2012-13 Charlotte 49ers Women's Basketball Preview

Uploaded by unccharlottevideo on 02.11.2012

>> Ryan Rose
We are talking women's basketball with you here, Charlotte 49ers women's hoops.
This is Ryan Rose, and that's Cara Consuegra, the head coach, welcome back.
>> Cara Consuegra
Thanks, Ryan.
>> Ryan Rose
Year two for you, so kind of a fun time.
And let's talk with some of your seniors.
We've got Jai Forney and Jennifer Hailey, a couple of the seniors.
Now you are on Twitter.
You're one of the few head coaches that's decided, let's just take the plunge, @cconsuegra.
That is a note to you people to go out there and follow @cconsuegra.
Let's talk about that a little bit about your Twitter experience so far.
What are the kinds of things you like to tweet about from your account?
>> Cara Consuegra
Well, I enjoy it, it's a fun way for me to be able to interact with fans, and the community,
and players, and recruits.
So, the whole aspect of it for me is fun, just to have a personal touch.
I really use it to talk about the team, what's going on in our lives.
Yesterday, I tweeted about practice, what's been good, and what we need to work on, and
just to add a personal touch to our program here.
>> Ryan Rose
Kind of a neat thing for people to directly interact with you because, even five, ten
years ago, really, aside from going to events, there was no way to reach out to the coach.
You keep track of your players, they keep track of your account, it's kind of a neat
thing I think, the interaction between fan and the team.
>> Cara Consuegra,
Oh yeah, I agree, that's one of my favorite parts.
When I get a mention, or when somebody direct messages me, or whatever, just being able
to get back to them and talk about what's going on and thank them for their support.
>> Ryan Rose
We've seen a lot about the pre-season boot camp these ladies went through.
I know it is something you instilled last year.
Ladies, let's talk about everything that goes into the last game from last year, last season,
all the way to the opening game against North Carolina Central.
Jai, let's talk about what you've gone through personally since the end of last year, the
things you've decided to work on and improve.
>> Jai Forney
Shooting, ball handling, decision making, be more aggressive, all into one.
>> Ryan Rose
Hopefully that will help the team at large because you're one of the primary ball handlers.
And then we talk about post play, and Jen Hailey, that's what you're known for here
is post play.
We'll talk about the speed and the way you have to play as a big in just a second, but
let's talk about your personal experience since the end of last season.
What sorts of things have you worked on to improve your game and help the team?
>> Jen Hailey
I've been working on free throws.
I was terrible at it last year, but also, I have been working on my footwork, and trying
not to walk so much this year.
>> Ryan Rose
OK. Do we work on her getting fouled, or what can you do to help get yourself to the free
throw line?
>> Cara Consuegra
Well, with Jen I think it just happens naturally because she's so much of a great force in
the paint.
And in practice, we don't really call a lot of fouls for her, to be honest, because we
want her to be able to finish, regardless of if the foul is called or not.
I know sometimes that causes us some frustration, just from her to me, in practice, but we're
trying to get her prepared that regardless, she's going to make the shot, and then if
she ends up at the free throw line, great, let's make sure you've put your time in so
that you're able to knock those shots down.
>> Ryan Rose
Well, hopefully you'll only shoot half as many because it means you're only shooting
one, which means you made the bucket.
Now, not to pick on you at all, I do want to talk about the speed of women's basketball.
In the last ten years, the game has become really fast-paced, which means the centers
have to move, you can't just hang out at one end of the court.
And between you and Amanda Dow, talk about the transition from high school to college
and the speed of the game for you girls that have to play in the paint.
>> Jen Hailey
Well, in high school it was a little slow.
Because I mean, you did what you wanted to do in high school.
But like, in college, its a lot different because its up tempo, everything is moving
fast so you have to be able to move up and down the court.
>> Ryan Rose
That's probably a shock, when you get here and the first practice is run, run, run, run,
When do I get a ball?
When am I going to lay it up?
But, for players like Jai, you've got to have those people in front of you when you're directing
In transition, that's probably the most fun for you, is to watch these big girls fly by,
catch, lay up, boom, we're going back to play defense.
>> Jai Forney
If she do that, then I don't really have to do much.
I just look up and oh, there's Jen, just throw the ball, now she's going to finish.
