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  1. #1
    TLL.com Womens Moderator Lobo2x53's Avatar
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    TLL Interview with 3 on 3 Lob WBB Team

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    Lobo 3-on-3 Team at the USA Basketball Competition

    Joe: As far as I am aware, this was the first time UNM competed in the 3-on-3 competition. How did it come about?

    AT: Coach Bill called me into his office and told me that a couple of other team mates and I had been selected to compete because we had such a great season and wound up playing in the post season. So this was a reward for how well we did.

    Jaisa: Coach Bill came up to me and said, “I have a great opportunity for you guys. It’s a national, 3 on 3 tournament. We were invited so we are going to put together a team to play and represent UNM.” We didn’t know that much about it so I did a little research and saw that a whole bunch of people were coming in including Oregon, and a huge superstars team, and people from Notre Dame. He said it was a great opportunity and a great experience to go out and represent UNM.

    Aisia: When I found out about the opportunity, Coach Bill let us know it was a USA Basketball representative that came out during the season and watched a couple of our open practices. Even though I didn’t get to play this year, I was hand selected through this representative watching our practices. It was a great experience going up there especially with this group of girls.

    Madi: That rep was USA Basketball 3 x 3 Director, Derek Griffin. He felt we were fit to be able to go to USA based on our season. It was a good opportunity for us.

    Joe: During the season a lot of the offense was based upon turnovers and racing down before the other team got ready to defend. In a 3-on-3 tournament, obviously that doesn’t happen much. How did you prepare differently?

    Madi: We were ready to shoot the ball very well and throw it to Jaisa!

    Aisia: Our strategy was to get up as many shots as we can and as fast as possible and to depend on Jaisa and AT to get those rebounds, kick it back out or score an easy bucket if they had the chance.

    Jaisa: Exactly what they said. You have to have a really good shooting game and you had to have a really good post game. If you didn’t have a good shooting game, then you throw it into the post which was me and AT. If you didn’t have a good post game, then you throw it out to everybody else.

    AT: And if your shots don’t fall, you get stops.

    Joe: What were your expectations going in? As you said, there were a lot of teams that were older and more experienced.

    AT: My expectations were totally different from what we experienced. I was expecting to see a lot more people who were still in college or had just graduated. We actually played against a lot of pros who have agents. But it was still a good experience getting to play older people who were more experienced than us. I feel that we learned a lot from that.

    Jaisa: We didn’t know coming what to expect. There were men’s teams there too, and when we got there and saw men with beards and children and wives we were confused. We found out everyone from the nation came—a lot of pros and one or two teams were college players. The overall thing was to have fun there and keep having different experiences. That’s what we did.

    Aisia: I expected the competition to be really high. I knew that if these people were hand selected, that they had to be good. So for me, it was personally a challenge. I didn’t get to play all season, so it was a chance for me to see where I was physically and try to see what I learned over the year sitting out. So I had a pretty different point of view.

    Madi: I expected for us to play with a regular ball. I expected the 3-point line to be the one that we play with and the free-throw line and the lane to all be the same. But the lane was wider, the 3-point line was really far, and the ball was--I don’t even know--it was a rubber outside ball. It felt heavier mass-wise, but it was smaller.

    Joe: It sounds like the international 3-point lane?

    Aisia: We played by FIBA rules.

    Madi: So it was much different for us.

    Joe: All of you are saying this was not what you expected, so, what kind of adjustments did you make from game #1 to the end?

    Madi: For my own personal adjustment, I had to get used to the ball as a shooter. That’s really important; I had to get a good feel for the ball. As a team, I would say it was communications, and trying to figure out our opponent. Like if we had somebody shorter then we knew that we had to get the ball to Jaisa a lot. If she had a bad match up, then we would try to shot the 3 ball more.

    Aisia: The adjustments that we made were on the fly. Like Madi said, communications was a huge key throughout the games. I think we just took it game by game and created our own scouting report for other teams and also for ourselves. We talked about things that worked and different strategies.

    Jaisa: In that first game, we had to get used to the rules. We had to make sure that we crossed the 3-point line before we could start. We also had to be conscious of the time because there is only a 12 second shot clock. After a couple of games, we knew how to play towards a certain time and we were not rushing every single time. That was a really big adjustment that we had to do throughout the games.

    AT: As to preparation, we usually have three or four days to figure out an opponent, but in these games we had to figure out in the first two minutes of the game how you wanted to beat the team. As far a shooting, you want to get a whole bunch of shots up before you play so you got used to the 3-point line and the feel of the ball, minor adjustments like those.

    Joe: Did they have an orientation for you ahead of time so that you knew what the rules were and you weren’t surprised during your first game?

