Kieger’s era officially begins with media day
From Mirror reports
UNIVERSITY PARK – With excitement and eagerness in the air, the Penn State women’s basketball team officially began under new head coach Carolyn Kieger on Tuesday when the team hosted its annual media day at the Jordan Center.
Kieger, who was hired in April as the sixth head coach in Lady Lion history, touched on her excitement to get the season started and how far the team has come since her arrival.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and how far we’ve come in the last several months,” Kieger said. “We’re asking these young ladies to give us stuff they’ve never had to do in their lives. We’re asking them to work harder than they ever have, we’re asking them to play a different offense, play a different defense, change the culture, and live up to a really high standard every single day. It’s been a challenge that they’ve embraced and bought into. I can’t say enough about them and the quality of people that they are, and how much we’ve improved so far in seven months already.”
The Lady Lions return three of their top five scorers from a season ago. Senior Siyeh Frazier averaged 9.9 points per game last season, while junior Kamaria McDaniel chipped in 9.7 ppg. Junior Alisia Smith led the team in rebounding last season with 7.1 boards per game, while also contributing 9.5 points per contest.
A major focus of Kieger’s since arriving has been establishing a strong team culture, and she feels the team has worked incredibly hard at doing so over the last several months.
“We’ve spent a lot of time as a team buying into our M.V.P. process, which is our mission, our vision and our principles,” Kieger explained. “In order to be champions, which is obviously our final goal, we need to start and end with our culture. We’ve been spending time on that every single day. I’m a big proponent of culture, principles, and who we are on a daily basis. I’m very proud of where we’re going and we’re headed in the right direction.”
McDaniel believes Kieger’s demands will make the Lady Lions better this season.
“We talk a lot about giving maximum effort and doing our best every single time,” she said. “Everything we attempt we’re trying to be the best that we can be. Coach Kieger just doesn’t settle. She won’t let us settle to be mediocre and that’s been the main thing, like we’re never trying to be average at anything. We’ll keep doing something until you become elite. She uses the word ‘elite’ a lot and it’s just instilled a certain level of how we expect to come out and give our best and try to be great at whatever we’re doing.”
The first look at the 2019-20 squad will come on Nov. 1 in an exhibition game against Kutztown at the Jordan Center. Penn State officially opens the season on the road on Nov. 5 at Towson before making its home debut on Nov. 10 versus Rider.