GREENVILLE, N.C. -- East Carolina women's basketball head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener was the featured guest on Friday morning's live Instant Interview on ECUpirates.com. Following is the complete transcript of the live chat session:
|Adam Stayton : Hey coach, How much of an impact do you feel the new ladies will have on the team?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : I look for all four of them to contribute greatly. There will be at least one of them start and could be more than that. Starting is not as big an issue as last year because we are so deep. They all will see valuable minutes.
|Bonehead : What do you anticipate your starting lineup to look like for the first exhibition game?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : We haven't discussed that. We're going to use tomorrow's intersquad to do a lot of judging of who plays well together and decide on Saturday evening or Sunday who the starters will be. The starters on Monday will not necessarily be the starters for the season. We're still playing with the lineup.
|Purple_Freak : How have the players responded to the ''Minges Maniacs?'' |
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Toward the end of last season, when more of the Minges Maniacs attended our games, our players were very pleased and excited. It helps our team with the homecourt advantage to know that there are people behind them, cheering for them. We hope to get more of them out this season.
|manny : How will the recent announcement regarding conference membership changes affect the ECU women's basketball program and recruiting?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Our recruiting is the same that it's always been. We're recruiting players that can play our transition style, running up the court, pressing ... our goal is postseason play. The changing of Conference USA doesn't change our goals as a team.
|alston : Last years freshman class did not have an impacton the team, how do you rate this years freshman and somophore class?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : This year's freshman class, with Powell and Anthony, will provide immediate help to the backcourt. Katie Cloud and LaToya Horton, who were freshmen last season, are also doing very well in practice. A lot of times, the biggest improvement happens between your freshman and sophomore years and I think that has been the case with LaToya and Katie.
|Purple_Freak : Coach, we seemed to get pushed around a little bit by the physical post players in C-USA last year. What kind of impact do you expect players such as Courtney and Soraya to have down low?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Last year, that was one of our biggest weaknesses. Going into recruiting last year, we tried to address that with the signing of Soraya. She's a big strong body. Courtney has worked hard in the offseason. And we should be able to handle the players down low much better.
|Chris : What kinds of things can be done/have been done to help increase attendance at women's basketball games at ECU?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Last season, the marketing department and Mike Money came up with some great ideas to increase attendance. Last season, our attendance almost tripled. We would love to see that happen again this year. We are still nowhere near the amount of people that we want to come and support us and we hope that this year, we can triple it again.
|Kelly D. : If you and your coaching staff took on your top players in a four-on-four game, who would win?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : This year, I can't play because I'm pregnant. Last season, three of us took on three of our players and we won. I don't know if that would be the case this year.
|John : What impressed you the most about this team thus far?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : This season is a totally new year. Everyone seems to be on the same page with the right attitude and work ethic that it will take to compete at this level. Last season, we were trying to instill a work ethic and attitude to be competitive. This year, since day one of practice, we have come out to compete everyday.
|Simon : What can we expect from the four new Lady Pirates this year?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Powell, Anthony and Cooper are very versatile guards. They fit into our transition game with pressing and running very well. They can all handle the ball, shoot the three, drive, and shoot the midrange jumper. One weakness from last year was we only had one player who could shoot a midrange jumper and all three of these players are capable of doing that. Soraya Hellaby gives us much added depth inside and is a good rebounder and has a nice touch around the basket.
|Andrew Chow : How long are you planning to take off from work to be with your expected new born baby? |
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : I hope to have the baby on a Monday, our off day, and be back to practice in a couple of days and not miss any games.
|Joe : Can we expect Jennifer Jackson to have the kind of impact that she did last year?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Jennifer had an outstanding year last year and surprised a lot of people in the conference. This year, she won't be sneaking up on anybody. But I think she has a lot of help around here where she won't have as much pressure every game to score a certain amount of points for us to able to win. She has worked hard in the offseason and is much improved and thrives in our up-tempo style of play.
|Jackie Meough : Do you think C-USA will be as competive this year as last year?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : I expect Conference USA to be a stronger conference this year. Most of the top teams have most of their key players, if not all of them, returning. I look for C-USA to receive just as many or more NCAA tournament berths.
|Mary : What kind of senior season do you expect from Courtney Willis?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Courtney has worked very hard and has improved every year that she's been here. I look for that to be the case this season. As with Jen, Courtney will not have as much pressure to score for us to able to win because of the depth of our team. This will be a positive for Courtney, who has provided great senior leadership for this team.
|Earl : What can you tell us about the scrimmage planned for tomorrow morning?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : We will have a Purple/Gold scrimmage at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, right before the men's scrimmage and football game. I hope all the tailgaters will get a chance to come in and see the Lady Pirates and can see what to expect this season. We are going to have officials and will play 20 minute halves, trying to divide the teams up evenly knowing we don't have many subs on both teams.
|Moussa Badiane : Do you have anyone that can block shots on your team?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : We don't have a great shot blocker, but we should have more blocked shots this year than last with our added size.
|Jah : Who do you consider to be our biggest rival and why?
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Charlotte is our natural conference rival, being close and in the same state. We are also playing games this season against NC State, Wake Forest, and UNC Wilmington, which we hope to develop strong rivals there.
|Bill Hillard : Is it hard to find something to wear right before coaching a game?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : This year, the outfits will be limited ... you may see the same ones because of maternity wear!
|Allen Simonowich : Do you like man-to-man or zone defenses?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : Primarily, I like man-to-man defense. Last year, we had to play more zone than I'm accustommed to playing to be competitive. We will play zone and also a lot more man press and zone press this season.
|ECUpirates.com : That's all the time we have this morning. Thanks for all the questions sent in. Any closing comments, Coach?|
Sharon Baldwin-Tener : I am very excited about the upcoming season and think that the Pirate fans will be proud of the Lady Pirates that take the floor every game. I hope we can continue to increase the attendance and make Minges Coliseum a tough place for women's teams to come and play.