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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Blair is cautiously optimistic

Women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair answers questions at his weekly radio show at Wings ‘N More.
Photo by Cole Stenholm
Women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair answers questions at his weekly radio show at Wings ‘N More. Photo by Cole Stenholm

Texas A&M women’s head basketball coach Gary Blair stopped by Wings ’N More Monday night for his weekly radio show. His squad moved up this week in the national rankings to No. 5 following its 63-59 defeat of No. 8 Duke University at Reed Arena Sunday.
Blair praised his team despite its slow start versus the Blue Devils.
“We were refusing to press efficiently,” Blair said. “And then, when we finally scored, every other three minutes, we couldn’t get into the press and so you’ve got to be deep with guards. That’s how DePaul beat them last year at Duke, and the same thing, we beat them with guard play at the end. So give my kids a lot of credit and give the crowd a lot of credit for keeping us in.”
However, Blair remains cautiously optimistic about his team at this stage in the season. He believes his players need to be more accustomed to implementing the press against opposing teams who will have more size than they do.
“You’ve got to press,” Blair said. “I’ve never had a team like this that refuses to press consistently. And this is just something that we’ve got to build in because there are certain teams who are so much taller than we are that we’ve got to press to turn them over a little bit more, and that’s what we did — but, to tell you the truth, we didn’t steal the ball one time on the press the whole ball game. And again, it’s the commitment that you have to make because we are not going to be ahead all the time.”
The No. 5 Aggies (7-0) will get their next opportunity on the hardware at 11 a.m. Wednesday versus Northwestern State University (4-1) at Reed Arena. The game will mark the second annual Elementary School Day and more than 4,000 students from local elementary schools are expected to be in attendance.
“In women’s basketball, it is sort of like the breast cancer game,” Blair said. “It is starting to be a nationwide trend and more and more schools are doing it, particularly in the SEC. I think about five schools have already had it. They are all drawn well. What a chance to market, during a day in the week, particularly in December when kids are ready for Christmas and everything like that, do a field trip. You do a field trip for symphonies and to libraries and all that type of thing. Why not let the kids come and have fun?”

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