Karly Roser comes into her junior year as Northwestern's returning leader in assists, rebounds and steals. She was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten in her sophomore campaign, and her role looks to be increased as she was named a captain on this year's squad. She spoke with North by Northwestern about the upcoming season.
How did you react when found out you'd been named a captain this year?
I was really excited and honored. Obviously, being a junior, I didn't really expect to be a captain this year. I'm just really excited to lead the team, and I've got two great co-captains in Meghan [McKeown] and [La'Terria] Terri [Taylor], so it should be good.
With all this young talent coming in, how important is it to have veteran leadership? What do you need to provide to the team?
I think we need to just help them learn what the college game is like, because high school is totally different, especially with the Big Ten being so physical. [We're] helping them through the process, especially because I've been there, and I made mistakes my freshman year and learned from that, so just keeping positive and helping with that kind of stuff.
What are the main things you've improved in your game over the offseason?
I think my shot is a little more consistent. It still has a ways to go; I know that, but I'm getting better. I'm working on the leadership thing, too, trying to be more vocal during practice and communicating with my teammates?
You were often a triple-double threat last year because of how strong on the boards you were for a freshman. Do you see yourself keeping that up this year?
Hopefully. I think rebounding's more of a mindset, so when I'm out there, I just think I want to have the ball in my hands, and I just go for it. When I start playing, I'll get back into the rebounding.
What have you seen from [freshman forward] Nia Coffey in practice so far? How's she been looking?
Very good. She is extremely athletic, and sometimes she does a play and you wonder how she even did that. It's great to play with her. This year, we're going to be more of a transitional team, so getting people out to run the wings, even to the front rim, I can just pass it up there and I know she'll finish. It's a good asset to have.
What do you think is the biggest challenge this team faces in competing in the Big Ten?
We're definitely a little smaller than we were last year, but the new foul rule will probably help with the physicality. I just think we need to have a mindset that we're bigger than we are and just go after teams. Also, putting pressure on the ball and trying to get more steals this year and limiting turnovers will be a big challenge for us as well.
After losing a lot of production from last year's team, who's been stepping up to fill the scoring load?
We're going to do the transitional game, so anyone who's willing to run the wing, I'll get them the ball and they'll score a lot, I think. Our frontcourt is a lot more athletic, so I think our freshmen will contribute to the scoring game. Maggie [Lyon], every game, she's pretty consistent. We should be fine.
Having started every game since you've been here, does it put pressure on you to have to be so consistent night in and night out?
It's more of an expectation that I have for myself, and I know other people are counting on me to be consistent, too. I think it's something that's manageable. I can be as consistent as possible. Sometimes, I'll have a really good game, sometimes not so much, but I try to not think of it as pressure.