LSU senior forward Theresa Plaisance is in Kazan, Russia, during the month of July as a member of the USA Basketball World University Games team that will compete for fifth straight WUG gold medal. Plaisance, a 2014 National Player of the Year candidate for the Lady Tigers, is writing blog entries during her journey that will be posted here on LSUsports.net.
Plaisance is looking to join a gold medal World University Games legacy that both former LSU All-Americans Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus experienced in 2005. The Americans face host Russia in the gold medal game at 12:30 p.m. CT Monday live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com.
Plaisance is putting up 6.6 points and a team-best 5.2 rebounds per game during the tournament.
Read Plaisance’s blog entries below:
Saturday, July 13
Game Day!!! When I woke up this morning I was anxious all day long. We had a 9 p.m. game for probably one of the biggest games in my career besides the Penn State game! Come on now who could forget about that one! Today was also Odyssey Sims' 21st birthday! We had shootaround at noon to get prepared for Australia. We got a lot of shots up and ran through all of their offenses. After shootaround we were off of our feet until game time. My friend/ teammate Cassie straightened my hair for me which was why it looked so fabulous and under control!
We showed up early enough to the gym to see the end of the Russia game and they had that place packed to the top. I've never seen so many people at a game. It really sunk in how amped up these people are about their basketball. The Australians were very, very good! They were extremely physical to say the least! We barely pulled that one out and it was the first game we didn't meet 100 points. And also this was the first game in my USA career that I fouled out. (Plaisance scored 10 points and had five rebounds).
Friday, July 12
Well it's almost been three whole weeks since I've been home and I'm really missing my family and my teammates and my friends. This morning was an early one. We were up around 6:33 a.m. to be awake, fueled, energized and ready to go for our quarterfinal game at 10:30 a.m. against Sweden. Sweden was pretty good. They kept the game within five points up until the second half. Then we pulled away. Final was 103-72. Wow in the hundreds again. This blows my mind!
Our men played right after us so we stuck around to watch them play Canada for a chance to be in the medal round. It was a great game, our guys fought hard but it wasn't enough for Canada. With 10 seconds left in the game the gym had a blackout, similar to the Super Bowl only this wasn't nationally televised. We came back to the Olympic Village and we went to the players’ lounge for the first time and I watched a sand artist! It was awesome how she could create images with her fingers and sand. Later on we had a team meeting and found out that we play Australia tomorrow night at 9 p.m. Russian time and noon Baton Rouge time. The game will be televised on ESPNU!
Thursday, July 11
Off day today. Today was a mental and physical preparation as medal rounds start tomorrow! We took the Russian Metro today to get to downtown. We shopped for a little bit and took pictures around the city. We then went back to the Olympic Village and rested up for practice. Today's practice was more mental than physical. We had to touch up a few things and make a few adjustments in our offense. We're going for the goal and it starts tomorrow morning. One and done from here on out! Sweden tomorrow morning so I'm going to bed early tonight!
Wednesday, July 10
Game Day! Last game of pool play! We had an early game today at 12:30 p.m. so we had an 8:30 a.m. pregame breakfast. We played Brazil to our closest game so far. They played well. We only beat them by 30, 105-75. I've never been on a team that's broke 100 points so many times in a row. Tonight, we ate at on offsite little restaurant. It was pretty good. There were a lot of interesting choices but I just stuck with pasta! Medal round starts on Friday so we need to get physically and mentally ready for these upcoming games.
Tuesday, July 9
GAME DAY! Today we went through our basic game day routine. We woke up ate some breakfast. We came back and did a little scouting report on the Czech Republic. We then put up our feet up and rested for the game. I met the Australian men's basketball team today. We traded pins! Pin trading here is so exciting. You just walk up to random players from random countries and ask to trade! I have about 20 pins! We beat the Czech Republic 101-61. Tomorrow we have a quick turn around and play at 12:30 p.m. so were going to rest up tonight and get ready for tomorrow.
