Nov. 2, 2005
Sarah Marshall, a junior tri-captain on the women's basketball team, started at point guard in all 30 games as a sophomore, averaging 4.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Marshall, from Falmouth, Maine, registered a team-high 1,001 minutes last season, as the Eagles made their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The women's hoopsters begin their season in the Preseason WNIT against Drexel on Friday, Nov. 11, in Conte Forum.
Q: How productive have your first several weeks of practice been? And how excited are you to get the season started and play a team in another uniform?
A: Practices have gone really well. Everyone looks really good. Coming into the practices, we're excited about the new season in the ACC. It's good to be back on the court, running around again. We're just looking forward to starting our games this year.
Q: What has Coach Inglese emphasized most in practice as you inch closer to the season?
A: A lot of it on defense has focused on working on our pressure defense and getting into lanes and pressuring the ball-handler. That has been a big focus for us on the defensive end. On the offensive end, it has been about executing our plays and knowing what tempo we want to be running things at. Lots of it has been just breaking down the fundamental parts of our offense and trying to get that stuff squared away. Then, we can keep going off that.
Q: Talk about the three newcomers - Corey Rusin, Brittany Johnson and Victoria Jones. What do each of these players add to the team?
A: Corey is a freshman from Vermont. She brings a lot - she's a shooter, and she's just a strong, physical girl. She can drive well, and she's pretty good at defense too. Brittany Johnson is from Chicago - she's our other freshman. She's a good slasher, and she rebounds really, really well. She's a good hustle player. Victoria Jones is our transfer from Baylor, so she won't be able to play this year. But, she's really good on defense. She's quick and athletic, and she'll definitely be helping us out in all of our practices and helping us prepare for our games this year.
Q: Which player (or players) have caught your eye in practice, having shown great improvement since last season?
A: Everyone is looking good. I think that Lisa Macchia is looking really good. She was coming off a knee injury last year, so she wasn't totally at 100 percent. This year, her mobility is looking much better. She's got that strength back in her knee, and she's playing really well. I think Lisa looks really good.
Q: How did you prepare for this basketball season?
A: Over the summer, we were all here for the first session of summer school. We were working out together and doing our strength and conditioning and playing pickup. We just worked on getting stronger and faster. Those were the biggest parts of the summer. We spent a lot of time getting ready, and now I'm looking forward to being the point guard of this team again.
Q: Last season, you faced Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Talk about your goals for this team as it enters the ACC.
A: We don't know too much about the ACC. Obviously, it's a great conference to be a part of. Just because we moved conferences doesn't mean that our expectations are changing from what we had in the Big East. We still think that we can be a very good team in the ACC and compete with all of the other teams in the league. We're all really excited, and we want to have a successful year - get back to the NCAA Tournament. Those are always going to be the goals for our team.
Q: Boston College's move to the ACC has been highly-discussed in the media. How big of a transition do you feel the move from the Big East to the ACC will be?
A: I think that the style of play is a little different. It's a little more athletic than what the Big East might be. But, the Big East is a great conference. The ACC is a great conference. I think that we are prepared to go into the ACC after all the competition we had in the Big East. I think it's an adjustment that we are ready to make, and it's going to be a good one.
Q: The inaugural season in the ACC has filled your schedule with many teams which you have not faced recently. Are there any teams, venues or players which you are already eager to face?
A: I think that all of them are exciting. But, I am excited to go down to Duke and play at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Obviously, there is a lot of history behind playing there, and it is a fun place to play. Duke is a great team, so that will be a great atmosphere to go down and play them in. In the NCAA Tournament last year, we got to play at the Dean Smith Center in North Carolina, which was a really cool experience. I'm excited to play North Carolina, too. The ACC has a lot of schools that you grow up watching on TV all the time, with Duke and UNC and their men's programs. It will all be exciting, like you said, because it's all new.
Q: In your two seasons at Boston College, the women's basketball program has reached new heights. Coming off the program's fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, what does it mean to you to be part of this program?
A: It means a lot, because our program is on the rise and has been on the rise the past few years. To be a part of something like that and to try and help a program to continue its success and continue to rise to a new level, also, is great. Doing it with my teammates, who are a great bunch of girls and my best friends here, make it all that much better.
Q: Talk a little bit about the team's four seniors. What do they bring to the team on and off the floor?
A: Lisa [Macchia], Brooke [Queenan], Aja [Parham] and Christine [Smith] - off the court - they're just hilarious. They bring so much energy. They're so funny off the court. Their whole dynamic with each other and with the rest of the team is great. Off the court, they are a lot of fun to have around. On the court, they are all great leaders, and they're very mature. They've obviously been through this system for three years, going on their fourth year, so they know what it takes. You talk about building a program like this, and they've been at BC while the program has been on the rise. They know what it takes to be a part of a successful team. And, I think that everyone respects them. They're just a great bunch of girls, and I'm glad that I've been able to be with them for three years.
Q: When you're away from Conte Forum and out of the weight room, how do you enjoy spending your time?
A: When I'm not here, usually it's just hanging out with friends or going back to my room and relaxing. I have a sister who lives in Boston, so I like to go and see her when I can. I really don't do a whole lot, other than just hanging out.
- interview conducted by senior Alex Timiraos