4GuysinBlazers

Media Luncheon With Ali Jaques

ali-j-press-conf

Siena women’s head coach held the first media luncheon of the season on Tuesday. Here are some notes and quotes on the upcoming season.

On the upcoming season:

“Everything is different this year. We have a different team. We have a much more balanced team. Focus is still the same, one day at a time just continuing to get better. But I think that there’s definitely a comfort level on the team with what we’re doing or running because we have most of our team back.”

“I think from a defensive standpoint specifically I think we’re ahead of where we were last year especially with Tehresa Coles. She starts everything for us. As our up guard she sets the tone for everybody. The additions we’ve had from our freshman class, we recruited to that system and they’ve stepped in and done a great job so far. We’re definitely deeper this year than we were last year and it’s a big advantage for us.”

“I think the basis of what we do will always be the same. Our identity as a team, pressing, back to our matchup and shifting defenses and having different schemes that’s always gonna be the same. Offensively we’re much more balanced which I’m excited about but also nervous about because on every day it’s been somebody different. That’s exciting but also a little unnerving because you don’t know who you can depend on.”

 

On life without Lily:

“I know our players got better individually over the summer and great players are made April through October. I have some returners who really went to work this summer and it’s my hope as a coach that it pays off for them because they really did put the time into become better players.”

 

On a projected starting line up:

“I think we’re pretty set. We return a number of starters. I think that Ciara Stewarts done a great job so far in cementing her position. Clara Sole has done a great job too. Tehresa, obviously she started every game for us last year. Kanika’s done a really good job and I’ll look to probably start her and we’re going to go with Meghan Donahue at the center position.”

 

On the freshmen class:

“They’re going to play a lot. Halee’s injured so that’s a tough loss for us for another month or so. They’ve proven through the scrimmages that they like to score, like to get after it and they’re very coachable. I give our upperclassman a lot of credit for teaching and helping and mentoring and really bringing the freshman along. Practices have been really, really competitive.”

“The number one thing they all bring is just a gym rat mentality. When you’re a coach and you hear a ball bouncing in the gym and it’s one of your players , you notice and that makes you feel better. That’s been consistent for us this year, more so than last year. That’s part of changing our culture and recruiting and just kind of building every year.”

“Meghan’s been consistent for us inside. She’s physical, she finishes, she catches and she doesn’t say a lot. She just lets her performance speak for itself.”

Bri Logan, we all like to write about because of her family ties to Siena. It’s a lot for a freshman point guard to come in and have to learn everything especially with our system because there’s a lot to learn defensively. She’s handled it really well. She’s got a basketball mind and a really high IQ. She’s actually almost better when she stops thinking and just plays because it just comes natural to her. She’s got a chance to be a special payer here.

“Emia’s (Willingham) handled the media attention pretty well. Being from the local area can be a challenge but she’s embraced it. That kid scores. She just finds way to score.”

 

On team captain Tehresa Coles:

“Theresa hasn’t always been the most vocal player that we’ve had. She’s just led by example and her example is just phenomenal day in and day out. There’s nobody, I would challenge no one works as hard as her. Her work ethic and how intense she plays every day, she’s relentless with that. But, she’s needed to be a little bit more vocal and last week in practice we had a moment where she really stepped up and had a few words and that was it in my mind. She had evolved into that person that we need her to be. It’s a process to only be a junior and be named captain but I’ve got full faith I her and I know our team does too.”

 

On the loss of Kate Zarotney to career ending-surgery:

“The loss of Kate is really tough. Kate was quickly one of my favorite players. She’s just a blue collar tough hard-nosed kid. A lot of people don’t realize that by December she didn’t practice. She really couldn’t move her arms much. It’s amazing she did what she did for us. She had a career-ending shoulder surgery. It was her 6th surgery. It’s been really tough for her and it’s been tough as her coach. She’s helping in our marketing department and she’s traveled with us to our scrimmages. She’s an integral part of this team and she’s a big part of our senior class. Having her around is a constant reminder that you just never know. You have to go hard every day you just never know.”

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