Triana Allen: Leading the Lady Zags

Jet-quick combo guard Triana Allen hails from the Las Angeles area and talks to ZagsHoops about the transition and how the 2002-03 season is shaping up. We caught Triana shooting around in The Kennel. Meet the Gonzaga senior.

ZH: Tell us about your career at Long Beach Poly and what colleges recruited you. Why did you choose Gonzaga?

TA: I took visits to the University of New Orleans, University of California-Riverside and to Gonzaga. I chose Gonzaga because of the small size, the competitive conference, my parents can watch me play at least three times a year, and the coaching staff.

ZH: Long Beach Poly has a tradition of producing excellent athletes. Did you know Wesley Stokes and others there?

TA: Yes, me and Wes were real good friends. We played together this summer at Pan Am park. I am actually wearing the number he wore in high school. He [transferred from Missouri] is going to San Diego State this year.

ZH: Coach Graves' first year was tough, not winning a conference game, but last year the Lady Bulldogs won a couple and came very close on several occasions. What are the factors that are turning this program around, in your opinion?

TA: I think the coaching staff has done a great job of bringing in players that want to win and work hard. This summer the whole team came back the first week of August just so we could play together and get ready for the tough schedule we have this year.

ZH: Is it encouraging to know that you played WCC champs Pepperdine close all last season and losing by only four in the tournament, and what was the main difference between Gonzaga and Pepperdine?

TA: Yes, that is very encouraging. I looked at it as if they are the conference champs and we played them that close, there is no reason we can not win those games next year. I think the biggest differencce between us and Pepperdine is that we are not expected to be in those games, but we are working hard to change that!

ZH: Describe your offseason to us, Triana. What did your summer consist of and what areas of your game did you work the hardest on?

TA: That first question is a little harder to answer, but the second one is a lot easier. This summer I worked a lot on my shooting. Last year I was a very streaky shooter and this year I wanted to be more consistent. So I worked on everything from threes to step-back jumpers. Hopefully it will show when we play this year. I am also a passer. I like to set other people up to score, whether it is on a fastbreak or driving and dishing.

ZH: For those who might now know, tell us what your game is like. What's your favorite way to score and defend?

TA: My favorite way to score is probably off the dribble. I like to drive to my left and then nail the jumper in your face!! That kinda makes my day. This may suprise my coaches, but I actually want to be one of the best defenders this year. I love to cheat the passing lanes. Anything to get the easy lay-in.

ZH: So the team has lost Jessica Malone to graduation but gains a lot of experience and has high quality freshmen coming in. How do you see this year's Lady Bulldogs doing?

TA: We obviously won't have a shooter like Jess, but I think what will help us a lot this year is the experience of the freshmen last year as well as our depth in the frontcourt. Man, when I came back in August and went in the locker room, I was shocked. [laughs] I look like a midget compared to everybody else. So that is definitely a good thing!

ZH: Tell us about your most memorable game in a Zag uniform.

TA: I gotta go with the Montana buzzer-beater. It wasn't my best game, but it will probably be one of my most memorable.

ZH: You come across as a natural leader. Will part of your duties as a senior be to help lead this team this year? Are you a vocal leader, or do you rather lead by your actions?

TA: Well, you know I am real quiet and extremely shy so I don't do much talking. OK I might not be that shy. [laughs] I think part of my duties as a captain this year will be to lead this year, and I think I am more of a vocal leader, but I can back it up with actions [smiles].

ZH: How big of a transition was it for you coming from Los Angeles to Spokane? Any advice for future Zags from southern California?

TA: [laughs] What are you talking about? There is no difference. At first when I came up here I was a lttle culture-shocked, but then I think Spokeezy just grows on you. That has a lot to do with the people at GU. This is just a fun place to be.

ZH: What is your major and what are your plans for after Gonzaga?

TA: My major is Criminal Justice with a minor in business. After I graduate I plan on getting rich, buying a cabin on Priest Lake and hiring a cabana boy to wait on me hand and foot. I am now taking applications. Please send them to my website.

ZH: What are the most important things you'll take away from Gonzaga after you graduate? What have these years meant to you?

TA: The most important things will definitely be the friendships and the memories. These years have helped me grow so much as a person.

ZH: Your hobbies, favorite activities, favorite movies, and what's in your CD player now?

TA: My hobbies are shopping on ebay and dancing. I love to dance. My favorite movie has got to be "Sister Act 2." And, in my CD Player right now is Nellyville.

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