    AT: Actually, we were picked to demonstrate in the orientation because we all had the same thing on. That was helpful being able to demonstrate and be told the rules ahead of time, before the games.

    Joe: What was the toughest team you had to play either because they were the best or it was a bad match-up for you?

    AT: I would say the second team we played. They had tall and long girls that were quick. It was hard defending them. They were very skilled and also older. One girl I spoke to was 28 years old and had graduated college in 2012. She had a lot of experience.

    Joe: Were they playing professionally?

    AT: I don’t know if they were playing professionally yet, but I think that was what they were striving for. They were long and tall and very skilled. They had the mid-range, lay-ups, and 3-point shots. I think that was the biggest test.

    Jaisa: I agree with AT. The second team that we played, Bye Felicia, were long, athletic and could shot the ball. That’s what really got us. They made almost every single three that they put up. It’s very easy to get down when the other team just starts shooting threes, especially when every three counts as two points and a lay-up counts as one point. It’s hard to compensate for that.

    Joe: Aisia, this was your first opportunity to play with these other three people in a game that actually counted. What did you learn about them?

    Aisia: This opportunity really allowed me to understand the type of players that each of them are. Being a guard, especially with Jaisa and AT, I feel that the relationship between a guard and a forward is extremely important. So, I feel that playing this 3-on-3 and really having to depend on each other and learn how each other plays definitely gave us one step ahead of our competition coming in for next season. It was a great opportunity and a great chance for me to build chemistry.

    Joe: Madi, what did you get out of this? Looking back, what was the best thing you got out of this opportunity?

    Madi: I would say, camaraderie with these three. Aisia and I got into our first argument but it was good for us building camaraderie. Getting to know each other’s moves more. Aisia didn’t play last season so being able to play with her for the first time was really good for going into next season.

    Joe: Changing the discussion a bit, what was the best part of the trip not on the basketball court?

    Aisia: I would say the best part about our trip was on the way back. We had a little car karaoke session. It gave us a chance to open up. We stayed in a dorm and saw each other every day and we got a lot closer. In the car karaoke we found out that Jaisa really loves Beyoncé. I didn’t know that she thought she was Beyoncé.

    Joe: Who is the best singer?

    Aisia: I would say that I am the best singer for sure. Probably going to go on American Idol one of these years.

    Jaisa: Confidence is everything.

    Aisia: There it is, see. I’m the best for sure.

    Joe: Where did you say? You said you were in a dorm? What college was it?

    Jaisa: It was in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. It was a huge building with communal living areas. So we saw the people that we were playing against. We could say, “Hi, we just beat you guys. No hard feelings.” We got to talk with people from around the nation. That was the best part, meeting other people.

    Joe: What’s your summer going to be?

    AT: First, I’m going to go home and enjoy my hometown of San Antonio. While I’m home, I will be training. I want to go back to my AAU Coach to get some work in with him. Then we have to come back June 1st and get back to work with the new freshmen and transfers. We’ll be doing workouts and skills, then eventually move on to the team things. Hopefully, building chemistry since half of our team will be new.

    Joe: Have you met them all?

    Jaisa: Yes, we have met them at least once.

    As to our summer, we’ll go home. Take a little break from everybody. Then we will come back June 1st and get back to work: workouts, conditioning, individual skills, practices and then work up to team practices. We’ll bond together and try to get that team chemistry up. Then we’ll have a team.

    Aisia: My summer is going to be full of getting in shape. Sitting out a whole year, I’m definitely not in basketball shape. I will be getting familiar with my teammates, the ones I’ve been playing against all season and the new ones coming in. I really just need to focus and get on the same page and get prepared for the season.

    Madi: My summer is looking like a bunch of workouts right now. I already have everything planned out for when I go home and when I come back. Just working on my game, getting familiar.

    Joe: Anything else you want to say?

    All: Go Lobos!!!

    Aisia: I want to thank you guys for coming out and interviewing us. I also want to thank the USA Committee for sending a rep out here to UNM. Thanks to them for the opportunity and the experienced that they allowed us.

  2. #2
    Donor abqpianist's Avatar
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    Great read! Thank you for doing this and sharing with us (I hate off-season!!!! Lol!! So things like this help!).

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  4. #3
    All Lobo Lair nmsutoo's Avatar
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    Thanks, Great interview, i really enjoyed it. I was very curious about how the team felt about their experience there. Didn't expect to hear anything about it.

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  6. #4
    TLL.com Womens Moderator Lobo2x53's Avatar
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    I was surprised there was not much of anything out there about it. I wanted to do it, Bill wanted it done, so it was not hard to get. We both did the interview and my wife took the photos and typed it.

    The hardest part were the photos: one person is looking away, or another one is yawning, or the photographer cut off the top of a head. ;) Fortunately we got one good one.

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