Women's Hoops: Balcomb media comments

On Thursday night the Vanderbilt women's basketball team hosts the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (6-9, 1-1 SEC) in their SEC home opener. On Wednesday afternoon before practice, Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb talked with the media about the season and the Commodores' response to their heart-breaking one-point overtime loss to Arkansas on Sunday. Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State Tip off: 7 p.m.

The Media: You had a tough loss in Arkansas over the weekend.

Coach Balcomb: I think the tough thing is I can't remember when we've been 0 and 1 to start off [the SEC season]. We have a young team and we were on the road, so it's good to get back home. It's going to be good to see what our mentality is after that loss and how we come back.

The Media: That can stay with you for a while.

Coach Balcomb: Absolutely. We watched a lot of film, and we practiced hard, and it'll be a good sign to see how we react. It's a good test for our younger players and our leaders.

The Media: Carla [Thomas] said that they realized watching tape how poorly they played at times. They saw many chances to make big differences in the game.

Coach Balcomb: Yes, and I think one of the good things is that sometimes you learn more from losses than you do from wins. I think they really took it to heart, and I think I really had their attention. You win a close game like that and you just keep moving on, so we're hoping that it's a blessing in disguise that it came early and that we'll really be able to learn a lot from it and make some big changes here early.

The Media: What's the most frustrating part as far as this team trying to develop chemistry?

Coach Balcomb: I think the key has been developing our personality. We don't have a lot of emotional kids. We don't have a lot of kids that wear their emotion on their sleeve. A lot of our kids are very serious, and they get on the court, and you're not sure what they're thinking. They're young, they're not sure what each other is thinking, they don't know each other's strengths and weaknesses yet, especially playing so many different rotations, so many different young players. At times we have three or four people that have not been on the floor, whether they're transfers, or redshirts or freshmen, all out there at one time.

The Media: With that in mind, are you concerned about how they will react in the home opener tomorrow night?

Coach Balcomb: Actually, no. I think I'd be more concerned if we won that game. I think we've responded. That's one thing we've done well this year, is respond well after losses. And those losses were to tough teams on the road, and we've played well at home, so we're looking forward to getting back home, getting tougher, getting stronger and improving from our last game.

The Media: Are you looking for more emotion?

Coach Balcomb: Absolutely. We're looking for kids to get more fired up, more emotion, more excitement. Obviously we want that crowd support at home to give us that energy that we didn't have. I know we felt pressured to win at Arkansas, our first game of the SEC, and we were supposed to win that game, and I think our kids got tight. They got quiet. We learned a lot from that and hopefully we can make some changes here pretty quick.

The Media: This is another very winnable game and you're at home . . you've gotta take care of business at home.

Coach Balcomb: Yeah, and you don't want to now get down 0 and 2. The nice thing is everybody kind of beat everybody in the SEC in the first game. I think everybody on our team -- we had a lot of individual meetings with our leaders, and they're like, yeah, this is so early, that so many people, even on the first night, upset other people that we'll be fine as long as we get our act together and make some changes from this film.

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