Terrence Buie of The A&T Register caught up with Coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs after the Lady Aggies went 1-1 in the season opening tournament at Winthrop.  Among things discussed were pre-season goals, the youth of this Aggie squad, early adversity, what to expect going forward, and the need for support of the women’s team.

TB: What were you guys’ goals for the season; what did you want to accomplish?

CB: We want to accomplish another championship. We looked at us doing three championships and Jalessa Sams would be the only freshman that has come through to get four straight championships. However, we knew that we were so young and a lot of times for the freshmen are that they get experience.  In order to do this they had to possibly learn quickly because the schedule we put together was no joke.

TB: That’s another thing, looking at the schedule I see it’s going to work out to be four straight games on the road. Is that by design?

CB: That’s the way it’s been. It’s so tough for us to get home games and only because of success. Last year out of the 32 games we had 23 on the road and this year we have 18 on the road. We would love to play at home, we love our fans.

TB: Going to the Winthrop tournament over the weekend, in the first game you guys struggled out of the gate (119-71 loss to Central Michigan). What do you feel was the major issue in that game?

CB: I think a lot of times when you see a team and we scouted them, we showed the ladies what they were like last year but those ladies are older, more experienced now. A lot of times having a lot of freshmen they don’t really realize; they think it’s just a game. They had an outstanding team. I can’t take anything from them they were a very good team. I don’t have an issue of playing them, I’m glad we did because it helped us so much for what we have to face anyway so we were ok with Winthrop.

TB: What did you tell the team to help them bounce back so quickly? (81-56 win over host Winthrop in consolation game of tournament) What did you instill in them to let them know we have to approach this a little differently?

CB: Well I think it was actuality because actually they saw themselves play against Central Michigan, and to go in that film room and go through that scouting report and to look at yourself.  See a lot of times we don’t believe some of the things we do. If we are doing some great things some of that kind of sticks with you however if things are not that great you seem to forget it. I just believe in the visual aid, you have to see yourself.

TB: You have a very young team (one senior, Jalessa Sams) aren’t you impressed with the accountability that the team had after the first game to not point fingers and instead look at themselves in the mirror?

They did and without the senior in that game. Jalessa went down against Central Michigan early in the 2nd half.

TB: Who stepped up for Jaleesa?

CB: We took Jaquayla Berry, who has always been a guard for us, we put her under the basket and she went to work (17 points and 12 rebounds).

TB: If there is maybe one word or so you would use to describe this team early on what would it be, something like potential?

CB: Great potential, it is really great potential. This team will make a statement before the end of this season. It’s really amazing because when you have given success to so many, and this is what’s happening here at the women’s program, A&T has done this. People expect that you make no excuses for being young, for anything. We don’t have this, we don’t have that, and I make no excuses for that. I know we have the team.  Our kids looks good on paper, our freshmen, they will be freshmen. I don’t know what I’m going to get from the Old Dominion game because with freshmen it’s always a surprise.  You’re going to get something. You don’t know if it is going to be good or bad. However you know that they are going to grow and we are going to allow them that time to grow. The pressure has to be put on the upperclassmen to help to get it done.

TB: If there is anything that  you could tell the student body and the community to help get them to come out and see what will happen with our women’s team this year what would that be?


CB: You have to continue to support, you can’t give up on us because if you give up before we even get started you are going to miss out on something as a fan. So we need them, when we are here at home they need to be here to see us. Not coming at halftime but at the beginning to show these young ladies that they support them. So just support us, continue, and do not give up because we are not going to give up. We are going to fight until the end. That schedule, it is a long season and right now I am feeling good because I know these kids want to win

  • Terrence Buie