Q&A with Shimmy Gray-Miller

How does this team compare to others you’ve coached?
This is the best team I’ve seen since I’ve been here. I know the record doesn’t show that, but this team works harder than any other and has the potential to do great things in the future. Our team is mainly freshmen and sophomores. They will keep getting better and better.

How important are practices?
I truly believe that you play how you practice. There have been periods of time during practice when the girls lose their drive. They wear out. And it’s hard when you’re on the road, you know, because you don’t get much time to practice. But overall, I’ve been very pleased with our practices as of late.

How close are you to reaching that next level?
We’re almost there. We’re almost to our potential. That starts in practice.

What’s it going to take to win games this season?
Defense wins the game for St. Louis, especially when we’re on the road in front of someone else’s home stand. When we’re on, when we don’t beat ourselves, I’m very happy with our play. We have to stay focused, control the ball, and get boards. I feel like we’ve been doing very well at controlling the ball.

What do you think of the new recruits?
We had very specific needs for our 2008 class, and we targeted a select group of student-athletes … Our coaching staff and team worked extremely hard to help reel in this special recruiting class. My current players are great ambassadors and recruiters for Saint Louis University, and it’s wonderful when you bring in outstanding recruits who sense the makings of something special and desire to be a part of it.

What do you think your role is with Billiken women’s basketball?
My staff and I have put a tremendous amount of work into building this women’s basketball program into an entity the University can be proud of. I would like nothing more than to be here for the long haul to see our work completed.

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