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Q & A with sophomore forward Jeanise Randolph

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Sidelined with a back injury for most of the season, sophomore forward Jeanise Randolph is back in the rotation for the Bearcats. Her size and presence down low is a key addition for a team looking to get on track in the BIG EAST. Below is a Q & A with Randolph on returning to the court.

Q: What is the best part about being back in the rotation?

JR: "Being able to play with the team since I haven't been able to play for 11 games straight. I'm just very excited to able to play with the team and try to help them out."

Q: What was the hardest thing about sitting out and watching from the bench?

JR: "Knowing that I can't help and knowing that I can't go out there a grab rebounds. Knowing that I can't do something about what's going on out on the court and knowing that although it's a good learning experience to watch and be able to see from a different point of view, it's just hard not being able to actually go in there and do something."

Q: What kind of grind is the BIG EAST?

JR: It's a hard grind. You have to make sure you are taking care of your body, make sure you're coming in to the training room, making sure you keep your grades up, making sure you're listening to the coach, and staying focused. There's no time to slack off and you just have to make sure that you are mentally there and physically there."

Q: How does this team take a step forward during the rest of the season?

JR: "Basically listening to our coach and everything she tells us about transition, boxing out, rebounding. We need to stay mentally focused and stay mentally strong. If she tells us to do something then we need to do it. We don't have time for mental lapses because if we do we can go down by ten points in a game, so we just need to focus and we just have to keep pushing through everything."

Q: How has this team stuck together this season during the highs and lows?

JR: "In practice everybody is encouraging each other and getting on each other for mistakes or making sure everyone is paying attention. The captains are being really great and making sure that we're staying focused, making sure that we're physically and mentally there. After practice we hang out, eat together, and if people need their space we give them that space, but making sure we stay as a team and making sure everybody is there for each other."

Q: How is the team preparing for the stretch run featuring games against Notre Dame and UCONN?

JR: "These couple days leading up everybody stays in the training room, everybody is going to class, everybody is focusing in practice and going hard every time. You also want to make sure you're taking care of yourself because if you don't take care of yourself, you're not going to be home for a couple of days to rest it. It's basically just staying relaxed and not stressing over anything and just having fun."

Q: How does the team handle the emotional and mental ups and downs of a season like this?

JR: "It starts with learning from the losses. We don't want to go into a loss and lose because of something that happened last game. We have to build off of a loss and we don't want anymore losses where we dug ourselves in a hole. We want to lose because they were better than us. We want to win and we need to move on. You can't dwell on the past and we need to make sure we do something in this game that we didn't do in the last game. They talk about carry over in practice and we need to carry over good things. If you mess up just continue to play; everybody messes up and it's just a part of the game."

Q: What are some other things that you enjoy while competing in a basketball game?

JR: "I enjoy blasting some one off of a screen or getting a great screen for my team. If I can get an easy bucket I'm excited as well. When I see my other teammates take a charge or if they go to the basket strong then that gets me excited. Sometimes when I take charges it gets me hyped too, but anything can get me excited no matter if we are down or if we are up I like the intensity."

Q: If you had to pick the perfect finish to the season for your team, what would it be?

JR: "Basically I want the seniors to go out with a good season. I want them to finish strong, I want to win the BIG EAST, and I want to make it to the NCAA tournament. I want the seniors to leave Cincinnati and say 'I'm proud of my team and excited to see them play next year'. I want to leave the conference and people to say 'I didn't know Cincinnati was that good' and 'Cincinnati is going to do something in the BIG EAST'. I want people to know that we're someone to play with."

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