In the middle of her second season as the Wisconsin women's basketball coach, Bobbie Kelsey continues to be direct, colorful and often brutally honest when addressing the challenges that go along with rebuilding the program.
"You want to be able to walk away and say, 'Hey, I'd do that over again, even with the adversity and all the things that come up,'" she said Monday at her weekly press conference. "Life is going to kick you in your head. You've got to keep it moving, and you can't cry about what happened before."
The adversity to which Kelsey refers includes the loss of senior guard Taylor Wurtz to a back injury after playing in just five games. Wurtz averaged over 16 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last year, leading the Badgers in both categories. Losing Wurtz, along with the graduation of forward Anya Covington, meant the team would have to compete minus its two best players from last season.
And while the Badgers are sitting near the bottom of the Big Ten rankings, their 11-13 record is an improvement from last year, which finished 9-20. Among their victories was a shocking 63-61 upset over conference-leading Penn State on Jan. 31, just two weeks after losing 84-40 to the Nittany Lions.
With five games left, including two at home, plus the conference tournament, there remain a lot of opportunities for Kelsey's young team to continue to improve. Sophomore forward Jacki Gulczynski and junior guard Morgan Paige have emerged as legitimate scoring threats who will make Wisconsin a dangerous team when Wurtz returns next year.