VandyMania Interview: Chantelle and Ashley Mac

After opening practice for the women's basketball team on Saturday, VandyMania talked with senior center Chantelle Anderson and senior point guard Ashley McElhiney about some of the changes in the team this year.

VM: We've heard a lot in the press about changes in the offensive philosophy. What about changes in fundamentals in terms of what you actually have to do -- are you having to learn new things?

Chantelle: We're having to learn how to pass on the move and shoot on the move in Coach Balcomb's system. Last year, it was more stand-still. We have to be under control more, because we're moving faster. She's used the phrase, "We have to go fast in order to slow down and go slow and be under control". So we have to learn to do that.

VM: Ashley, do you agree with that?

Ashley Mac: I agree. There are some fundamentals we're learning, but fundamentals of basketball carry through any style of play, whether you're playing fast or playing slow. You still have to know how to pass, dribble, shoot -- the basics. We're just re-iterating those.

VM: Do you have any sense for what you personally are going to have to do differently than what you've done in the past?

Ashley Mac: I think leadership is going to stay the same. I don't think you really have to address your leadership style to your coaching style. I can be a leader in any coaching style. But as far as in a game, I'm going to have to learn how to pass the ball ahead to our post players and give the guards the pass when they're ready to shoot and hopefully up my assist ratio.

VM: And how about you, Chantelle?

Chantelle: Well, Mac's always been a leader, a vocal leader. I kind of shied away from that role a little bit more, just leading by example -- doing what I have to do on the court and not saying much in terms of leadership. But I think that's going to be a big difference this year. Coach wants me to step up and talk more and be more vocal with my teammates and be more vocal with the coaching staff. So that's definitely going to be different.

On the other end, Mac has to learn how to throw it ahead; I'm going to have to learn how to take off and catch those passes and finish on the move, like I was saying earlier. We're still playing a lot of four out motion offense, move the post player around. It's a different offense, but it's still kind of the same motion philosophy. So I think we should pick that up pretty well.

VM: You have two newcomers to the team. Could you tell me a little about each of them?

Ashley Mac: After seeing them the first day of practice, I would say that they did a great job. They were really receptive to what the coaches had to say plus what we had to say. They're working hard; they're willing to learn; they're willing to adjust. And that's really all you can ask from them right now.

VM: What about you, Chantelle?

Chantelle: Well, I'll touch on them personality-wise. Erica's a little fireball. She's funny, and really cool, and she makes jokes and has a great sense of humor. She's in the gym all the time shooting. She really wants to get better, and that was obvious from the first day she got here. She fits in this team really well.

Nicole --same thing. She's a really sweet person. And she's funny, too. They both have a great sense of humor. She's working really hard. Nicole got here early this summer, and she's improved so much from the time she got here till now. I'm so impressed with her and how hard she's been working to improve, and I think that'll be great -- both of them.

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