3:13 pm - Tuesday December 18, 9551

Quotes from the 2012 Colorado Women’s Basketball Media Day

Colorado Head Coach Linda Lappe

Opening Statement

“Thanks for showing support for our program, this is great. It is hard to believe it is already October and that we are into full practices and getting ready for our first games here in a few weeks. It is very exciting and we are glad to be right into practice, and to see some of the things we have already seen, has been a lot of fun for our staff and our team. We really feel that this year we have some of the components it takes to put some things together and have a special season. Some of those components are our two seniors; Meagan (Malcolm-Peck) and Chucky (Jeffery). I tell them all of the time, I think they have as much experience as any senior in the country. They have played all three years so far, they have started a lot of games. They have also been through a lot of scenarios, they have been in a lot of different games, and have both been in postseason play. So we really feel good with those two as our seniors, and probably for the first time since this staff has been here, we have a group of juniors and seniors who have been in a lot of different scenarios and some big games; have won the big games. For that reason this is very exciting. We have a very talented junior class that is coming back, that all three of them have played a lot. Our sophomore class, the best thing we say about freshmen is that they become sophomores, so our sophomore class has really grown up in one year and has really shown us some things in their sophomore season. Then you bring our four newbies, I think from Kyleesha (Weston) to Jamee (Swan), to Arielle (Roberson) and to Lauren (Huggins), they bring a lot of versatility to this team; they can play a lot of different positions. They are really going to help us offensively and even defensively, with our balance of upper classmen and underclassmen we feel like we can do some good things this season.”

On Arielle Roberson

“Arielle is still knocking off some rust. We see some amazing stuff from her every single day, but last week was a little rough just getting back into five-on-five play, where you have tough defense. She is probably more ahead defensively than offensively right now. She does things on our team that nobody else can do, she is very long, athletic, she provides a lot of length at the four position for us. I think by the middle to the end of the year, she could potentially play a three for us, right now her best position for us is the four and she will play some five, she is very versatile. The thing that Arielle is going to help us the most with is help us guard on the interior and help us rebound.”

On Having Kyleesha Weston As A Point Guard Option

“After about a week and a half of practice we have seen a lot of good things from a lot of people at the point guard position. Brittany Wilson has come around and has done a better job of point with Chucky. We think by the middle of the season Kyleesha will give us some good stuff from the point guard position. Until then, she is still learning the offense. I think freshman who come in as the point have by far the toughest job of any of the freshmen, because they are trying to learn so much, they are trying to lead the team, they are trying to understand the defense and to communicate. They have so much on their plates, and Kyleesha will be one of those players that just keeps getting better as practice goes along and as she gets more experience.”

On Expectations Of The Newcomers

“The good thing about our freshmen is they do not have to play right away, and that is the first time we have been able to say that since our staff has been here. And what that allows us to do is to get them ready, and not just throw them into the fire right away when they are not ready. I do think our freshmen will all play and maybe two or three of them significantly, so I think they have the opportunity to do that. We have seen some bright moments in practice so far, with our freshmen. So they have the potential to come in and do that; we do have a good core. In our first game we don’t have to have three freshman play 25 minutes. I think whenever you can say that about your team you start to have a team that can make runs late in the season.”

On Their Depth

“I think we are much deeper. We have hit a lull in the past two years in January. We have had good starts and good finishes. I think the depth is really going to help us sustain the level that we want to play throughout the year. We have 12 players that can play, and there is not a whole lot of people that can say that. Obviously we have six or seven that are further ahead at this point from the rest. But if we had a game right now, I am not sure who we would start, I am not sure who the first one off the bench would be. That is good and that is bad, the good part about that, we do have a lot of depth in every position, we now have more post players, some fours and fives, we now have some back up at the point guard position.”

On The Excitement With Men’s and Women’s Teams

“I think the excitement for basketball is very high. We both had successful seasons last year, and with the men going into the NCAA Tournament. I think that was great for both programs. Our players got to see what that looks like and, ultimately that is where every team in the nation is trying to get to, the NCAA Tournament. To be able to see that, and how that happened, and what that took, the dynamics of that team, we talked a lot to our team about that because, until you have been there you don’t know what that takes, and nobody on our team has been there. I think the good part of our team is that our coaching staff has been there, we are helping them understand everyday what it takes to maximize our potential. I really believe that if we maximize our potential this year, then that could be an end result of that. I am excited, for the men’s season, we are excited for our season and you can really feel it in the community. The community has been supportive, coming out for Buffs Madness last Friday. There are a lot of positive things that are happening around our basketball program, and now we just have to capitalize on it and build on it.”