>> Ryan Rose
Now let's talk a little bit about the pre-season, and camps, and getting the team ready.
People think basketball just starts in November and it ends in April, but not true for a team
like this, working out constantly year-round.
Boot camp, training camp, let's talk about all the things that go into getting ready
for a season.
>> Cara Consuegra
Well, we really had a frank conversation when our season ended.
We got together in April as a group, and this was prior to our freshmen joining us this
year, and talked about where we want to be next season, what our expectations are, and
that needed to start today, not back in April.
And I think that this group really has embraced that.
They had a really good spring, where we worked on a lot of different things, but certainly,
getting stronger in the weight room and some different fundamental flaws that we saw in
our game as a whole last year.
They had a tremendous summer.
I think they worked very hard as a group, which was exciting for me and my coaching
And then this fall, again that has really continued.
There is an urgency to this group, which is exciting, and I have to credit these two to
my left and certainly Amanda Dow, another one of our seniors, for part of that.
We have a senior group that wants to go out on a very high note.
They want to do very well.
And they brought that urgency with them to every workout, all the time, and you can feel
that, and it is trickling down among the team.
So it's been exciting.
>> Ryan Rose
Well, let's talk about the freshmen, too.
I want to get your evaluation on the newcomers as you guys have worked, those girls had to
come in kind of ready to fit in and boom, we're going.
And Jai, what can you say about the young players on the team and their improvement
since they've gotten here?
>> Jai Forney
Well, personally, I'm excited because I've seen where they came from when they first
got here to where they are now.
I mean, like she said, they see our urgency, they're watching, they're learning, and it's
just exciting, because I see where you at and I know we can go, so it's exciting.
>> Ryan Rose
Isn't it strange, though, if you think back to the first day back when you got here, to
today? Now, there are no more older players to look up to?
Jen, you being one of the players that now, you're kind of the coach on the floor or the
older player that they're looking up to?
Is that kind of strange?
>> Jen Hailey
Yeah, it is, because when I first got here, I had other people to look up to and now I've
got people looking up to me.
So, it feels weird, but it's a good thing.
>> Ryan Rose
Leadership is a strange thing, you don't know when you get here if you've got it within
Some players, they start leading as freshmen or sophomores, some players it comes out late.
That's probably got to be the biggest challenge as a coach, is to find who those leaders are,
identify them, and have them help the team mature through the course of the year, it's
got to be the toughest thing for you.
>> Cara Consuegra
Absolutely, it's crucial, it's crucial to any team, and certainly when you talk about
leadership, senior leadership is essential.
And like I said, I couldn't be more pleased with these two that I have with me.
But again, we started working on it back in April.
It's not something that you can just turn on and off.
Right now, we can't expect Jen and Jai all of a sudden because they're seniors to know
how to lead.
They've got to want it, which they do, but at the same time it is our responsibility
as coaches to help them with that.
And so we have formed a leadership council on our team, which includes our three seniors,
plus two of our point guards, Ny Hammonds and Ayanna Holmes.
And the five of us, we meet, and we talk about what does it mean to be a leader?
What is your role going to be?
When do you need to step up?
When do you need to back off?
What do you need to say, and how do you need to say it?
And different ways of just teaching them what it takes to be a great leader.
And I think that we've really seen the fruits of that so far.
So that's exciting.
>> Ryan Rose
Let's talk about your second year.
Let's start from this point and reverse back all the way to when you got here in April.
What kind of things did you learn last season about yourself that you didn't know that might
be helpful for you here in year two?
>> Cara Consuegra
Well certainly, year one is a learning year all the way around, and I think I learned
a lot about myself as a person.
I just want to be the most consistent coach that I can, both off the court and on the
I want my players to always know where I stand, who I am, and just working through the first
year of that, and getting them to get to know me.
Even though on the court I might be a little more intense than I am off the court.
That's really important to me and I learned that as I went.
Another really big thing I learned was to just be patient.
I think when you become a first year coach, you want them to know everything all at once,
right away.
And to be able to understand what we want and execute it on the court, and it takes
You have to be patient.
You have to be able to change your teaching sometimes to be able to reach players differently.
And that's something that I'd say was maybe the biggest thing that I learned, that patience
is okay and if they don't understand it right away, that's okay, it takes time, and eventually
you'll get there.
