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    Women's Basketball Coach Don Perrelli

    Coach Perrelli

    1. How can the women's basketball program succeed and win the Big Ten title and go on to the NCAA's?
    John, Jerseyville, IL

    A. A Big Ten title is one of the main objectives of the Northwestern women's basketball program. It takes a major effort and commitment from all phases of the program: quality players, role players, and of course luck. Going on to the NCAAs is another objective - not just to get to the NCAAs, but progress through the many rounds.

    2. Why is it that you haven't recruited many post players over the last few years?
    Ron, Evanston IL

    A. We have recruited post players over the last few years, players that can play either the 4 or 5 position. Leah Berki, Tami Sears and Becky Fisher are young players that you haven't had a chance to see because of injury. This position continues to be a priority of our program. Players have been evaluated and we are attempting to recruit this position.

    3. I would like to know what your strategy is when you face a team with one dominant player such as St. Bonaventure and Hilary Waltman. Do you give the star her points and try to stop everyone else, do you play team defense, or do you try to put a clamp on the star?
    Bob, Highland Park, IL

    A. The strategy for facing a dominant player is just what you said. First, contain the star player and shut down the other players. Second, go all out to stop the star by closing the middle if she is a post player, or by giving a lot of help if she is a guard or wing player. We did not do a good job in containing Waltman of St. Bonaventure.

    4. Can you describe a typical day for you during the season?
    Sean, Los Angeles

    A. My day is made up of preparing for practices and upcoming opponents. My focus in practice is executing individual and team situations to better our on-court execution. The coaching staff breaks down film to give our players an edge in our games. Other activities include media interviews, academics and meetings.

    5. Who would you say ranks above all the rest that played for you and which player surprised you the most as far as her development in the four years under your guidance?
    Arnie Sandler, Deerfield, IL

    A. This is a very difficult question to answer because I have been fortunate to have so many great players. I would have to say the two players that stand above the rest are Michele Savage and Nancy Kennelly. These players led us to outstanding years during their time at NU.

    Surprise players have been many, but the ones that stand out are Christina Braden, Jeanine Wasielewski, Robin Garrett, Kelly Cole, Heather Ertel, and Donna Groh.

    6. What is the hardest part of your job, recruiting, traveling?
    Dave Moll, Chicago

    A. The most difficult part of my coaching responsibilities is recruiting. It is the blood line of the program. Establishing a list of quality student-athletes and getting them to understand the benefits of becoming a student-athlete at NU is the objective of our program.

    We have been fortunate over the years in being able to recruit solid student-athletes, all of whom have received their degrees. I'm most proud of this because the student-athletes have a difficult daily schedule.

    Traveling is always difficult because of the size of the group, and the organizing of hotels, bus/plane reservations and food considerations. I have excellent assistant coaches, and we all help in the organizing of trips.

    7. How strong of a conference is the Big Ten this season?
    Russell Wright, Alexandria, VA

    A. The conference is very strong this year, with the top teams being Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Other teams will be competitive and the order of finish will depend on home play and luck. As for the rest of the country, the Big Ten ranks very high. The SEC is still the best conference, but we are continuing to reach for the top.

    8. Do you set goals for yourself and the team each season? What are your goals for 1997-98?
    Jamie Lemmond, Dallas

    A. Yes, I do set goals for myself: (1) To be a good listener; (2) To help our student-athlete succeed in the classroom by being flexible with our practice schedule; (3) To help our players become better by developing drills in all fundamentals of basketball; (4) To help our team win a Big Ten Championship and reach the NCAA Final Four. These are just a few of many. It takes time to develop each of the above goals.

    Our top team goals are to win a Big Ten team championship and earn a berth in the NCAA tournament. We also have statistical objectives dealing with field goal percentage, field goal defense, free throw percentage, assists and turnovers, three point field goal percentage and three point defense, to name just a few.