Wildcats' Balance Factor in Success

Iowa State women's coach Bill Fennelly met with the conference media Tuesday morning during a Big 12 teleconference. His team is coming off a key road victory against Nebraska, but now faces the difficult task of playing top-five Kansas State Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum.

On Kansas State's sharpshooter Laurie Koehn:

"I told our kids yesterday she is by far the best perimeter shooter in the country and is as good as anybody I've ever coached against. Her range is incredible, she shoots it quick and has unbelievable confidence in her shot. In a time when the 3-point shot is so big, I can't imagine anyone that's done the kinds of things she's done and will continue to do. She will shatter all of those records."

Comparing Kansas State to top-ranked Duke:

"Defensively, Duke has a little bit of an edge with quickness on the outside. But offensively K-State can score. It looks to me that at times Duke has trouble scoring against certain people if Beard and Tillis aren't really on. In their conference game against Virginia, Beard scored 41 of their 60 points. Over time, deep into a tournament, I don't know if you can do that and still win.

"That's where K-State creates so many matchup problems. Koehn stretches your defense. Nicole (Ohlde) is great in the post. Kendra Wecker may be as good as any player in the country, let alone our league. Megan Mahoney is a kid nobody talks about, but she impacts the game. Offensively, they can do a lot of good things. If they can stay out of foul trouble and make some shots, they're going to be a tough out for anybody. It would be an interesting game."

On other players looking for shots now, as opposed to just Lindsey Wilson:

"We have addressed that with our team since the first day of practice. It's something that continues to be an issue at times. We are constantly talking about a balanced offense. People talk about K-State and why they're so good. They put four and maybe five players on the court who are threats to score. At our level you have to do that. If you have three great ones and a couple good ones, that's fine.

"We have to get some balance. We only have one player averaging in double figures and that's a problem for us. Our defensive numbers are lower than they've ever been and our offensive numbers are not very good. It's a constant state of talking about it and encouraging kids to take shots when they miss and not panicking. We've also got to be a good free-throw shooting team."

On lessons learned in previous matchup with Kansas State this season:

"You hope that your kids feel they can compete with Kansas State. We've played them a pretty solid game at their place. They were coming off some pretty big wins and had been beating teams pretty badly. They had beaten Colorado pretty convincingly after we had lost to Colorado right before that.

"I don't know how much that plays into it. It's a quick turnaround. We played them two weeks ago. Now Kansas State is 18-1, third in the country and in first place for a reason. We have our hands full and know that. I hope we feel like we can go out and give them a game.

"In the previous game we slowed them down a little bit, which was good. But at the same time we had trouble making shots ourselves. The key for us is you've got to make baskets. If we can make some shots, maybe we stay in the game."

On team picking up some confidence with road win at Nebraska:

"It obviously makes them feel a little bit better about themselves. We're struggling to get any win we can. We're a team that's battling to stay in the middle of the pack. We've played a tough non-conference schedule and have a lot of new people in new spots and roles where they've never been before.

"We have been close on the road against some very good teams, but to finally get over the hump and prove that you can do it and come back the way we did has got to help. Maybe the next time we're in that position, your memories are of success and not failure. That's the thing all young people need to continue to emphasize and every coach in the country talks about."


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