Nov. 3, 2013
COACH BLUDER: It was a really nice first effort out on the floor for us today. We did a lot of good things, and we stuck to the game plan. Melissa scored six points in 30 seconds, so that's what we had drawn up and it worked out really well for us.
Our team had a lot of fun. We played with a lot of energy today, and pushed the ball well. We also shot the ball well, and shared the ball extremely well. Time after time I saw our team passing the ball for just a little bit better shot, and that is exactly what we want them to do; 26 assists on 36 goals is very good. So happy with the way we came out on the first day, but excited for Friday against Cal Riverside.
Q. What were you most interested to find out today in this exhibition?
COACH BLUDER: Well, I guess to see how Ally and Alexa would do in their starting positions as freshmen coming in for the first time, We we're working with the four position. They all brought something different. Kali, Claire and Ally all brought something different at the four. That's good for us. Then, Nicole went out early and that's unfortunate because we need her on the inside, so she didn't get the minutes that we'd liked for her to get today.
Q. How important was it establishing a (No Microphone)?
COACH BLUDER: We've been working really hard on our fast breaks since the first practice in June, and that's something that we really want to do. The team enjoys playing that way. I think the fans like watching us play that way. We're going to have a few more turnovers. Whenever you push like that, you're going to have more turnovers, but that's something that you're just going to have to live with and live through and grow from. I think we started establishing that today.
Q. Coach, you mentioned rebounding was something last year that kind of you wanted to work on. Today you did win the rebounding battle, but they had 15 offensive boards? COACH BLUDER: Too many, yeah. We gave up too many offensive boards. We need to be more physical on the box out and we'll work on it tomorrow in practice.
Q. Was pulling Nicole out more of a cautionary thing?
COACH BLUDER: No, we had a doctor look at her, and they feel that her knee could not go any more today. So they'll evaluate it more, have X rays tomorrow and we'll see where it goes.
Q. Coach, I don't know how many teams are going to play you zone this year, but how nice was it to have a shooter that could almost single handedly break from out of the zone?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, 4-for-5 from three point range (for Melissa Dixon), and you have Claire Till coming out and hitting 2-for-3 from three point range as well. When your five is hitting like that as well from outside, that really opens things up.
Q. You guys actually pressed the zone for a period of time. Was that something you plan to do a lot or was that testing out the waters?
COACH BLUDER: No, we plan on having to do that a lot. With our lack of height and lack of numbers, we're going to have to play a little more zone, I think, especially with the rule enforcement this year. So it's something that we need to do a good job with, and I thought we did. I thought our zone was pretty good today.
Q. Coach, how important is that to get Melissa into those types of areas? Is there anything else there for all your shooters?
COACH BLUDER: Melissa is key for us in all of those situations. I think she's key for us in out of bounds situations, and key for us in our fast break. We want to have kind of a dual threat with Theairra and Melissa. We have that, and I think we find her well on offensive rebounds as well and getting the ball back out to her.
Q. You had one of the greatest Hawkeyes on the opposing bench. What's that mean to you that she's pursuing coaching?
COACH BLUDER: It's really neat. Kachine was a great player for us, no doubt. One of the best Hawkeyes ever, probably the best rebounding guard in the country when she was here. It's great to see her going in to coaching. I love to see our young women go on into this career. It's a wonderful career.
I'm glad that they enjoy their experience so much that they want to continue in basketball and continue giving back to the game.
Kachine will do a great job of that. Kachine always had a tremendous basketball mind. She loved learning about the game. She's going to be a tremendous coach.
Q. Coach, you talked about the rule changes. In terms of the contact rule, now a knowing how they're going to call it, what is your reaction on how that rule will be effective?
COACH BLUDER: I don't know that we can tell from one game. The problem with this game is you have three different officials each game. Typically they rotate every game, so next game could be called totally different. So that is the one problem, I think, with basketball is the subjectiveness of the officiating.
I thought we did a good job of making adjustments. We have to do a different job of subbing, in my opinion, and I think we worked with that today. It's just we didn't have any ten second backboard violations by either team. That is a big rule change for us. But it's really the rule enforcement of the rules that we have to adjust to. It's going to be a continual effort.