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October 29, 2009

Jolette Law


JOLETTE LAW: I'm just excited about this year. I finally have a team with more than eight or nine players on the roster. I have a team of 14, and just excited about getting this year started.
I think our Big Ten Conference is going to be extremely competitive, and I'm just happy that the University of Illinois will be in the hunt, try to make this conference -- represent this conference in a first-class manner.

Q. Just talk about your freshman class and what kind of impact you expect from them and what kind of impact they need to have this season.
JOLETTE LAW: I mean, my freshman class is extremely talented. Destiny Williams, most people know a lot about her, she played for the USA team this summer. She's extremely talented. But my other five kids, Karisma Penn is playing extremely well right now. She's coming along. She's probably one of the ones that's really surprising me the most right now.
Adrienne Godbold from Illinois, she's playing extremely well right now, getting better each and every day. Expect a lot of great players from her.
Kersten Magrum, another young lady from Illinois. She's playing extremely well. She'll probably play a lot of significant minutes. I'm trying to put her in the inside and outside, get her started, moving her more to the guard spot.
Brianna Jones, another 6'3", 6'2" lefty, playing extremely well on the inside, challenging Jenna Smith day in and day out.
And I have another young lady, a phenomenal shooter in Amber Moore, who has been the most consistent shooter along with Macie Blinn, and that's what much needed from our team last year, someone to open things up a little bit more, and I know Amber Moore will do a great job for us this year.

Q. How is Destiny Williams' experience on the national team helped her develop coming in as a freshman?
JOLETTE LAW: I just think that going overseas and playing with other top players this summer, her experience has been a blessing in disguise this year at practice. She's raised the bar a little bit, challenging everyone to go harder. She had an opportunity to play with some young ladies that already had college experience, so just being over there getting that experience this summer really helped her transition going from high school to college. She had a little bit more experience this summer to play with some more experienced players.

Q. It's one thing to recruit all these kids, but who do you lean on to sort of help guide you to have this many young players, being a young coach yourself?
JOLETTE LAW: Definitely my staff. I have Lisa Cermignano, who's been an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, came off an Elite 8. She's been phenomenal. Patrick Klein has been with me for three years. He's been experienced. Also I lean on my seniors, Jenna Smith, Lacey Simpson and Whitney Toone have been extremely great leaders. And with any team if you have great senior leadership, you probably have a great team. And I can say that Jenna Smith, Lacey Simpson and Whitney Toone have been great role models and have set the tone for these young people.
Also the experience of my returning starters, Fabiola Josli played 40, Macie Blinn played 40 minutes, Lydia McCully played 40 minutes. So they played the fourth toughest schedule last year. Our record didn't indicate but they got better. I can see that their growth from last year to this year has been phenomenal. I really have eight leaders that are helping pull along those young freshmen.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about the competitiveness that is going to be brought about by the Big Ten Conference, especially when you have top three teams, Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State on the road this season?
JOLETTE LAW: It's going to be extremely competitive. I mean, even down from -- look at Ohio State, you look at Purdue, you look at Minnesota, from top to bottom, I just think that our conference is extremely competitive. I mean, Penn State, they also had a great recruiting class and have some great players returning. It's going to be very competitive this year. Each and every game we've got to bring our "A" game for every game in conference. We're probably one of the strongest conferences in the country and we're definitely going to try to let that be known this year.

Q. Do you think your freshman class will be able to make an impact right away?
JOLETTE LAW: Right now I'm sure they will make an impact right away. We're going to play -- if I can play all 14 players, I will. That's the tempo that I want to play, press 94 feet, be able to just get in the face and play the style that I want to play. All 14 players will play. I'm constantly challenging my freshmen, "You're not going to be freshmen. You've got to come in, learn as much as you can and make your mistakes while you're on the floor." Definitely I know that they will definitely make an impact this year.

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