On Jen Reese Returning From Injury

“Jen is doing well. She has been in every practice; she has been in every drill. She still is not fully able to see when she looks extremely upward, so that is something that is continuing to come back. I feel that every month she gets better. It is a long process and that is something that we didn’t realize right when it happened, (doctors) say it is a six month to a year recovery for that injury, and she is right around seven months. She is doing a lot better, less headaches. Jen tells us sometimes that she needs to get a bubble, and that we need to put it around her. She is a little bit injury prone but she is battling and she is in the best shape she has ever been in. She has really worked her body to get her, not quite where it needs to be but it is getting there. We are excited about having her back. Yes she is going to play this year. She doesn’t have to see the basket and it still goes in, so she is one of the best players in terms of finishing around the rim. She has that great fade away jumper in the post. If you didn’t know that she couldn’t see perfectly, you would never know that she is missing a little bit of her vision.”

On The NCAA Tournament Being Here In Boulder

“I think it is in the back of our minds. We have talked about the fact that it is here because our players need to know that, as well as our staff. It is a neat deal; our administration did a good job of getting CU to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. We have definitely talked about it, but we feel that is going to be a byproduct of everything we are doing right now. We don’t know where we are going to be at the end of the year, but we do know what we can do today and so we focus on every single day being better than the last day and really progressing, everyday. As long as we keep doing that, and we keep working on our team as a whole both offensively and defensively, and in terms of being unselfish, and all of those things that it takes to get there, then I think that will be the end product. But it is not something that we look towards as if we get to the NCAA Tournament we are going to have a successful season, or if we don’t we are not going to have a successful season because it could very well be we are not happy just getting there, if we do get there. And obviously you don’t know what is going to happen during the course of the season. It is going to be an interesting year, and that is an exciting part of it, but that is not until March, so there is a lot of work going into it.”

On Pressure Of Making The Tournament

“I don’t think there is any pressure. I think once there is pressure, I think you are focusing on the wrong things. And if you are focusing on the right things, the fundamentals, the skills, making yourself and your team get better, as a coaching staff we have to prepare for every game like we are going to win it and what that is going to take. It doesn’t matter where that NCAA Tournament is, that is everybody’s ultimate goal. If you are not in it for that, you are probably in the wrong business, and especially at Colorado, and so I think as we go through if we start feeling that pressure to make it that is where things could potentially go downward, and then you are starting to play for the wrong reasons, we want to play because we enjoy the game we want to play together, and we want to get better. Like I said, getting to where we can maximize our potential, we are going to feel like that is a success.”

On The Team’s Overall Depth

“I feel like we have a lot more players that can score this year. I think Lexy Kresl being a year older, Brittany Wilson getting a year older and smarter offensively. Then having Arielle and Jamee at the four position, that is something we haven’t had in two years, is a four who can score, who is athletic, who can get to the rim. Last year we just didn’t get a lot of easy baskets, we missed a lot of easy shots around the rim when we did get easy shots, we missed a lot of open threes, and so we focused on it in the postseason. I think we have a lot of different weapons that they won’t be able to focus on Chucky, and it is Chucky’s job to create for her teammates, and that is where when we started doing well at the end of the season last year, she started to do that more efficiently and more often, and her teammates came through; there is always two parts to that. So that is where we want to start going into this year.”

On Megan Malcolm-Peck’s Shot

“I think it is all what you focus on. What we have tried really hard, we are helping her with her mechanics, as we are with a lot of our players, making sure we are consistent in how we are shooting the ball. I feel like we had a lot of players last year who were not consistent in their shots, mostly because they didn’t shoot enough. So just getting in the gym and getting shots this year, we have already seen some good things from our outside shooters. In terms of what she brings to our program, scoring the ball is not something she has to do to be on the floor, she is a really good leader for us. She has already stepped up into that role, she understands what we mean when our coaching staff talks about team comradare when we talk about leadership, and she is starting to understand what that means and what that looks like on and off the floor. She is more focused on that to be the truth and I think that shot will just come. Last year everybody started focusing on her shot, and that was part of it, but she has to be a senior now and let that go. Mentally she is in a different place and I think that she knows that her job is not to score. Will she score? Yes. Will we need her to hit shots? Yes, both in the paint and outside.”

On Most Improved So Far

“Rachel Hargis has stepped up and started to be more available on the block. The game has started to slow down for Rachel, which is a good thing for a post player. In her first two years as a player I feel like when she got the ball in the block, the game was going a million miles an hour, she didn’t know what to do with the ball, whether to shoot it, pass it, where to pass it. Our staff has put her into positions to know what her role is, but she really worked on her game over the summer. She is not as quite as good of shape as she was last year because she spent a lot more time working on her post moves, working on her decision making on the low block. So I really feel like she is probably more that anybody kind of risen to the occasion because we need her to be a post presence down there.”

