Head coach Jim Foster, Jantel Lavender and Ashlee Trebilcock met with the media after Sunday’s practice at Nationwide Arena.
2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
March 22, 2009
Second-Round Pregame Press Conference/Ohio State
REPORTER: You mentioned last night that Mississippi State, long athletic team, have you looked at them a little bit more between now and last night and can you offer some other impressions and are they kind of a typical, if there is such a thing as a typical SEC team?
COACH FOSTER: A little bit different with the junior college
dimension. Even though they’re an older team, they’re not an older team
relative to the Division I scenario. In that respect, they’re a little bit
of a young team, but they’re very talented. Long, good defensively.
REPORTER: Are they a team that really likes to run, that likes to
COACH FOSTER: They have a couple players that really like to run,
the one kid, Number 5, she can really run.
REPORTER: But they really rely a lot on their athleticism as we
can tell, they’re people that speed up and help each other around on
defense in particular.
COACH FOSTER: Yeah, I also think that’s the kind of situation
where the more patient you are, the better shot you’re going to get. If
they’re so oriented towards help, ball reversal is a good thing. I think
when Texas reversed the ball yesterday, I think understanding and having
great empathy for Texas to play your first game without your point guard
after you’ve played with her all season long, I thought they played
extremely well in certain instances and looked like they were playing
without their point guard in others. But when they reversed the ball, they
got great shots.
REPORTER: For all of you, they seemed to really pride themselves
on the fact that they’re relatively anonymous, that they don’t have a whole
lot of first team all-conference players, that they kind of blend in and
fill in and they’re relatively deep. What do you think about that?
COACH FOSTER: Well, I think it goes back to what I said before, I
just don’t think people are used to them. I mean, you have the junior
college transfers sort of enter into your frame of reference the way
freshmen do, and it takes you a little bit longer to honor such folks and I
think when I look at the coaches’, the Big Ten, Sammi Prahalis was a Big
Ten Freshman of the Year but didn’t make the first three teams coaches’,
and then you look and see that the coaches voted very — voting is very
senior dominated. I think the coaches are more sentimental than you
writers. You writers sort of vote as to what you see and then I think
Sammi was third team writers — second, second team writers. Jim is trying
to tell me that you’re really not sentimental at all. And I think that
that probably plays into it with Mississippi State as well. I think you’re
more inclined to vote for someone that you’ve watched play for four years
than the kids that just burst on the scene. You’ve only played against
them once oftentimes in their conference structure. So I can understand
REPORTER: Coach, for you and maybe also Jantel, Number 10, one of
the junior college players you referred to just seems like she has a little
bit different of a game than your average post player, she’s got a lot more
range shooting-wise. Have you seen someone similar to her this year? What
sort of challenges does that present?
COACH FOSTER: I think North Carolina’s got a couple players that
play like that. If I think long and hard I’ll probably come up with a
couple, Auburn, the Bonner kid is post-oriented. She’s a post player, 6-4.
She plays about 85%, the kid at Auburn, about 85% of the game on the
perimeter probably and then sneaks down. I think in the heart of Number 10
lies a guard and she’s just got a post player’s frame, but she loves
playing away from the basket, but I think you see that more, much more
today than you used to, than I think the players are used to. I’ll let
them speak to that.
JANTEL LAVENDER: I didn’t really get a chance to see her, but I
know she can shoot the mid-range shot. I have defended some players in the
Big Ten who can shoot the 15-footer, we have to just come out and play
extremely hard and close down and make sure she doesn’t get those open looks.
REPORTER: Ashlee, did you guys have a chance to watch them at all
yesterday? Did you see some film of them today or is it going to be
something that happens later?
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: After our shootaround, I was pretty much
knocked out in the locker room, but I think a good share of our teammates
went up and watched them the first half, but we just watched film on them,
I’m sure we’ll be watching more and go over the scouting report and stuff.
REPORTER: What’s your impression?
ASHLEE TREBILCOCK: Just like they’ve been saying, long, athletic,
they can get to the rim, good defense.
REPORTER: Jim, one of the things about the game yesterday, they
seemed to show a little bit of an edge at times in the game. Did you see
that from them and how do you like playing teams that bring an edge?
COACH FOSTER: Well, we think we have one, so it will be an edgy
REPORTER: Jantel, you said yesterday that you didn’t think you
played your best game, were there any nerves yesterday at all with anybody
or was it just because it was the first game of the tournament and did
those go away and will the second game be more easy?
JANTEL LAVENDER: I think just because we’ve had two weeks off, it
was just kind of getting back into the game flow, so I think it will be
better tomorrow. I think that we’ll be a lot more cohesive as a unit. I
mean, I think yesterday was just everybody just getting that nerves shaken
off, not playing the shot, so I think we’ll be ready tomorrow.