2nd Half Of Season Q+A With Laimbeer

Ros Gold-Onwude

How important is interior play to the Liberty’s success?
I always said we needed an inside presence, I said that from the beginning of the season. We started the season solid inside but we need that consistently. We need more points; we need them inside, especially after losing Cheryl and Essence.

Kara Braxton discussed experiencing a breakdown mentally during the first half of the season. What did you do to help her out of it?
It was during our west coast trip when I think she blacked out. She’s working on it. What did I do to help? (Laughs) Well at first I screamed at her, then I berated her, then I became her best friend. We had a really good talk with the team about how important she is to us; I think that helped.

What has Kara been doing better in the second half of the season?
Making shots! She’s playing harder and more focused. It takes a lot of energy out of her so we sub for her. When Kara gets tired she makes mistakes.

Kelsey Bone continues to improve- what is working for the rookie?
It’s her want to play well. She wants to get the rebound. She’s going after the rebound now instead of waiting for the ball to come to her. She's working hard but she's thinking less and making the game simpler. It also seems that she’s caught her second wind, as most all rookies do.

Against Washington Cappie Pondexter tallied 9 assists and only 1 turnover, what is the difference in her giving up a turnover vs. completing an assist?
I told her to slow down. Cappie is one to go full speed and get more “spectacular assists” rather than “every day assists” that occur in the offense. If she’s going too fast she can’t time the pass well or give the defense a chance to make a mistake that she can then expose. She’s being much more patient to see the open pass and trusting her teammates more.

How did you personally use All-Star break? What did you do?
I got on my tractor on my farm in Michigan. The tractor work has to get done; I was there, so I did the work. It’s a break. No phones, no people, no basketball. I took a break.

What changes are you making in the second half of the season?
We started putting in more offensive plays. We’re adding because teams scout. We also want more defined defense specific to the team we’re playing. We’re a good defensive team; now that we know teams better we can do more intense game planning.

How can you get consistent points out of Katie Smith and Alex Montgomery?
We probably won’t. I don’t run plays for Alex and Katie. Katie is more of a spot up perimeter shooter; she’s really on the court because she’s the best defender in the league. Alex is struggling with her shot. She’s a good free throw shooter, I’d like her to drive more and get to the free throw line. She’s settling for jump shots too much.