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October 11, 2022

Felicia Legette-Jack

Dyaisha Fair

Teisha Hyman

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Syracuse Orange

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome home, honestly. Going back to your alma mater and first season at Syracuse. All of the accomplishments you've already proven to be worthy of this job. It's really cool to see you in this chair and back in this conference. It's really awesome.

FELICIA LEGETTE-JACK: Thank you so much. Good to be home.

THE MODERATOR: Yeah. Also with us, we have Teisha Hyman and we also have Dyaisha. I'll jump right into it. I know you've been asked this question 100 times, and I'll ask it for the 101st. Taking this job, I know it was almost a no-brainer and your dream job, but how everything fell into place to be the right time for you to come back home.

FELICIA LEGETTE-JACK: It's a God Wink honestly. I read a book called God Wink, and when things just organically happens, it just happens.

Obviously every kid wants to go back and coach at their alma mater, but if you look at my past, every job I've received has been a job where there's turmoil. Indiana's head coaching job, third coach in three years.

The opportunity to leave after year one was turned down because I wanted to change what people saw in Indiana. I think we've accomplished that.

My next job -- another job that I had was Hofstra. Hofstra was a job that quite honestly not a lot of people want. They closed the search for that, but my dad passed away right in the middle of the interviewing process, and I knew that I wanted to get closer to my mom and I wanted to go somewhere in the state of New York, and Albany and Hofstra were the only two schools available, and both of them were in serious need for somebody to come in and ignite some energy.

Hofstra just called first. I tried to get back home to Syracuse. This was my third opportunity to try to interview for the Syracuse job. The first two times, Syracuse was rocking and rolling and things was going great. But for some reason on the third try, it was a program that was in turmoil, if you will, from grace to shame, if you will.

It's a perfect place for me at this time where I could go back to my alma mater and help heal what's been done. Some great things have been done at Syracuse, but right now it needs that healing potion, and I pray that I can bring it.

THE MODERATOR: Oh, man, I like that, healing potion. Send me some when you get a moment. You also said God Wink. Is that the book that you said?


THE MODERATOR: Then you brought over obviously one of the most prolific scorers in the nation, over from Buffalo as well, Dyaisha Fair. What's this been like for you in the transition and the trust in Coach that you continue to be challenged by her in your career?

DYAISHA FAIR: It's been quite a roller coaster, although it's been fun at the same time. Seeing that I'm here with her now shows who he is as a coach. It's bigger than the game of basketball with her, and that's something that she instilled in me as a freshman, and here I am as a senior still trusting and going through the process of what life will bring.

THE MODERATOR: If you don't mind, I think one of the greatest examples is someone who has already been through the experience. So for you to be able to come over with Coach and obviously be in the locker room and you have the question of like what type of coach is this, and you can live it, what is that message to the rest of the locker room?

DYAISHA FAIR: I just tell them to try her. Just try. We all come from different places because, of course, the program is going -- well, went through the rebuilding process of making a whole new team. So I just tell them that it's okay. It's okay to try her. It's okay to just try because I've been there.

Like I know what it's like to not trust someone or come from anything that was broken. Then you have a new face in front of you to try to figure it out. So I just tell them to just try her.

THE MODERATOR: Teisha Hyman, we were just talking about you being back on the floor. Just an update with you and how your body feels, how the knee is feeling, what's that like? What's that journey back to the court for you?

TEISHA HYMAN: It's been long, but enjoyed every step of the way. Each step taught me something about basketball. It taught me about myself as well. Last year, my first year being on the court after an injury, I was grateful. It felt great.

Updating-wise now, my knee's better. So I think this year is going to be part two of last year and better.

THE MODERATOR: 2.0; this is going to be special. The lone returning starter from last season, so with that comes that experience as well. There were a couple of games where you guys were in and I was able to cover you. I hope no one's here right now, but even seeing you guys at Pitt, it was just this fight that was already instilled.

It wasn't anything you saw in the record, it was like the pieces that you had. You being a part of that, what do you think that you can build from with the pieces that are already established? And obviously the new coaching philosophy.

TEISHA HYMAN: I think we can continue building on our fight. I mean, Coach Jack, she's a great coach, and we have great players as well. Bringing the fight in a whole new atmosphere, I don't think there's nothing we can't do.

THE MODERATOR: Just having that All-ACC honorable mention nod, how did that make you feel?

TEISHA HYMAN: Honestly, I was grateful to have it, but I felt as if I was overlooked. So I'll just take that to the gym, and I'll just keep working.

THE MODERATOR: Seems like we've got a lot of work. Everybody says we've got to work, we've got to trust the process. What's the first step for you when you get on campus and you see the pieces that you have? What's the priority for you or the first thing that you want to make sure that you establish for this program?

FELICIA LEGETTE-JACK: The first thing I did when I got to Syracuse is the people that were there, there's a lot more that were there; and a lot of them started to leave. Before they left, I just said, I apologize. I apologize for the bad part of your experience, but I don't apologize for you coming to Syracuse, which is to me the best school in the country, arguably the world.

It's where I had the most fun and the most accomplishments. So I'm sorry that you went through some of the bad stuff, and I pray that you can heal and become wherever you decide to go.

