Q&A: Kellie-Lewis Jay


Ryan Murphy

Photo by Ryan Murphy.

What are your expectations with this young new team?

Kellie-Lewis Jay: I think our expectations are everyday we just have to get better, that’s what we got to do. We got to play better, we got to practice better and everybody individually has to get better. That’s what we’re shooting for, that is our goal for this year, to get better everytime on to the court. I don’t know what our record is going to look like, I don’t know who I think we’re going to be, but as long as we do that, then I’ll be happy.

So far what has been the biggest adjustment from this year’s team which is very young compared to last years which was filled with seniors?

KLJ: When you have a lot of seniors they know what to expect. Even though these guys only had me for two years, as seniors they knew what to expect coming into a season and I can just call out the name of a drill and they know how to get right into it, whereas freshman you’re teaching them everything. The seniors, they know what they are supposed to do and get it done. But these guys are hungry and they have a passion to get better. Every drill we get better and that’s kind of exciting to watch.


How confident are you of this team reaching its potential?

KLJ: Well i don’t think I’ve set an expectation on them, I think they are very talented athletes, very talented basketball players, those two things really starts working in the system that we have can be pretty special.


Who would say so far has stand out the most?

KLJ: Shaneese Bailey, she is somebody who has so much athleticism and we’ve been working on her skillset and improving that and when that skillset reaches the same level of her athleticism she has a potential to be one the top five players in our conference but she’s got to continue working on this everyday and getting better on the little things. If she does that, the sky’s the limit for her. Maliah Kency, you can see in our first exhibition she had 18 points, she is a great shooter and she understands the game and what we’re looking for. I don’t have to tell her often what to do because she already knows. Lauren Williams is a phenomenal defensive player. She gets after it on defense, she thrives on it, and we need that in our system. But I think overall all of them have the potential to really be great for this team. Hopefully you’ll see a different person stepping up every game.


What are the strengths and weaknesses of the team?

KLJ:I think one of our strengths is our speed, we can definitely get up and down the floor quickly. We can get after it defensively. One of our biggest weaknesses is our depth, being able to have enough bodies to play to our strengths. Hopefully we can get a couple of injured key players [back] which will help us address this problem and increase our depth. Shooting is a strength of ours. it’s been the strength of our program the last 3 years. I didn’t know how much it would carry over with so many new people but I think it will be another strength for us again this year.


Which team do you enjoy coaching more? This year or last year?

KLJ:it’s been fun coaching both of them but it’s just that they’re both different. Each group is little different. It’s been fun to watch this year’s team and their growth and just their young eyes trying to figure things out, trying to work through things. Each one is different, but both of them have been really good.
The women’s team went 16-14 last season, and they start their new campaign on Nov. 14 versus the University of Central Florida.