Assistant coach Amy Wright filled in for Coach Blair on Monday at the women's basketball team's weekly press conference at Reed Arena.
Video is available through the link above, while MP3 audio is available through the link to the right.
Assistant Coach Amy Wright
On Kelsey Bone's performance
"I think Kelsey, if you want to base it on just one game, on the Vanderbilt game, she struggled in the first half. So obviously you would look at her from a statistical standpoint or from a coaching standpoint, and say she didn't play very well. I thought she had a great great second half, where she came in really determined to prove and set the tone for us in the paint. Looking back at the previous games, Kelsey's doing what Kelsey does. She's averaging close to 50% from the field. Obviously free-throws is an issue for our entire team. She's almost averaging a double-double almost every game, so I think she's playing well. It's hard being the one that is the go-to player to be consistently perfect every game, and that's what we're asking her as a coach, and I think she's responded well to us, but Kelsey Bone is human, believe it or not, and she had a rough first half at Vanderbilt."
On coaching from Endline at Vanderbilt
"It is a weird place to play. It really is. From a coaching standpoint, you never want to make excuses. A gym is a gym is a gym. The goals are the same, the court is the same length. It is hard for our kids to hear what sets we're running, what defense we're running, so that is an adjustment. But once you get in the game, it's still a basketball game. But it is a very unique place to play."
On taking frustration from Vanderbilt game into remaining games
"I think Coach Starkey gave the kids great information afterwards, that we need to focus on Texas A&M. We need to get back to what Texas A&M does well defensively and offensively. I think in a lot of games you would see we only shot under 30% as a team in three other games, and those were the first three games of the year. So as a team we didn't shoot the ball well. We need to find out from our post players that shot below 45%. The only other game was Connecticut. So our kids just had a rough first half. But I think once they get back and get centered to what Texas A&M does well, finishing in the paint, knock down midrange shots, control tempo, we're going to be okay those last two games."
On pressure of having to win game
"I do think the kids were looking at that, the freshmen obviously want to make their first mark, SEC champions their freshman year. Who wouldn't want that? The seniors want to go out with a bang. But you have to give credit to Vanderbilt. They came in with a great game plan, as far as how they were going to guard Kelsey. They were going to roll the dice with the stats. They were going to see if Courtney Williams could knock down some outside shots, to see if Pratcher could continue to make some shots, to see if Courtney Walker would continue to make shots. You've got to give some credit to Tiffany Clarke, scoring 30 points. She just took it to us, did a good job, had a senior type game, and if you go down the list of people who scored between 20 and 30 points on us this year, you're looking at Sara Hammond [Louisville], Alex Bentley [Penn State], [Natalie] Achonwa [Notre Dame], Devon Brown [Liberty], A'Dia Mathies [Kentucky], Stefanie Dolsen [UConn], Skylar Diggins [Notre Dame], [Tiffany] Clarke [Vanderbilt]. Clarke is the first person to score over 20 points on us in February. So if that doesn't tell you where our defense is at, where our team is at, that kid, give her credit. She made us look poor defensively."
On upcoming Tennessee game"It's going to be another tough one. They have an All-Conference kid in Meighan Simmons. They have a kid who is probably going to be on the All-Freshmen in Bashaara Graves, and they have another kid that I have watched for years from Alabama, [Jasmine] Jones, so they are a solid team. What we are looking forward to is that their team is athletic like us. They're very different from Vanderbilt; they're more like a Kentucky as far as offenses that they run, sets that they run, style of defense that they play. So Vanderbilt is always a unique team, Coach Blair always refers to the as the K-State of the SEC. So we feel like we have a better matchup with Tennessee."