July 7, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - As a sophomore, Marshay White accepted a different role with the UCF women's basketball team. After starting 27 games as a freshman, White moved to the bench and started just four of the Knights' 34 games. Despite the new role, White played a critical part of the team's success, performing well in UCF's run to the Conference USA tournament and NCAA Tournament appearance.
Three of White's 13 double-digit scoring efforts came in the postseason. She scored 13 points in the Knights' semifinal victory over SMU and tallied 12 points against North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. White became the squad's top scorer off the bench, averaging 7.2 points per game.
White will be one of a handle of talented guards returning to UCF next season. In a recent Q&A White talked about the team's perimeter players, her summer and her thoughts on next season.
What have you been up to this summer? Have you had the chance to do anything fun aside from school and basketball?
"Yes I have been having fun aside of basketball. We (team) hang out all the time. We just recently went to see a movie together called The Hangover. I love to have fun and when I go out with the girls we always have a nice time."
Have you stayed in Florida or did you get a chance to go back to Rochester? Do you like getting out of the Florida heat to go back up north in the summer?
"Yes I did get the chance to go home to New York this summer for almost a month. It is always nice to go back home and see my family and all my old friends."
What class or classes have been on your schedule this summer? Which have you enjoyed the most or gotten the most out of?
"I am taking Finite Math and English this summer. I enjoy my English class the most. I think it is cool to express yourself through writing."
You have the ability to play both point guard and shooting guard. Which position do you like the most?
You found a role last year as an important scorer off the bench, esp. in the postseason with double-digit games in the C-USA semifinals and the NCAA Tournament. What do you try to bring to the team when you come off the bench?
"It doesn't really matter to me what position I play. I enjoy playing both positions. I just want to play the position where I am most effective and can help my team the most."
"I tried to bring a little spark when I could while coming off the bench. I wanted to bring energy and come in with that same fight and intensity as the starters did."
The team has so many talented guards with you, Aisha Patrick, Jelly Mealing, Chelsie Wiley and now incoming freshman Gevenia Carter. Does practicing and playing against them help during the season and in the offseason help make you a better player? Are you better prepared for games because of that competition?
"I love the group or guards we have on this team because we are all so talented it forces us to play hard and compete each and every day. It is great that I have teammates like them to push me and it's a great feeling when we leave the gym knowing that we are getting better each time we go up against one another."
What do you hope to improve in your game for next season?
"I would like to improve my ball handling and my jump shooting."
Two years ago, almost everyone on the team was a freshman. Now you have all become upperclassmen. How do you think you have grown or changed since then, both you personally and as a team?
"I think now that we are all upperclassmen we now understand what it takes to be successful. I think we all know it takes hard work and putting time in outside of workouts and practice. We all understand that we are going to have to put in the extra work to do what we did last year winning our conference championship. Now we want to go further with our goal being to go beyond first round in the tournament."
Last year the team slid under the radar as a team nobody outside the program expected too much from. What will be different this season with having a target on your backs?
"We have to be a step ahead of everyone. We have to outwork other teams. We have to take advantage of our free time and get in the gym and work on our game because we know we have a target on our back and other teams are coming for us. People still don't believe in what we can do so we still have a lot to prove."
What are your goals for yourself and the team for this upcoming season?
"Win conference and go further in the tournament."