Nov. 24, 2004
This week's featured athlete is women's basketball senior co-captain and starting forward Clare Droesch. In each of her three seasons at Boston College, the Eagles have appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Droesch and company have finished in the Sweet 16 each of the last two seasons.
Q: What do you take from the 82-78 overtime loss to Michigan State last Sunday, and how do you move on from that game?
A: The good thing about that is we know we are good. [Michigan State] is definitely a great team to play against. We had a couple of crucial turnovers and little things we did in the game. That was just our second game of the season. We have such a long season ahead of us. We're not a team that hangs our head.
Q: How important is it for a team at this stage in the season to play in a game that has the feel of an NCAA Tournament game (such as the game against Michigan State)?
A: I think it's great. In every game you get a feel of that NCAA Tournament game. Definitely in non-conference games you feel it more. You know that in the Big East the games are going to be physical and anything can happen. With the non-conference schedule you are playing, teams that have different looks. The same thing happens in the NCAA Tournament, where you don't know who you are going to play.
Q: Talk about the adjustments and improvements the team needs to make in the coming weeks before playing some fierce Big East competition.
A: I think this weekend we learned that boxing out and defense are big things to us. We have great team defense. The coaches definitely complimented us on that. We need to work on things like boxing out and being able to trust your team on defense. We're starting to get the hang of that.
Q: You open your home schedule here in Conte Forum tonight against Quinnipiac. Which players do you think fans should keep an eye on, in terms of improvement from last season or in practice this year?
A: I think everyone has made an improvement. Everyone went home this summer and really improved on something. It's going to be obvious that Brooke Queenan has made a really big improvement - she is much more confident in the game. Katherine [Ress] is better. She's in better shape and just doing things better. Jess [Deveny] has definitely improved and gets better every day. Sarah [Marshall] has a big adjustment going from being a point guard behind Amber Jacobs and coming in and taking the leadership role as the point guard. Our starters have all come back with great improvement. Even our bench has really developed over the summer.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your final season at Boston College?
A: I just want to have a successful year. I've been honored to be here for four years and go to the NCAA Tournament for three years. Jess and I are told that if we go to the NCAA Tournament this year, we'll be the first two girls to go four times. We already won a Big East Championship. This year, being on the team that's going to be the last BC team in the Big East, I just want success on this team. I really want to accomplish all our personal and team goals. I want to make BC great while leaving the Big East.
Q: What direction do you try to give to your teammates as one of two senior team captains?
A: Just to have fun. Our team plays our best game when we are having fun and are energized. I'm definitely the energizer on the team. I motivate everybody and not let anyone hang their heads. The main thing this year is that we do have fun. We just have to enjoy the season.
Q: Talk a little about the strides the women's basketball program has come since you arrived in Chestnut Hill three years ago.
A: The reasons I chose BC was to be a part of things they had never accomplished before - like winning a Big East Championship or appearing in the NCAA Tournament in four straight years. I'm really happy with the success we've had the last three years. Also, look at the crowds. My best friend was here when I was a senior in high school, and the crowds weren't even close to what they are now. The way people follow us and teachers and other coaches recognize us - it's definitely big for the BC program because I know it wasn't like that a several of years ago.
Q: How do you balance the rigorous academics with a demanding Division I athletics schedule as a BC student-athlete?
A: We have great student-athlete counselors. They are there for us in choosing classes and making sure that we get the right classes. Athletics can be very time consuming from the time we are in the gym to practice and all that. They do a really great job in helping us with that. Coaches are lenient and if you have a lot of work, coach will never say `No' if you have a lot of work to get done. They want the best for us, and they know it's not all about sports.
Q: What will it take to win the Big East this season, coming off a year in which your team took the Big East Tournament Title?
A: Seeing how we're doing well now after our first two games, we have to take every game as every game comes. We're not going to look past any one game. I think we know we're a good team, and we have to back that up. Taking one game at a time will do that for us.
Q: Do you have another sport or hobby that you really enjoy off the basketball court?
A: I was a softball player growing up, but basketball was my life. I love basketball, and there comes a point when your parents see that you are on eight teams and you have to cut it down. I also live right on the beach, and I love the beach. I live in Rockaway Beach, New York. I live right on the ocean and the bay. I love to go home to the beach, and I love hanging out with my friends and family there. When I get to go home, it's awesome to just walk out to the beach and spend time with my mom and dad because I'm not home a lot.