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Creighton Women's Basketball - Head Coach Jim Flanery

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Creighton Women's Basketball

Interview conducted by Shawn Siegel, June 2nd, 2003

Jim Flanery led Creighton the WNIT Semifinals in his first year as Head Coach. He was kind enough to answer some questions for CollegeHoopsnet.com.

CHN) You’ve spent twenty seasons at Creighton as a student, assistant, and now head coach. Was the goal all along to end up as Creighton’s head coach? Do you think you’d ever move on to another position?

JF) I really kind of stumbled into coaching after I graduated from Creighton.  I did some volunteer assisting for then-head-coach Bruce Rasmussen and found out I really liked it.  I slowly realized coaching seemed it might be better than a real job.
 As a Creighton grad, I think this is a great fit for me.  I love this place!  At the same time, I've been here nearly half of my life.  There will hopefully come a time where we've accomplished a lot here in terms of building on this program's tradition.  I have a lot of things I want to do before moving on even becomes a possibility.

CHN) After inheriting a team which had gone to the NCAA’s the previous year, losing in the 1st round, do you think there was extra pressure on yourself to succeed because expectations were already high?

JF)    I do think there was a little extra pressure on our team and on myself this past season, but hopefully that's what you want.  I want us to expect to be good, and if that means others expect us to be good, then we have to be focused enough to handle that.  I had confidence in our team's toughness, maybe to the point where I wasn't quite demanding enough on a day-to-day basis.  I'll get better at that.

CHN) You guys lost to SMS in the Conference Tourney, failing to repeat as MVC champions. How unexpected was your run through the WNIT following that disappointing loss? Did it make your team more hungry?

JF)    The run in the WNIT wasn't unexpected.  We were a good, experienced team.  I'm not sure why we weren't a little better on the road during the regular season.  Not making the NCAAs was a disappointment, but the way we played in the WNIT was gratifying and really helped generate interest in our team on the local level.  Hopefully we can carry that into next year.

CHN) Christy Neneman has been an extremely decorated player her first three seasons, including winning the MVC Player of the Year award the last two years. Could you describe her game to those who might not know?

JF)    Christy is a great off-the dribble player.  She shoots it okay from the 3, but she has a very good medium range game and is outstanding in transition. She is strong and explosive.  She cut back on her turnovers this past season and jumped her assist numbers.  She is also a very good defensive rebounder and a threat to go end-to-end after she gets a defensive rebound.  She is very, very competitive and just needs to get a little more consistent.  She has a tendency to be a little too hard on herself when things don't go well for her.

CHN) Seniors Teresa Wessling & Jenny Burns have graduated, but you return the four leading scorers and a wealth of experience. Is this team primed for a run at the NCAA’s?

JF)    We expect to give ourselves every opportunity to be in the NCAA Tournament.  I have put together the toughest schedule we have ever played because I think a team in our position needs opportunities to prove we can play.  We are playing at Kansas State, at Minnesota, at Iowa, and at Nebraska.  We are in Duke's tournament, where we get to play Auburn in the first  round.  We also get Michigan at home.  I wouldn't have put this together had I not believed we belong on the court with these teams.

CHN) Where’s your favorite place to play on the road? Do you get a chance to enjoy the city’s and campuses you travel to?

JF)    SMS is a great place to play in our league because they draw so well.  Drake is also a great environment.  Last year we played at Texas Tech, and that was an experience for our players in terms of learning to compete at the highest level.  We do fun things on the road.  We went to Sea World and the beach in San Diego last season.  We saw a Pacers-Celtics game the night before we played at Indiana State.  We'll see some things when we play at Duke this year.  I think it's important to give our players traveling experiences outside of basketball.  It gives them a chance to take a lot of pictures.  They're good at that.

CHN)  Thanks again coach for taking the time to chat with us.  Good luck in the coming season.
 

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