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Around the Big East: Q & A with coach Elliott

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Since Big East media day there hasn't been much buzz about the upcoming season. Discussions about what Skylar Diggins' production will be has surfaced on the web, but no real substance or any developing stories have come up.

So instead of searching for the story that isn't there, why not get the thoughts of head coach Jamelle Elliott on some of the early headlines in the Big East. From her thoughts on expansion to UCONN being chosen second in the preseason poll, Elliott shares her answers.

1.  What was your reaction when you heard that Notre Dame was picked over UCONN for the preseason Big East Championship?

"I think it's well deserved for Notre Dame to be picked number one. They beat UCONN in the national semifinal game last year and went on to the national championship for one. Number two is you look at who UCONN lost, Maya Moore, being one of them and the main one. Then you look at who Notre Dame lost, I think UCONN lost a lot more production from a scoring stand point and a leadership standpoint then Notre Dame did. Rightfully so, Notre Dame deserves to be number one. But it doesn't matter where your picked to start off it only matters where you end up."

2. Would you compare Skylar Diggins' game to that of Maya Moore when she had so much success at UCONN and was the best player in the Big East?

"I think she's a great talent. I think she can be mentioned in the same breath as Tina Charles and Maya Moore and whoever else has won player of the year. I think she's proven that on the court, she's a point guard, she handles the ball a lot, she's a great shooter, she gets to the basket, she's left-handed, so I think her being picked player of the year is well deserved."

3. The Bearcats have been picked 15th in the preseason for the second straight season. Why do you think your team is having so much trouble rising in the preseason polls?

"I don't know. I think they probably looked at the fact that we lost 16 points a game with Shareese Ulis as a senior, who was our leading scorer. Our second leading scorer was only at seven or eight points a game, so I'm sure they looked at that. The fact that we are young, we have eight or nine freshmen or sophomores, so with that being said I think they probably just figured that with us losing so many point outputs and us being so young that their opinions were to put us there. But, again it doesn't matter where you started it matters where you end up. Obviously I've used that as a little bit of a motivator for our team and I don't think our team is practicing like the 15th best team in the league."

4. What kind of reactions do you have when your team doesn't have any players nominated to all-conference teams during the preseason?

"We're in a strong conference. We have 16 teams in our conference and only 10 players are picked and a couple honorable mention on the first team, so that just goes to show you how many great players we have in our conference. Obviously my better players are young, freshmen and sophomores, so we're just kind of making our mark now and I think hopefully in the future we'll get the recognition from individual players for the conference, but if we don't, we don't. I'm more concerned with how we finish as a team."

5. Your former head coach, Geno Auriemma won the Wooden Award's Legends of Coaching honor this year. What are your thoughts on that accomplishment?

"My reaction to that is that it is well deserved. He's the best coach in the country. I played for him and I worked for him for a number of years and he's obviously proven that he's a winner and he's doing things the right way. I think it's a great thing that the Wooden people are recognizing him as the coach of the year and I think it's well deserved."

6. We obviously don't know where UC fits in regrading expansion. What have you heard and what are your thoughts about this whole process because it does affect your program?

"I don't have an ideal situation I just trust President Williams and Whit Babcock to keep us in the loop of what's going on. I believe they are going to put Cincinnati in the best position possible so that we are in a good place moving forward. My only comment on it is that I'll just be glad when it's settled so we know who is in our conference, who we are playing, so we can go out and recruit knowing who our conference is made of. I'm going to leave that to my AD and my President who do a good job of keeping me informed.


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