Colorado Players

Lexy Kresl, So. G

On Having a Years Experience

“I’m definitely more confident this year in the team and my performance as well. I can’t even explain how much healthier I feel. I feel even stronger, even though it may not look like it. I know the pace and everything is going to move at and how things work. I have been well adjusted.”

On the Leadership This Year

“I would definitely say it has been vocally from Meagan Malcolm-Peck. As far as example wise, everyone looks to Chucky Jeffery to set the tone for things and start things with energy.”

On Improvements From Last Year

“Last season I think a lot of our weakness was from turnovers. We were very inconsistent throughout the season with a few things. Halfway through the season we kind of hit a low and I think this year we can avoid the lows and stay with the highs.”

Goals For The Season

“This season my biggest goals are to become a better defender. I don’t want to be a weak point in the defense this year. As well I would like to extend my scoring abilities to inside the three-point line.”

On the Anticipated Basketball Season and its Possible Pressure

“Definitely no pressure at all. It’s great. It sounds like our fan base should be up this year. It will be great to have people here this year to cheer us on and help with the energy. It’ll be good to have those extra people.”

Arielle Roberson, Fr., F

On Being Able to Be Back On the Court

“I don’t think words can even describe how excited I am. I think about this everyday and really wish that we started our season of games today. I’m just really excited and blessed to have this opportunity to come back and be healthy once again.”

On the Nerves of Coming Back

“No, I really don’t think I have any more than I first did. I put a lot of pressures on myself. I want to come out and do really well. I think with that and the first game there’s a whole bunch of nerves in the first place. I can’t help but be like ‘Oh my God’ and get all rattled. When we had Buffs Madness last week I was really, really excited to warm up. I’m pumped and nervous actually at the same time.”

On Individual Goals

“My biggest goals, which I think are really attainable, are I would like to be Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, whether it’s on defense or what. I just want to be that person. I want to be the one who can help and contribute a lot to my team this year and help us get to the NCAATtournament. That is one of my biggest dreams and biggest goals. If we are hosting the first and second round here it only makes sense to play there right?”

On Having a Year Experience at CU, But Not on the Court

“I definitely got to see a lot of the things that you don’t get to see as a player on the court. You get to see exactly what the coaches are talking about to build your I.Q. You still get that players perspective, but also what the coaches are thinking. It only makes you smarter. It helped me out a lot. I think just coming into this season and I get to practice I can put all those things together. I am not necessarily at ‘freshman status’ in getting to know our offense and how practice and things work.”

Chucky Jeffery, Sr. G

On Arielle Roberson

“She may have a little bit [of rust] but not much. She’s very athletic and she’s in-tune and has a great basketball I.Q. She’s smart and catches on real quick. I think she will be the first to catch on to a lot of stuff early on.”

On the Depth

“I think everybody worked really hard over the summer improved on what they needed to improve on. You can tell in practice people aren’t afraid to shoot and go to the rim and things like that. Ashley (Wilson) is scoring a lot more. Arielle’s going to be a great asset. Brittany Wilson, Meagan (Malcolm-Peck). Meagan’s hitting her shot real well. Lauren’s (Huggins) going to be good for us. We have a lot of pieces and its going to be tough to guard just one person.”

“We won’t have as many players playing almost 35-40 minutes a game. We can rest a lot more. We can get the other players rest on the floor. Once that happens they know what their experience is and we can know how to break and it will go hand in hand. I think it’s really good we have more people on the team.”

On Hosting the NCAA First and Second Round

“I don’t necessarily feel pressure. It’s more motivational. That’s what we work so hard for everyday in practice. It’s in the back of all of our minds. We just practice hard and know what we have to do to get to that spot—That’s what we strive for everyday.”

On the Upcoming Senior Year

“I don’t know. It’s kind of unreal. You don’t want it to end, but it went by really fast. It’s good. I’m ready and more excited. I’ve got a little more ‘umph’ under me in knowing it’s my last year.”

Meagan Malcolm-Peck, Sr.

On Stepping into Julie Seabrook’s Leadership Role

“Julie set an awesome example as a leader. As a senior – really weird can’t believe I’m a senior – that’s just a natural role. You know what you’re doing and don’t have to think about it anymore. You can help those who may not know what to do and focus more on other people instead of yourself.”

On Stepping Up from Last Year

“I think we are focusing more on team right now. Last year as a team I don’t think we did what we wanted to do. I think it’s more of a team frustration than an individual frustration. That’s how everyone’s mindset is on the team. If you’re succeeding as a team, that’s what is more important. Whether that be scoring 30 points or cheering from the bench. This year we are really focusing on what we can do to be uncommon. I think we just need focus on that and everything else will fall into place.”

On Making Sure This Last Year is The Best Year

“I am putting extra shots up and working with (assistant) coach Kelly (Finley) before practices just to get my shot back. I’m just having fun, this is my last year, and doing the best for the team is the main goal.”

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