June 30, 2011
Entering her second season with the Cal State Northridge women's basketball program, assistant coach Lindsey Foster has reason to be excited. The Matadors bring in a strong recruiting class to add to a group of players that has Northridge thinking big in the upcoming 2011-12 season.
A former standout on the hardwood herself, Foster works primarily with the guards and perimeter players on the Matadors. In her playing days, Foster was a former all-league player at Northern Arizona University. She left NAU as the school's all-time leader in assists, steals and free throw percentage.
As the summer melts the time away until the start of the season, Foster sat down the GoMatadors to talk about her basketball past, the upcoming 2011-12 season and the future of CSUN women's hoops.
Q: Can you talk a little more about the incoming freshman class?
How do you think they'll add to the program?
A: "This is an exciting class. They have all come from winning programs and bring a strong work ethic. Janae Sharpe is an explosive scorer with a quick first step and good feel for the game. Ashlee Guay has great speed and takes great pride in her defensive ability. Randi Friess brings in good size and has the ability to get to the rim. Jessica Duarte is a great shooter who is relentless on the boards. Finally, Camille Mahlknecht is a long, athletic front line player who impresses with her skills around the basket."
Q: The team also has two incoming transfers who bring Division-I experience to the table. How important is having that familiarity and what do you expect from Kaitlyn Petersen and Jianni Jackson?
A: "Kaitlyn Petersen brings in a solid reputation as a great ball handler with a strong knowledge of the game. Jianni is another long, athletic forward who is active on the glass and improves our front-court depth. I think they'll both fit in well and add a veteran presence to our team."
Q: What makes for a successful free throw shooter?
A: "I can't speak for everyone, but for me it came down consistency and rhythm. I did the same thing every time and that helped me consistently put the ball in the basket."
Q: What was your favorite memory from your playing days?
A: "I would have to say when we beat Florida State in Flagstaff. They're a great ACC program and came in nationally ranked."
Q: Although the schedule is not entirely finalized, what are your thoughts on the Thanksgiving Classic and the field of teams coming out for the Holiday Tournament?
A: "We have a great field for the Thanksgiving Tournament this year. UCLA and West Virginia are two of the top programs in the nation and Colgate is in a rebuilding mode similar to us. It is always exciting to compete against these types of programs."
Q: How do you see the Big West Conference shaping up and how has it evolved since you first started in the league?
A: "I think there will be a lot of parity. It used to be that UCSB came in and rolled through the year and you knew that they were going to the postseason. Now, it's a different team every year and I think that speaks to the improvement of a lot of programs. I think we'll see much of the same this upcoming year, where any team can beat anyone else on any given night."
Q: What is it like working with Coach Flowers?
A: "Coach Flowers brings a lot of energy to his role and that is contagious. He is very creative and on the cutting edge with technology and how he can apply it to our program."
Q: What are your thoughts on the renovations going on in the Matadome?
A: "Considering that it is still on-going, I am amazed at how much nicer it looks already. As the school continues to add more elements to the gym, I think it will continue to be a great place to watch college basketball."
Q: Did you watch the NBA finals and what did you think of the end result?
A: "In the end I was happy to see the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat. I had always liked LeBron James since he entered the league, but that changed when he moved to the Heat. I like Dwyane Wade and was rooting for him, but I can't say the same for James. But I was happy for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the Mavericks. Since I don't have a team in Seattle anymore, I was glad it wasn't the Thunder."
Foster and the Matadors open their 2011-12 season in mid-November. A complete schedule will be released shortly.