2017-18 Gators Meet the Media

The Gators held their annual media day and the 2017-18 edition of the program met the local media and shared their thoughts on the upcoming season and on first-year Coach Cameron Newbauer.

The following is an abbreviated version of Coach Newbauer’s formal press conference:

Opening Statement:


It’s crazy to think that six months ago I was standing at this same podium, because it’s been a little over six months, and it’s been a crazy, fun, exciting six months, which the saying time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s flying. It’s absolutely flying. I can’t believe it’s October 3rd.

We’re in our second day of practice, can’t believe how many people are in this room. It’s a pleasure to be here. Our staff has done a terrific job on every front of our program, from building the culture in the locker room to academically to on campus, to expanding our territory in terms of recruiting. Just can’t be more excited and proud of the efforts that we’re putting forth right now.

And want to applaud our team for what our team has done with embracing us, embracing each other and really building a special culture amongst each other and getting to know each other and buying in completely with all that we’re asking of them. So it’s been a lot of fun to grow as a program in such a quick six months; and now that practice has started, the real business begins.


And day two is today, and we’re anxious to get out there and get going. Thankfully, we still have 20 — after today, 28 more practices because we are not ready. I think our players are eager to get out there in front of the bright lights, but thankfully, it’s not tomorrow or today.

Q. I was just wondering if you could give me your initial evaluation of Delicia Washington and what you’re kind of expecting from her this season.
COACH NEWBAUER: Great question, Phillip. As we all know, she was SEC Freshman of the Year last year, phenomenal athlete. If you watch her on film, it takes a split second to realize there are certain things she does footwork wise that you can’t teach, that I don’t know how to teach exactly, how to do it.

Q. From your experience just how much can a player grow from a strong freshman year to sophomore, junior, senior, that sort of thing?
COACH NEWBAUER: That’s the great thing about freshmen is they become sophomores. That’s probably the biggest transition in college basketball if you look across the board, because that freshman year they learn so much from the amount of effort it takes, the attitude it takes, the time management, how to manage your body, how to manage what you eat, your sleep and all that. So then all of a sudden you understand the rigors of an SEC season. So having that under your belt, that experience, there’s no measure for that.

Q. You mentioned building the culture and building what you want for your team. What details do you have with that and how long would you say that takes to be able to create that culture?
COACH NEWBAUER: You say the word ‘details.’ I’m a detail fanatic. The devil is in the details is what I believe, and if you don’t do the details, the devil is going to sneak up somewhere and get you for not taking notice of the details.

It’s everything, from picking up the trash in our locker room in our practice facility, to tucking in your jersey, to welcoming people in our gym with a handshake and looking them in the eye. Those details to me are first and foremost, the most important because that is who you’re and how you present yourself with the first impression. And our kids have bought into that.

  1. And you mentioned first impressions. What was that first meeting like with the team once you got here?
    COACH NEWBAUER: You know, the first day it was a little anxious, good anxiety, bad anxiety, unknowns, not knowing what was going to happen, where we’re moving forward because anytime there’s change, it takes effort and it takes an open heart, to welcome it and to move forward. And so it took us some time, and once our players started to understand that we are who we say we are, once our staff was really in place and spent intentional time with these young ladies showing them what we’re about, who we are and how we’re going to conduct ourselves, once we showed them the model that they need to see and need to be, I think that made a big difference as well.Q. Over the past six months you’ve had a chance to evaluate Haley Lorenzen’s game. Last season she took a step forward offensively, added a three-point shot. In what areas can she continue to grow, and what role do you kind of see her playing this season?
    COACH NEWBAUER: Super skilled. That’s what pops off the page to me about Haley Lorenzen. You talk about adding the three- point shot; she looks like she’s had it. Her range has increased a little bit off the dribble, her knack inside for feeling which shoulder to go over on how someone is playing them is very good. Her ability to stretch out and get really, really long, one dribble from the three-point line to get to the rim, finish with contact. The strength part was the piece that probably surprised me the most.
  2. So we saw Simone Westbrook go down with an injury last season. I just want to see how she’s doing, what you can expect from her this season and how she’s going to perform over the first couple of games, how she’s been in practice as well.
    COACH NEWBAUER: She’s a gamer. She was fully cleared maybe a month, month and a half ago, and has been full speed. She makes plays, has a knack for making plays off the bounce. Sometimes if you watch her game, a little unorthodox; shot form is not your typical three-point form, but she can hit them and she can hit them from deep. So I just qualify her as a gamer. She makes plays and makes things happen on the basketball court.Q. You talked in generalities six months ago about reaching the fan base. Now six months in, do you have some details about how you’ve tried to go about doing that? I saw some picture about you in the football facility, wearing a helmet. Is that part of that?
    COACH NEWBAUER: You’ll see the full videoon Friday at the Gator Growl. You know, we’re all about trying to — you know, I’m a goofball. I’ll do whatever I can to get attention for us, and I like to have a lot of fun. So we decided that for the Gator Growl video that we wanted to come up with something that shows kind of my personality and a little funny and quirky and get people to be like, wow, let’s go check these people out. 

    Q. Paulina Hersler wrapped up play at the World University Games yesterday. Have you been following her run and what have you seen from her if you were?
    COACH NEWBAUER: Paulina had a terrific summer. She’s played for the national team in Sweden at the World University Games. And the men had two athletes over there as well. So just basically a mini Olympics. And gave her a chance to have kind of a leadership role. Being a senior now, obviously it helped prepare her for this year with us, even though she’s just getting here. But played well; helped prepare her for, I think, physicality, which she’s going to see in the SEC. Another young lady that isn’t the most vocal, but when she says something, her teammates are going to listen, because of her effort and because of who she is as a person. Similar to Haley Lorenzen with the skill set, can do a little bit of everything; really stretch the floor offensively with her size. Every bit of 6’4 I’d say.

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • MIKAYLA Hayes: mih-KAY-la
  • TAMERIA Johnson: tah-MEIR-ee-uh
  • Sydney MORANG: mur-RANG (like meringue pie)
  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-ah-SO-glue
  • Sydney SEARCY: SIR-see
  • JALAYSHA Thomas: jah-LAY-shuh
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh

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