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2013 Big Ten Basketball Media Day: Sharon Versyp Speaks

Purdue's women's basketball team is back in the top 25 with high expectations for 2013-14

Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

We're not all about the Men's basketball team today. It is also media day for the women's team, and Purdue is already ranked 23rd Nationally. Courtney Moses was named as a preseason all-Big Ten pick this morning along with Maggie Lucas of Penn State (preseason conference POTY), Rachel Banham of Minnesota, Jordan Hooper of Nebraska, and Klarissa Bell of Michigan State. Nebraska, Penn State, and Michigan State were the top three picks for the conference.

Sharon Versyp has already been at the podium as well:

SHARON VERSYP: This year obviously we're going to be a little bit different, guard dominated, losing Drey Mingo and Sam Ostarello, so we will have a little bit of a different style.

I think it's a good style for us. We will be a different team, but I think having our three seniors that have played since they've been freshman have brought us great leadership.

Q. Coach, can you tell us about what that different style will look like this year?

SHARON VERSYP: Well, what we're hoping to do is run even more than we have in the past. Everyone on our team, when they do rebound the basketball can put it down. We don't have to go for an outlet, look for our point guard.

There is only one player on our team down low at the post that we have to come back and receive the pass. So we have been extremely competitive playing at a higher speed, a lot of full-court pressing accident trying to use our length and quickness at the guard spot to get deflections,steals, and obviously we feel we have good outside shooting so we're going to try to drive and create.

Q. Coach, you mentioned that you did lose Sam and Drey. Who are the kids who are going to maybe try to fill into those holes on the inside?

SHARON VERSYP: I think Liza Clemons is the first young lady I would be speak about. Last year she had shoulder surgery as well as some other illness with her stomach so she wasn't able to eat much so she wasn't able to play a lot. She played as a freshman and she has developed as a go-to player down low. She can score inside and outside and she is a great player, able to put it on the floor and get the fast break going.

Camille Redmon from Texas, our hope is she'll be able to finish down low, Whitney Bays, a transfer, coming off a knee injury, we're hoping her skill set, she was extremely talented and now building that confidence back up and she is doing great things for us, she can shoot, score, handle the ball, good offensive rebounder and you have Joslyn Massey and Torrie Thornton, a lot of long length, a lot of athleticism.

Q. I just noticed the polls this year you're not in the top three for the first time. Where do you see yourselves at this point in time in the league and how do you view the league overall coming into the season?

SHARON VERSYP: I think the top three are very good choices. Nebraska only lost one player and they played fantastic, went further in the tournament last year, Penn state is always -- Coach Washington has done a job of creating a national  program. They have Maggie Lucas, and Michigan State is one that everybody is anxious to see, they did a phenomenal job last year, they have probably three of their top players back and we haven't seen them on the court but on paper they look strong.

We just have to go out every day and get better it's about growing and developing our younger kids. We feel like we have talent but there is inexperience and we feel like we have a solid blend of five experienced players and seven that are coming in.

Q. Coach, seeing that you're going to use your guards sophomore what have you asked those players in particular to do in the off-season or to get better at coming into this year?

SHARON VERSYP: I think the big things with those two individuals is to be able to be great leaders and get the younger players out on the court and teach them, help them execute, talk about terminology and set the tone of what Purdue basketball is about and how we do those things. Our freshmen have come in better than other freshmen, the conditioning, and catching on, and they're not behind and these two have done a great job and it's because of our two seniors and how tough it is and our expectations at Purdue.

They're leading a young team so day in, day out they are the coaches on the court. I don't have to always be the one doing the instructing. It's great when they're being the coach. They both want play overseas and who knows what they want to do as they condition much continue on, if they want to come back to coaching but those two are very special.

Q. The 10-second rule has come to women's basketball. What do you think of the rule change and given the fact that you do have KK and Courtney? Is it a big deal for you guys?

SHARON VERSYP: I think it's a big deal because it's a new rule and it's different for women's college basketball, period. I think now when you do full-court press it means something, some people can pass the ball back and forth for 15, 20 seconds, now there is obviously a time limit and as people continue to play, whether it's scrimmages or exhibition, you forget about it, you get a rebound, take a couple of dribbles, get it to the point guard, there is already 4 or 5 second. Inning it's good for our game, help the defensive end, speed it up, maybe you'll get steals but you have to have a good plan of how to break a press and be cognizant of the backcourt rule now.

Q. Coach, that can you're trying to close the gap experience wise, how do you use the extra time this summer with the rule change in your ability to work out with the players and how do you think that will help you this season?

SHARON VERSYP: I enjoyed the new rule. I think it was great for us to be able to have hands on especially with two players that came back from injury and two freshmen and like you said, the experience is something we have to contend.

The biggest thing is allowing us to teach the good habits, the footwork and the positioning and them not to do it incorrectly so when you get to practice in September you don't have to go back and correct those things.

I thought that was a huge advantage. I think it allowed the team to see and especially freshmen, the tempo, how fast and physical things are. We were able to put in new offense so I could play with some things and see if they were going to identify, buy into it, take ownership of it. So it helped us in a big way in an offensive sense.