Q&A with women’s basketball head coach Scott Rueck

Women’s Basketball vs Stanford

Brenden Slaughter, Senior Reporter

After impressive win, women’s hoops strives to stay hungry

By Brenden Slaughter

Senior Reporter

After a sweep of the Bay Area schools for the first time since 1995, head coach Scott Rueck sat down for a Q & A with senior reporter, Brenden Slaughter.

Brenden Slaughter: Has the Stanford win set in yet?

Scott Rueck: It set in quickly. You just hope for that success for so long. Stanford has been the bar of success in the conference and that is the team that everyone wants to beat. When a win like that happens, you know that you are going to enjoy it. You’re gonna pause and say that it was special. We have enjoyed every bit of it.

BS: How do you stay humble and focused after such an emotional victory?

SR: We have had some really good wins over the years, and then you move on. This conference has a way of keeping you grounded. You can’t let up at all. If you have your priorities in order, it’s easy to move on.

BS: What have you been most impressed with so far this season?

SR: The team’s competitive spirit. This team wants to win, and they understand what it takes to win. They are willing to do what it takes. You assume that every team is like that, but not every team is. When you can choose to put yourself on the shelf and do what the team needs, that is a special quality and that’s who this team is. (Competitive Spirit) is really special quality, and that is why we won the other night against Stanford. There was no quit, and the team was all in. 

BS: What is one thing that you need to improve on?

SR: I want us to play faster. I feel like once (junior guard Sydney Wiese) went down, teams have not allowed us to play with the speed that I think we can and are effective at in the half court and in transition. I think that (speed) would put more pressure on our opponents. We have depth and we need to take advantage of it.

BS: Do you plan to use more zone defense as the season progresses?

SR: Going into the season, I thought that this group could be a really good zone team because we are so tall and long. I haven’t liked our zone so far when we have used it this season. At the same time, I love zone defense. My national championship season at George Fox, we played zone all season. If you play zone defense correctly, it’s like playing man to man defense with help side defense built in. Zone changes tempo, and it takes team’s out of their comfort zone. I can see us using it a lot more, and can see us believing in more as a team which is most important. But from what I’ve learned, when you have a really effective zone defense, the team loves it.

BS: What challenges do Colorado and Utah present?

SR: Utah is playing very well. They have a point guard that is playing very well, and doesn’t make mistakes. Coach Roberts has done a really good job in her first year in getting the team to buy in. It’s going to be a tough game Friday night no question. For Colorado, they have been dinged up and are very young. It’s been fun watching them progress and get better and better as a group. This is one of the toughest trips in our conference, with the flight in between games, and it’s going be a great challenge.

On Twitter @b_slaught

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