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photo: Matt Sachs, TexAgs
Notes from Gary Blair interview* Right now is the time for most college teams to play a couple of “guaranteed” games at home before starting conference play. There are big high school tournaments going on around the state, so it’s a good time to go out and watch some basketball right now.
* His best Christmas present was having his fifteen relatives and four dogs at his house on Christmas day.
* After beating USC in California by 20+ points, the team traveled to Las Vegas and defeated a short Kansas State team. The Wildcats couldn’t stop Kelsey Bone and Karla Gilbert inside and both of them played very well. Old Dominion was another four-guard team, and Bone was unstoppable in that game, racking up 30+ points and 15 rebounds.
* The Notre Dame rematch was one of the best games he has been associated with in the month of December. Both teams played well, and after jumping out to a 14-6 run, Notre Dame upped the defensive pressure led by All-American Skylar Diggins. The Aggies committed too many turnovers in the first half which hurt and allowed the Irish to hold an eight point halftime lead. Bone played another tremendous game, as did Courtney Walker and Adrienne Pratcher. Notre Dame ended up winning the ballgame, but the team was able to learn a lot about themselves in the loss.
* Bone is taking better shots and is finishing shots as of late which has lead her to a stellar couple of weeks and national player of the week honors this week. He knows that if Bone stays patient, his team will get her the ball in a good place which will allow her to keep this streak of high quality games going.
* The team is learning the offense more and more each game, and they seem to be getting into sync at the right time. Hopefully, they can take care of the next two games at home and be ready for SEC play in less than two weeks.
* Bone had a tournament that he has never had a post player have in 28 years of coaching. It was something that he wishes the regulars back in College Station could have seen.
* Adrienne Pratcher is playing a little more relaxed and is doing things more things right since Alexia Standish decided to hang it up. Pratcher is being a little more verbal on the court, but she still has a long way to go in that department. He is optimistic about her progress, but he will never be truly pleased until he has that quarterback out there that can both talk the game, and play the game.
* In the next two games before conference play, he really wants to see consistency in all areas from his team. The team needs to handle the ball under pressure, specifically against a team like Alabama who leads the league in points off turnovers because of their pressure defense. A&M didn’t handle the pressure very well against Notre Dame, so that is something that definitely needs to be worked on.