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October 29, 2009

Felisha Legette-Jack


FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK: We're just excited to be a part, again. We're definitely a very young team, and this will be our ultimate challenge, to go out there and compete and represent Indiana University the best way we know how. But it's exciting to know that Jori Davis and Jamie Braun are back and healthy and ready to lead our team to hopefully newfound heights.

Q. Great crowds at Assembly Hall last year. How much did that help your team?
FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK: Well, we've been trying to grow our fan base every year, and our young ladies get out in the community all the time. Just last night our young ladies were over at the sorority and fraternity row handing out candy for trick or treaters, early trick or treat they called it. So about 2,000 kids were there. We're getting out there in the school system and letting you know we want to meet you where you are, and hopefully you'll find it worthy enough to come and support our young ladies.
Our Hoosier nation has responded. Our attendance has gotten better every year. We are not where we want to be but we are certainly better than where we were. So we're encouraged. We're going to keep playing, and hopefully they keep coming.

Q. Talk about some of the newcomers on this team that you hope to contribute as freshmen.
FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK: Well, that's the entire team. We're all very new, even the people that are juniors and sophomores because they didn't play. We lost three starters. But who's back is Sasha Chaplin. She blew her knee out in the fifth game last year, and she's healthy and she's a half inch taller, so she's about 6'4", 6'4" and a half. She's completely excited about returning. She's going to be our force in the middle.
Andujar, she's a young lady that played little minutes last year, but we went to a trip to Italy, and she was unbelievable. So we're excited that she's going to be with us.
I think Little Whitney, we call her "Little Whitney" because we had Big Whitney last year, but there's no Big Whitney anymore. She's decided volleyball is her sport and graduation has occurred. We're going to miss that chick for her. But we do have Little Whitney back, and Little Whitney is a lot faster. She ran a 40 timed and she ran it in 4.64. Those who know football times, that young lady is very quick. Sometimes she goes so fast she leaves the ball behind her, but we're working on things. So she's back.
We've got some young ladies that are going to be fun to watch. One of them is Sasha Bernard. She's a point guard out of Florida. She's very quick. She's flashy. We certainly like that ball to stay on the court. But the way she passes the ball, it might end up in the third row every now and again. Wear your helmets if you come to Bloomington, Indiana. You guys are so boring. That's funny. That's my best joke you're going to hear today, so you'd better take a moment.
The other young lady that's going to be fun to watch is Hope Elam. She's our junior college player at St. Vincent's last year. We certainly didn't know she's going to play to a point where she was going to become an All American. She averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds, she should be our starting 4, hopefully replacing Whitney Thomas if that's at all possible.
Those are the few people that we have. We're, again, a young team. We have that ultimate challenge before us, but one thing about Indiana and our Hoosier Nation is we understand what it means to roll our sleeves up and fight, and every single game that's what you'll see from us is the ultimate fight.

Q. You've gone to three consecutive post-seasons. You came in 2006 to Bloomington. We've even see you at halftime at men's game going up with the cheerleaders, having a good time. How have you embraced the IU culture?
FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK: I just love it. I love Tom Crean. He's allowed me to be as witty and crazy as I can be, and he's really accepting of what we're trying to do. We're in the same boat. We're trying to rebuild a program. He's rebuilding, we're trying to begin a program and change the culture of the women's basketball mindset in Bloomington. But our fans are for real. They love basketball. Obviously they love men's basketball an awful lot, but we're allowing them to see another way to play the game underneath the net, and Tom is helping me grow our women's basketball program.
Our community is embracing us, and it's fun. It's fun to be able to have a basketball hoop outside your house and come home with your son in the car and have the neighborhood kids in your yard playing hoops because they know that it's just a nice neighborhood. Coming from New York it's a little bit different.
So I love the community. I love the school system. And that's most important for me being a mom and a wife. That has been fantastic. And then you go into that Assembly Hall, and McCracken Court, it's just breath taking, and now we're building a new practice facility. We're encouraged about our future, we're excited about our Hoosier family, men's basketball and women's basketball, and our prayers is that we continue to grow it so the nation can see why we're so excited every single day.

Q. What do you need to see from Jamie this season on the court and off the court?
FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK: Well, what she's been doing on and off the court, she's been an unbelievable student. Jamie is a 3.1 overall GPA, and she's really been unbelievable as a student and as a community leader. I laugh at Jamie because I said -- I asked her what her major was, and she said, African American studies. If you know Jamie, she's from Wisconsin. I said, "Why would you major in African American studies?" She said, "Coach, I don't understand you. If you study history, maybe I'll get you. But I realize after about three years here I'm just never going to understand you."
So her personality is coming out. She's starting to have fun. She's a very serious kid. For her to kind of make those statements says a lot about her character and how we have grown her.
On the court she's the first in the gym, she's the last one to leave. She's now communicating with the younger kids and sharing with them how we do it. She's a very quiet point guard for us for three years. We're moving her over to the 2 so we can address that three-point shot that we believe she has. She's really been a leader for us, and I'm hopeful that her best year is ahead of her because she has really worked hard to grow our women's basketball program.

Q. With all the new players, what's your style of play? Will it be what you've been doing or radical changes or something in the middle?
FELISHA LEGETTE-JACK: Well, I love your hair, first of all. It's longer, and I think you made a change. I think if you're going to change a little bit, I think I need to, as well.
I think with the team that we have, we have to play a little bit more player-to-player defense. I love the match-up for sure, but I think that was -- but the speed that we have on our wings and the lack of experience we have on the inside, I think that we can protect our middle a little bit more if we play a little bit more man-to-man, player-to-player. But we want to run. We want to run and we want to compete. And I think that although we have what we call that ultimate challenge this year being so young, we might be one of the youngest teams in the country, we're certainly not going to go away from the fact that we compete.
So I think that every game we're in, you're going to realize you played Indiana. What the outcome is going to be, we certainly don't know that. But our competitiveness will never change. But our defense may.

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