Oct. 31, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss women's basketball team held its annual Media Day festivities in Reed Green Coliseum and Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis talked about her up and coming team for the 2012-13 season.
Media Day Quotes from Joye Lee-McNelis
"Our play has been solid in practice and preparation. The area we have to eliminate is the frustration level with so many new players. They have to learn to be positive with the younger players. The returning players have to make that adjustments of playing with the new players."
"Basketball wise, as far as them doing their job, you can't ask for anything else. It's that leadership role in bring those youngsters along is what they've got to do."
"Ance Celmina worked extremely hard in the off season to increase her strength. She is working daily to continue to refine different skill sets in her game. She has made some strides."
"I believe we have five talented freshmen. On paper they appear to have all the necessary tools to be very successful on the court. It's the hold learning process for this group. The scope of just being a freshmen is a learning process. They have made strides, but are they there yet? No. It's been a slow process in teaching them the how to and the to-do's."
On the freshmen...
"Jerontay Clemons, the Mississippi Player of the Year, has been absolutely phenomenal in practice. There have been segments of practice or entire days of practice where she has been hands down the best player on the floor. But she has to learn that there will be days where you will have to push through when you have the nagging ailments."
"Tiarra Pollnitz, who was MVP in the all-star game, has been good as well. There have been days where she and Jerontay playing the backcourt on one team have challenged Jamierra Faulkner and Tanecka Carey, toe-to-toe; and sometimes gained an edge on them. She is a strong three-player, physical presence that we need. She has been extremely impressive and has on occasion dominated practice."
"Caron Brown was the highest rated player that we signed last year. She is the most talented post player on the floor. Our biggest concern with her is that she has never been pushed. She is has to learn how to get through the physical side, the speed and endurance of the college game."
"Samirah Ali, a point guard, might be a little overwhelmed. She is the freshman that has struggled the most. But when you play the position she is going to play that is expected. In time, she will be fine."
"The biggest surprise on this is Anteria Berry from Oak Grove. She has been the joy of this team. I told the team that if I could pick one player from the time she stepped on the campus up to this point that I have enjoyed challenging and watching her meet that challenge every single day, it would be Teri Berry. She is not doubt in my 22 years as a head the most improved player that I've ever coached in a segment. She has added skill sets to her game and practicing with tremendous amount of confidence. I can't wait for our fans to see her and see the steps she had made as a player."
"As a group, our biggest challenge will be blending this group together, the talented freshmen with the returning players. We still have some chemistry building that we're working with every day to be able to pull all this together. In the end, I believe it's going to be a great year. It's going to be a fun year watching this team as they continue to be a work in progress."
Level of expectations...
"The thing about our league is our league returns the majority of our players from last year. Last year we were considered a very young league from top to bottom. Memphis is probably lost the most from their team. I think this team, particularly with our returning five players that started. They believe they have something to prove. They are coming in with a level of confidence. They also believe they can compete in the top half of the conference."