Recapping the Women's Basketball Midseason Media Teleconference

Published by Hope Schwartz on January 16, 2013 at 10:33PM

Ivy League basketball hosted a midseason teleconference last week with each head coach speaking about the state of their teams going into conference play. The Back Page brings you the most interesting and relevant statements by each coach.


Yale coach Chris Gobrecht on freshman stepping up because of injuries:

“The biggest thing for us has just been bringing our freshman up to speed and getting our team healthy. We have not been a whole team yet this year.… We have a way that we play that is a very fast, very aggressive game, and it’s not an easy thing for a freshman to jump right in and play it. There’s nothing conventional about what we do, so it takes a while to catch on.”

Princeton coach Courtney Banghart on guard Lauren Polanski’s return from injury and how it will affect playing time for the team’s other guards:

“She’s cleared, we’re just being conservative. We’re gaining valuable experience for other kids, and now that the league is here, she’s ready to get after it.… We’re better when we have more players healthy, so having [Polanski] back as the two-time reigning defensive player of the year—who’s quite disruptive and probably our best rebounder—will help us. We’ll get minutes for the kids who have earned it and the kids who help us win. My goal is to help the team win, not get any individual her highlight.”


Penn coach Mike McLaughlin on overcoming a bad start:

“We opened the season and didn’t play that well our first time out. Then we bounced back against a good Virginia team at home, and although we came up short on the scoreboard, I did think we did some unbelievable things there…. We were involved in a lot of close games, and we were fortunate enough to win most of the ones we were in there. I think our confidence level is pretty good.”


Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith on replacing Brogan Berry:

“We added some new young players to our system and I have always believed that it takes time for that to come together, and I'm more than happy with how quickly they're growing and improving every day, every game… Ali Curtis, basically a freshman because she didn't play at all last year, is our starting point guard and had to fill Brogan Berry's shoes, and I feel those are big shoes to fill. She's doing a great job and I'm surprised and actually thrilled with how quickly she's come in and led this team at the point for such a young player.”


Dartmouth coach Chris Wielgus on her only senior, captain Faziah Steen:

“She just works so hard on her game. She’s so gentle and good with the young kids. She takes them under her wing. She’s worked very hard on her game in the offseason. She’s pretty much a standstill shooter, she can get herself to the rim now, she does a great job for us on the defensive end, and she’s overcome a lot of adversity herself. She’s had numerous surgeries. It’s her senior year and she’s as healthy as she’s ever been. We’re real pleased with her.”


Cornell coach Dayna Smith on improving the backcourt’s consistency:

“We need to improve upon our consistency. I think that’s the thing our staff has been most disappointed in is just staying at a more consistent level game in and game out. But we’re making great strides and just excited for the opportunity to begin the Ivy League season.…

Our trio of guards has to step up and be more consistent with shooting, Shelby Lyman, Stephanie Long, and Taylor Flynn. We have games they’re on fire or two of three of them can really knock shots down, and it opens things up a little bit inside…. We just have to get more consistent with the three of them, and they’re all very, very capable of doing that.”


Columbia coach Paul Nixon on the Lions’ 2-12 record:

“On paper right now the general public might not think that we’re a very good team, but I can assure you that the young women in our locker room and the staff know that the opinion that really matters is the one in our locker room. We don’t just believe, we know we’re a good basketball team, and we’ve shown that at a number of different points this season. We’ve played a number of games that we haven’t been able to quite pull out down the stretch, but we’ve gained some valuable experience.”


Brown coach Jean Marie Burr on the start of conference play:

“We’re going through a tough patch coming off the Holy Cross game…. It’s nice for us to feel the pain of that and then watch them in practice [last Thursday] come back and work so hard. So, going into Ivy play is exciting. Back-to-back play makes it a tournament weekend every weekend….  I have players—every single one of them on my team—who have a passion for putting Brown across their chest, playing the game, and they’re just really competitive. When I have a group that I’m working with like that, I have to be excited, not just for Ivy League play but for the next game or the next practice.”