>> Ryan Rose
Now, one important thing for you coming into a new program with players that you didn't
recruit that you kind of have to recruit your own team to start or you have to learn them
first, is them buying into what you want to do.
Also important is turning over a staff, you've had a few people that were here so they've
had familiar faces they could identify with.
How important was it for those upperclassmen, those junior last year, and seniors, to buy
into what you were trying to sell them and you guys getting onto the same page together
>> Cara Consuegra
It's absolutely crucial to any team.
It doesn't matter if you're in your first year or your tenth year.
If you don't have your best players, or if you don't have your seniors buying into what
you're doing, it makes for a very difficult year.
So, I couldn't be more excited about the group that we have right now, the senior group we
have, Jai, Jen, and Amanda Dow, the three of them have just taken off and embraced our
coaching staff.
And we've had over a year now together, to build on our relationships together which
is really important with that buy in.
You have to feel trust, and you have to feel comfort with each other that we were still
working through last year.
So, to be kind of past that and have the relationships that we want to have, that's exciting for
>> Ryan Rose
Is it important, ladies, for expectations coming into this year, knowing kind of what
Coach expects from you and what you can expect from her?
That whole getting used to one another period being behind you?
Do you think that helps coming into this year, Jai, as far as being ready for this year and
working towards the same goals?
>> Jai Forney
I think it takes a little stress out of you.
In the beginning it's like I don't know what you expect.
But know I know exactly what you expect, and I should have no problem doing it.
>> Ryan Rose
Jen, does that make it easier this year having all that getting used to one another period
over with as well for you and the upperclassmen to kind of know what Coach expects from you
and what you can expect from her?
>> Jen Hailey
Yeah, it makes me feel a lot comfortable, just like Jai said.
It was kind of like, you didn't know what to expect last year, and know you're coming
in this year knowing what Coach wants this year.
So yeah, I feel a lot comfortable coming in this year.
>> Ryan Rose
All right, so let's get ready for this year. It's 2012-13, its these ladies' last go round
and you've got a pretty challenging schedule.
What's great about it is there aren't really long stretches or periods away from home.
You don't have a lot of long home stands, either.
You get those periods where road, home, road, home, so you don't have to be away from Halton
Arena for long stretches of time.
Let's talk about this year's schedule and the challenges that are laid out for you.
>> Cara Consuegra
We're excited about how the schedule came together.
Every year, our goal is to try to put together a schedule that will help prepare us for post
season play and certainly that's our goal.
To be able to make our eleventh straight post season, to be able to content for an A-10
We're excited about the non-conference, we think we have a great challenge and a great
balance to prepare us for the A-10 and then certainly going into the A-10, being our last
year in the league.
We want to do really well.
And I know it's important to these seniors, I know it's important to our team to leave
a mark as we move from this conference to the next.
So, you know, it's still going to take a lot of work.
Like we've said, it's a marathon not a sprint.
And every day, our goal in practice is to get better that day and by the end of the
week we should feel better after that week.
And so on, and so on.
So hopefully we'll get to March and you'll see the fruit of all of our labor.
>> Ryan Rose
Constant pressure, constant building towards the end of the year.
I know you ladies have found a lot of success in the last three years here in Charlotte,
some post season trips as well.
We wish you nothing but the best for a fourth post season trip for you and the eleventh
for the program.
Thanks a lot for the time, I know it's hard to get you off the court for a half hour but
we do appreciate you coming in and sitting with us.
Best of health to you.
And good luck here in year two for you and let's leave a mark on the A-10.
Let's make it memorable.
Coach Consuegra, thanks very much for the time. I appreciate it.
And good luck to two of our seniors, Jai Forney and Jen Hailey.
Best of health to you as well.
We like to see you out on the court at the end of the year, too.
Let's get into March.
That should be fun.
Let's get Halton Arena rocking.
The first home game is Saturday, the tenth, against North Carolina Central, and you can
keep up with us online at triple w dot charlotte49ers dot com.
Hey if you're a Twitter fan go to @cconsuegra, build up her Twitter followers, and we'll
be tweeting out @charlotte49ers as well.
I'm Ryan Rose, thanks for joining us, we'll see you in Halton Arena this year.
That's our women's basketball closer look.
Thanks for watching.