Terry, Wiggins Excited for Upcoming Year
    Steven Shepp and Veronica Wilson are two seniors excited to compete for a championship.
    Steven Shepp and Veronica Wilson are two seniors excited to compete for a championship.

    Oct. 27, 2011

    FRESNO, Calif. - The season is just days away for both the men's and women's basketball teams, and both programs talked about the return to the hardwood with the local media on Thursday afternoon at the Save Mart Center.

    Here are the quotes from head coaches Adrian Wiggins (women's basketball) and Rodney Terry (men's basketball):

    Head Women's Basketball Coach Adrian Wiggins

    How has the team been progressing through the first weeks of practice?
    "We are in our workout stage. We are trying to figure out what we are good at and what we need to work on. Thankfully for us we have an exciting young team. They are really fun to be around and practice and work with every day."

    You have a created a winning tradition in a short time. What is the culture like with so many new student-athletes on the team?
    "I think the fun part for us is that we have established a new culture where it is just a new team. We let all the old stuff go and we have new goals and it is a new team and this team wants a chance at that. We don't really look at the history as much, this team has a chance at becoming an excellent basketball team and we have a chance to compete for the WAC Championship for the last time."

    What is the difference between this year's team and previous teams?
    "I think we are more balanced in our scoring this year and we have a lot of players that can make three's. Our top eight or nine players, every one of them can make a three point shot during the game and I think that is a huge luxury. This team is learning how to be physical and we expect our returners to continue to grow in that area."

    With losing five seniors who helped put Fresno State women's basketball on the map, how have you approached the reloading transition?
    "I do feel like what we have done the past several years has allowed us to get better as a team. I feel like we have a more experienced returning crew than we did four years ago during this transition. But I do feel like this team is more experienced in terms of positions and we have been able to establish as far as what we want to do as a coaching staff as well. Each team is different and they have to earn their right just like the other team had to earn their right. It takes time but sometimes they can work things out rather quickly. I think this is a smart group that we have but we have to maintain our competitive nature."

     

     

    What do you like most so far about the team?
    "We have great character right now. This is a very smart team basketball team. They are a quick study and they pick up things fast. I have no doubt that they will learn from their mistakes and bounce back. We don't have any quitters and I think they are going to compete very well. I think with the team we have right now is better than they think they are right now and I am comfortable with that. That can be a good thing down the road.

    How has the program changed during your tenure?
    In the big picture it is awesome that people care it means something to play here. It means something if you sign with Fresno State. We play against good competition and we have been winning championships and we have banners hanging in the Save Mart Center. That is an awesome experience and those are all great things on the external but internally we have a really neat group of young ladies. I can challenge them and they get better. They are going to be OK in life and that is a neat thing for our university and I will be proud of that in ten years when they go off and start doing some really awesome things in the world."

    Head Men's Basketball Coach Rodney Terry

    What is your philosophy on scheduling?
    My philosophy on the scheduling part of things is that we want to play a highly competitive schedule that is going to prepare us for conference play, all styles of play and hopefully give us the opportunity to be in post conference play. (We want to play) a lot of different styles of play because you never know what you are going to get in post conference play so hopefully your schedule prepare you for not only your conference but also postseason. I think having the chance to stepping the level up this year will prepare us for conference play.

    What kind of pressure do you feel starting the season?
    I think we will put more pressure on ourselves than anything from the outside. The expectations every year will be to win a conference championship and advance to the NCAA tournament so with that being said we know there is a lot of hard work that goes into that both on and off the court. This is a full time job and one we take a lot of pride in. It will never be about myself or the program it will be about all of us, we need as much support from the community because they will be a huge part of our success.

    What do you love most about the Fresno State community?
    I think there is a lot of passion in this community for Fresno State Athletics and there is a lot of support for wanting our basketball team to be successful and in terms of our guys they have all put both feet in and our doing everything we as a coaching staff have been asking them to do.

    What have you been working on in practice
    I think at this point there is so much to cover and so much to put in and I think our guys have done a very good job of grasping what we have asked them to do both offensively and defensively. We have got to have a defensive mentality and wanting to become a better defense team. Day in and day out we have to continually work together to get better defensively with defensive rebounds and finishing possessions.

    "We Are Your Team!"-- The Bulldogs kickoff the season with exhibition games against cross town rival Fresno Pacific. The women host the Sunbirds on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center. The men host the FPU on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center. Admission to both events is $5 per game.

    More Headlines