Monday, July 8
Game Day!!! So excited to finally be able to compete against an opponent and not our own squad! This morning I went to breakfast and there are always some pretty interesting options to say the least. I walked up to the local station and there was a boiled tongue option. I said no thanks and walked away! After breakfast we got an hour of shoot around in to touch up on some little mechanical things and get a lot of shots up. When we got back we received our jerseys! That was so exciting! I got the chills when I saw my last name on the back of that USA jersey!
We left for the gym and we were able to watch a little bit of Brazil and Czech Republic play, which are the two other teams in our pool. Now it’s game time. Walking on to that court was a great feeling. This is the start of our road to the gold. It's going to take a lot of hard work but it can be accomplished. We played Mali tonight and beat them 120-32. It was a nice opening game. Tomorrow we have the Czech Republic!
Sunday, July 7
This was more of a chill day for us. We play tomorrow so our coaches do as much as they can to keep us off of our feet. We scrimmaged Japan for two quarters this morning and ended outscoring them by 40. Then, we came back to the Olympic Village to shower and relax. The card game Phase 10 seems to be a big hit on our team. We play that whenever we have some downtime. I have yet to win a game! I guess I'll be sticking to basketball. We watched most of our men's team game against Dubai. The third quarter score was 100-34. If that's not dominance then I don't know what is! Tomorrow is game day and I can't wait to put on my USA jersey to represent my country to the best of my ability!
Saturday, July 6
Wow for the first time since I've been here I've gotten to actually sleep in until 6 a.m. This morning we had an early "friendly" scrimmage against Canada. They play very similar to the way we play which is very up-tempo. We beat them by 20. Then we had all day to get ready for the Opening Ceremonies! We left our room to head to the arena at 8:30 p.m. and didn't end up making it into the arena until 11:45 p.m.
We waited around in a big parking lot mingling with other countries until then waiting our turn to make our lap around. Walking in to a 50,000 person arena was a breathtaking experience, especially with the pride of wearing the Red, White, and Blue across our chests. I had the chills the entire lap. It was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. We stayed for the entire ceremony and everything was so big and beautiful and over the top. It was so great. The ceremony ended at around 2 a.m. with the lighting of the World University Games torch. Once again, I feel so blessed to be a part of this experience to be able to compete on the USA team.
Friday, July 5
Once again my morning started at 4:30 a.m. Russian time. I'm now wondering if my body will used to the time change before I get back to the U.S. We visited the Kremlin today and also one of the biggest mosques in Europe. It was a beautiful tour. I learned a little bit about Russian history and Ivan the Terrible. Later that evening, we played Russia in a "friendly game," it was quite a new experience for me. I never really played against a team that all had the same height as me or better.
Thursday, July 4
My day started at 4:30 a.m. thanks to my friend jet lag. Today was a really exciting day. We had our flag raising ceremony on July 4th. A day of our American independence and Russia was gracious enough to allow us to have this day for our ceremony. It’s pretty special knowing you are representing your country with U-S-A on your uniform at the same time everyone in America is celebrating Independence Day.
A few people on my team and I made friends with some guys from Mexico, Montenegro, and Italy. We had a practice to prepare us for our friendly game against Russia. We are really excited to start the games! We also get to catch up with our men’s team that scrimmage against a professional Russian team today. They ended up winning by 35!
Wednesday, July 3 - Arrival Day in Russia
Our three day trip ended today at 2:30 a.m. Russian time in the airport where we had to wait for approximately 45 minutes to get through passport control. We had a three-hour flight (from Colorado Springs) followed by a four-hour layover then a 10.5-hour flight followed by a five-hour layover to our last four-hour flight landing us in Kazan. I have never been on a plane so long!
During that whole flight time I slept a total of an hour and 45 minutes. We then drove to the Olympic Village where we didn't make it to our rooms until 5:30 a.m. due to security checks. No nap for me today but we had practice at 5 p.m. Upon arrival, you could notice it is such a beautiful place here. We rode bikes as a team and took in the sights. Can’t wait to get back on the court!