Then I had to figure out who to bring to help support the four young ladies that decided to stay, and we went to work. We had to go to work alone because we couldn't bring any staff on because of the policy at Syracuse didn't allow me to bring anybody in for three weeks.

So timing was essential. So we got on the phone. We got on two phones at one time, and sleeping wasn't a possibility. I was doing 17, 18 hours a day. I just said that just because the timing is terrible, we've got to finish the job. We've got to get people in here.

Having somebody like Teisha Hyman saying I'm going to give you a chance. I'm not certain if I trust you yet, but I'm going to give you a chance because I love what I'm majoring in at this school, I love the school.

I don't know you. My favorite coach isn't here anymore, and I get that piece, and I honor that. I honor her truth. Every day I get there and I try to work towards helping them know who I am and prayerfully allow them to trust me enough to give the best effort for their own dreams.

THE MODERATOR: Right here on the stage saying, okay, it's time to put in some work. When you're looking at the pieces, what exactly do you feel like this team can be under your tenure?

FELICIA LEGETTE-JACK: What's the highest we think we can do? I don't dream small. Every time I don't win a national title I'm shocked because that's why you play the game, right? You play the game to win. Not to win because you're supposed to be the best coach and you've got the best players. We play for something different.

We play for this thing that -- a story that no one knows about, the personal things that go on in my family and her family and her family and all the rest of them.

No one really cares about your story until you seize the crowd and they have to listen and you make them care. So that's what that last game does. Like you're the only thing that's happening there.

So our goal is very high, what we fall on, and I don't know, but every moment we practice, we practice to win a national title every single day.

Even outside of practice I'm always sending them texts and things that's always emotionally charged, passionately driven, prayerfully that one day they can stand there alone and tell their story.

THE MODERATOR: I was going back in my mind, and I wasn't going to bring it up, but knowing the type of person you are -- I ended up at Florida State, but being able to see your face and the passion that you had even going into each step of your journey, it's incredible to see the impact that you've made, and it seems like you're one of those player coaches.

So I want to go to you, just when you know how you can be challenged by her and what that looks like. I know the phrase. The team is the extension of the coach. So what does that look like for you guys this season?

DYAISHA FAIR: That's funny you ask. In practice it's like she knows like how to push my buttons, so it's like when I know what she's doing I know how to respond or what to do to respond accordingly or properly.

So I mean, if she's saying certain things or being a certain way it's for a reason, and the reason is you're better than that or you can do more than that.

So that's just the best way I would answer that.

THE MODERATOR: I like that. Then my final question for you two. You talked about just being overlooked. Can you walk us through the amount of work that you put in this off-season to make sure that doesn't happen again?

TEISHA HYMAN: Coach Jack helped us out. She made us make 400 shots a day. So once I got started on that, I'm in the gym -- I mean, even before I'm staying after to get shots up, or I'm always going to find time to just get shots up, just kind of reminding myself that what you did last year is not good enough. You've got to do more. So whatever it takes.

Once I got into the flow shooting 400 shots a day, it was like, okay, let me do 500. Let me do 1,000. Let me do some combo moves. Forget the shooting. I just want more and more and more.

THE MODERATOR: I don't know, that sounds good. We got to wrap things up, we've got to wrap things up, but it's funny how the basketball world is so small. We talked about all the newbies in this conference. Coach Maks is one of them. You mentioned just crossing paths with her once again.

What has that relationship been between the two of you, and what's it going to be like seeing her on the other side in a few of the games?

FELICIA LEGETTE-JACK: Before we get to that, I need to say a little bit about Teisha. We know how great Dyaisha here is. Everyone was telling me I need to keep certain players. The one kid I wanted to keep because I know the belly passion she has was Teisha Hyman. I walk through these hallways and no one even knows her name. Her colleagues have no idea, oh, you're Teisha Hyman?

I'm just really am excited about being able to work with somebody like her because she's ready to emerge, and I'm ready to make certain she emerges. I'm going to remind her every day about what her journey is about and how gifted she is.

I'll say I think we've got one of the best one-two punches in the conference and arguably in the country, and that's because Teisha Hyman decided to stay. I'm humbled and grateful that we're going on this journey together.

Amaka Agugua was a former player of mine at Hofstra. She liked to get on me. I worked her hard. There was one video, let's reenact the practice. I'm like, you know what? You've got to grow up, all right? Hurry up. Let me see what you are going to do.

She always had that maturity about herself, understanding what we're doing. 94 feet is that player's dream is in the balance, and we've got to make certain we do everything in these two hours to make it happen.

But after it's over, I'm fine, I'm silly. She wanted to come with me when I took the job at Indiana, but I asked her to go get different experience and she ended up going to VCU to get her graduate degree. And then she came and worked with me at Indiana for a little bit.

Most competitive person I've met. Most organized coach I've ever seen. To meet Amaka Agugua, it's very hard to say no to her. It's going to be a hard day when every day we play against each other. That's what I wouldn't want to do is play against my former players.

But it is what it is. It's the ACC. At the end of the day, we're going to put in blood, and no matter what happens, you're going to give me a hug, and we'll love each other through the process.

THE MODERATOR: We'll make sure we circle that one on the calendar.

FELICIA LEGETTE-JACK: You know, you're not fair.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much for your time. Our eyes are on you for sure. Welcome to the ACC. Coach, thank you so much. Welcome back home.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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