Inside look: Vicky Picott breaks down Spartans

VandyMania talked with Vanderbilt assistant women's basketball coach Vicky Picott about the #1 seed Michigan State and the keys to handling the Spartans formidable size inside.

Whitney D: What's the first thing that jumps out at you when you watch film of Michigan State?

Vicky Picott: Solid. Balanced. Tough. And physical. This is really a hard-nosed team. They're very balanced. They have a very solid point guard who also scores a lot. They have a few players, four or five, in double figures, and they're a very good rebounding team, and their defense is typically a 3-2 zone. It's very clogging, it clogs the lane. At the same time they're able to take away shooters. They have very good position and spacing on their defense, and I think that's why they're able to hold a lot of teams to the 50s or 60s.

Whitney D: So does that requires that you put in some different wrinkles offensively?

Vicky Picott: Yes. We've got to try to open up that zone a little bit, but mainly we're going to do what we've done the whole while. We have faced a 3-2 zone a ton. We're just thinking in any defense there's some strengths and some weaknesses, so we're hoping to expose some of the weaknesses. We're going to have hit shots. We're going to have to hit some shots.

Whitney D: What are the keys to the game?

Vicky Picott: We've got to stop them in transition. Their point guard (Haynie) looks to score right out of transition. They also have a shooter who runs well and a post player who runs well. Haynie is number 4, the point guard. She's very good off the dribble In transition and looks to drive righrt away out of transition. If not, she has a shooter running the wing, that's Bowen. She runs the wing. She's a very, very good shooter. She's one of their main offensive threats at the 3. and then you have your post player, Shimek – and Roerig who are very good inside, but Liz runs the floor very well. So those are some of the things they're looking for right out of transition, so that's going to be a big key for us to get back, know where the shooters is, and make sure we don't sit behind them in the post where they can just bang it in right away.

Whitney D: Does their big girl Roehrig remind you of anybody you've seen?

Vicky Picott: If I had my brains about me, I could probably think. She's just solid. She plays well within herself, big body, uses he strength, knows her strengths. That's the most important – she knows her strength, doesn't try to force anything, takes a lot of good shots. She's very consistent.

Whitney D: Anything else?

Vicky Picott: Yeah. We're going to have to have patience on offense. Their defense, like I said, is going to be something we haven't seen. They're going to pack it in, make us play—and they're going to challenge passes. They're very aggressive and very deceving-- so we're going to have to have a lot of patience. Top Stories