Caldwell Previews Season at SEC Media Day
HOOVER, Ala. - After guiding LSU to the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game a year ago, head coach Nikki Caldwell discussed what Lady Tiger fans can expect as an encore in year two at SEC Basketball Media Day on Thursday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.
Caldwell met with regional and national media members for a two-hour period alongside LSU men's head coach Johnny Jones. Caldwell conducted interviews with Fox Sports Net, Sirius/XM Radio College Sports Nation, while also doing a sit-down one-on-one interview with ESPNU's Cara Capuano.
The Lady Tigers, who finished fourth in the regular season last year, were picked sixth in the 2013 projected standings by the media. On the same day, the NCAA unveiled its latest graduation success rate figures, and LSU tied for first in the league with a perfect Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 100. It is the second year in a row women's basketball scored 100 in the GSR.
All five of the seniors on Caldwell's first-year squad - LaSondra Barrett, Swayze Black, Courtney Jones, Destini Hughes and Taylor Turnbow - earned their degrees from LSU. Barrett, Black and Hughes all graduated early in three and a half years.
Caldwell discussed the progress the 2012-13 Lady Tigers have made in filling the void of losing those five seniors from last year's team.
"All that you can do each new year is have your team find its identity," said Caldwell. "That's what we are in the process of doing -- is finding who we are and more importantly, what we are going to be made of. I talked to them about that. What is your character, how are you going to play every day? It doesn't matter if you play five minutes or 20 minutes. There is a certain level of intensity that you've got to play with."
All 10 players on the team will play a significant role. Adrienne Webb - one of two seniors on the squad - has emerged as a leader and the workhorse.
"There are certain combinations that we are running that allow us to not only be a very good defensive team, but also a very good offensive team," said Caldwell. "When you're able to have your best player, like Adrienne Webb, also be the hardest working player, then you have something special there. The energy she brings every practice and possession is contagious."
Caldwell and the Lady Tigers are exactly one week away from their first exhibition game. LSU hosts Xavier of Louisiana at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Maravich Center. Admission is free.
The Lady Tigers officially open the season on Nov. 11 against Wichita State at 2 p.m. in the Maravich Center.
Season tickets for the 2012-13 year are now on sale at www.LSUtix.net. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the LSU Athletic Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.
For more information on LSU women's basketball, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LSUwbkb or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LSUwbkb.