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October 20, 2005

Claire Coggins

Twiggy McIntyre

Deb Patterson


COACH DEB PATTERSON: On my left is Claire Coggins from Lee's Summit, Missouri. To her left is Twiggy McIntyre from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Both of these young ladies are returners to our program. We're looking forward to a new, fresh and exciting transition year in our program with a great deal of youth and players like Twiggy and Claire, who we hope will step in and make significant contributions.

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. How different will this team be this year and what will it look like?

COACH DEB PATTERSON: It will look extremely different because of the familiarity that everyone has had with the core starting unit we have had on the floor for three or four years. I think we'll be significantly more liberal in a number of players that we play that will be significant difference. We'll be significantly younger and I think for a lot of our fans and for people that follow our program, it will be a real learning curve, people will be learning about the individual games of each of these new players. And I think you will also see a basketball team that's relatively inexperienced with respect to the roles and how they play with one another. So across the board I guess would you just say it's like a brand-new painting, so to speak. Nothing would be extremely familiar to what people have seen before.

Q. You guys are now in leadership roles that are very different. You had this established big 4 and then big 3 last year. Now they are all gone. What does that mean to you, especially with four freshmen who I think, are probably going to play a lot but are going to need a lot of guidance. Talk about how you can provide that.

TWIGGY McIINTYRE: Personally I just find this experience to be very exciting. Like Coach said, it's just a new year. Everything is going to be different. I am just excited for the students that I have been given and all my fellow teammates as well as the new freshmen coming in. We lost a lot of talent this outgoing year but we also received a lot of talent. I am just confident that this team can still continue on the winning legacy that Coach Patterson has established at K. State.

CLAIRE COGGINS: I feel the same. I feel as though we came in to K. C. having the big 4, having last year with the big 3 here. Now, our freshmen are coming in and seeing us play and they really are coming in with nothing to lose. All of them coming in, they fight so hard every day and I think that I am confident with our team and our abilities and just like Twiggy said, I think we'll continue on and still be a great team and a great program.

Q. Following that up, people on the outside might say oh, wow, how can Kansas State rebound? Is it different or refreshing in some ways, you have -- you reidentify yourself this year and especially with you two, and Jessica being an upperclass person this is more a team you can put a stamp on and also just the energy that the 18-year-olds are bringing into the program?

CLAIRE COGGINS: It's really fun to reidentify ourselves. It's kind of like we don't have anyone really to fall back on. We don't have and All-American on our team that we can say, oh, well, they are going to take that big shot, whatever. I think that the progress and the winning that we do have and that we'll have this season is going to be that much more special because we are going to really have to work hard and fight to get it. I think that we're really up for that challenge.

TWIGGY McIINTYRE: Agree with Claire. I think this season is just going to really show how much of a team sport basketball is, especially at Kansas State, every single, solitary person on that team, from freshmen to senior, is going to have to bring it every single day. We're just going to have to be a totally unified team this season.

Q. Talk about what you have seen so far, is there a player on this team that's going to surprise people? If you can just each pick one person out and who that person is and why.

CLAIRE COGGINS: For our fans I think that I am not going to pick just one person because I mean, our team is so diverse in everything. I think honestly I will pick the freshmen as a whole, all four of them. They bring such intensity to each practice. Every time they are on the floor they are so heads did you with Coach Patterson says all the rest of our coach, even us, they are ready to learn and ready to fight. I think that that's very encouraging to see and it's very refreshing and it's just awesome to see four young girls come in the gym just eager. I think that's going to stand out to people. It stands out to me.

TWIGGY McIINTYRE: I agree with that (laughter). I can't pick a favorite player, someone I think is going to be the star of the season. I mean, to be -- I don't think we're going to have that this season. That's going to be just amazing experience. Like I said, it's going to be a team. But, yeah, like Claire said, this freshman class we have coming in just amazing, amazing. Amazing talent coming into practice every day just eager to learn and they are just open to any advice that we can give and just so in tune with our coaches. I am excited to step on the floor with them this season.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what we're going to see from K. State? Claire returns, I guess you are the leading returning scorer and has a game where she can create her own shot a lot of times and take it to the basket. We don't know much about these kids, what they can bring. Give us a run down on that?

COACH DEB PATTERSON: I think more so than in the recent past, what we will see from our basketball team is a lot of variety from every individual, even night to night. In the past three years what we have had is Laurie Koehn who is going to shoot 3s, you knew she'd make 50% of them from Venus. And Kendra Wecker was going to get X number of points every night she stepped on the floor. They were going to be jump shots, rebound put-backs and occasional three and transition baskets. Megan Mahoney was going to be more of a creator but when you saw her score it was going to be off the dribble. Occasionally she would have a hot night from the floor. As I look at this year's team what I see is a lot of diversity night to night, game to game, day-to-day with how these players are productive. We don't necessarily have players in the gym right now that have what I would call go-to elements of their game. This is more of a team that you will see score in a variety of ways. I don't think we'll depend on any one player to fill any one roll. So the challenge will be for us to be very efficient, very productive, to take care of the basketball, to play, as these ladies have alluded to, as a team. Find a way to create the best shot, not necessarily for a person, but for our team, that given possession. A lot of that will depend on matchups, you know, what does any given opponent give us, where could they put their attention and how does that open up opportunities for us as a team. JoAnn Hamlin, big strong physical presence. Shana Wheeler, obviously has improved a great deal with her offensive game and brings athleticism to our front-line that neither Jessica McFarland or Hamlin can match. Jessica McFarland brings that size and strength dimension. Danielle Zanotti is a player that makes everyone else on the basketball floor better. She's excellent at the intangibles. She's a good rebounder. Has good size in the wing. Kimberly Dietz can score off the dribble and also has a good 3-point shot off the move and can get to the rim. Shalee Lehning, like a Megan Mahoney, tends to be more of a creator and someone that brings a great deal of speed to our full and half-court game. But will tend probably to score more at the rim than in any other fashion. Marlies Gipson is an undersized player that will remind you of that four player that can stretch the floor some and is a dynamic presence in the paint. Brings a little bit of power there, but is undersized so she can face up and attack from the high post and sometimes stretch the defense out around the 3 point line. So I think adding those elements to the mix, and Carolyn McCullough, who I think, you know, brings the ability to stretch the defense as a primarily a spot-up three-point shooter, and has good size on the wing, I think all of those are aspects of the game that we'll rely on. From night to night, we may see different people emerge and different combinations emerge that are successful for us.

Q. Along the same lines what I asked earlier, but I think it's fair to say a lot of people aren't expecting a lot from K. State this year, especially people who are not familiar with your freshmen or less familiar with you two. Is that kind of a challenge that perks you guys up some that for lack of a better way to put it you have something to prove this year?

TWIGGY McIINTYRE: I personally don't, you know, look at rankings or even consider things of that fashion. We play in the Big 12 conference, any team from number 1 to number 12 can step up, have a surprise game, surprise night, so I personally don't tend to pay attention to rankings. I have advised our freshman class to do the same also. But we realize what we have lost, but we also realize what we have gained as a team. Our expectations haven't changed. We still expect to win as many games as possible.

CLAIRE COGGINS: I feel the same way as Twiggy does. It doesn't matter what people expect. People don't affect our team in any way, shape or form. It's our team that has to come together and we're not proving anything to anyone. We're proving things to ourselves and to our opponents. I think that -- I don't think any of us look at rankings and -- I mean, obviously, to be ranked number 1 it's an honor, but it's not something that it's a preseason pick anyway, you know, I mean we got the whole season to go. I think we're all just eager and excited to get going.

End of FastScripts...

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