as a whole: “I think it’s a lot of challenges, but I’m super excited going into this season with the upperclassmen that we have. I feel like we’ve grown over these past couple of years. I’m really excited to be playing in the Preseason WNIT and the challenges that will bring. It should show us where we’re at and where we need to go.”
Was it time for this program to take on some challenges, both with opponents and traveling? “One of the things that the staff and I talked about was trying to be able to play and go on the road and play teams, and just be one of those teams where we could compete at the highest level. We’re still working to get to that point, but I felt like with our upperclassmen and our senior class, it was something we needed to try to put in place right now so we could build for the future.”
Is it getting more difficult to find teams to face you guys? “I credit Jeff Walz and teams like that, with the contracts we started. We want to be put in that position. Teams like Middle Tennessee and those types of teams have done that and been able to go different places and play and help their program grow to the point where they were last year, in the top 25. It happens that way, but I think you have to be realistic where you’re program’s at at that time.”
Conference USA slate: “I think this conference is going to be unbelievable. I’m excited to see how our kids step up to the challenge with our nonconference, because ultimately, it’s to get you prepared for conference. There is going to be a ton of competition and great coaches in this league.”
Thoughts on conference’s ‘mirror scheduling’ with the men’s games: “Every conference has to do what’s best for that conference in general. … It’s just like anything. Something’s you can’t control, and with the men’s schedule, it’s just how it worked out.”