On Monday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers new women’s head basketball coach, Marisa Moseley, spoke to the media for the first time. While it doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things as good coaches like Paul Chryst have never even tied a press conference, Moseley did win her opening Zoom with the Wisconsin media by all accounts.
#Badgers women's hoops coach Marisa Moseley -- witty, sarcastic, engaging -- won the Zoom presser. Now comes the fun part: Convincing recruits to take a chance on rebuilding the UW program. If she turns UW into a consistent winner, SHE deserves a statue.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) March 29, 2021
There is plenty of work for her to do as the Badgers aren’t particularly close to finishing at .500, let alone compete for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin hasn’t had a winning season since Lisa Stone’s last year at the helm in 2010-2011 and they’ve only reached the NCAA Tournament three times this century, and not since the 2009-2010 season.
If you’ve watched any Badgers game over the past few years you’ve probably noticed that Wisconsin just doesn’t have the same talent baseline as most of the rest of the teams in the Big Ten, and it is laughable when compared with a team like UConn, South Carolina or Baylor. There is talent in Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota (where Moseley was an assistant with the Gophers), Iowa and Illinois and perhaps a new voice, and approach, like Moseley’s will appeal to them.
UW has a top-50 recruit, 4-star Florida wing Jordana Codio, in the 2022 class verbally committed (Update: per her Twitter account and thanks to eagle-eyed commenter mike.connor.94, it looks like Codio decommitted after the coaching change) and the No. 5 player in the country for the 2023 class, 5-star PG Kamorea Arnold, plays nearby for Germantown. Hopkins (Minn.) High School also has a trio of highly rated players in the next two classes that Moseley will probably take a look at too.
Marisa Moseley on what she's learned as an assistant at UConn— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) March 29, 2021
"First and foremost was the culture. How critical that was getting the right type of people... We don't do it til we get it right, we do it til we don't get it wrong." #Badgers
Moseley told UWBadgers.com’s Andy Baggot when asked about Wisconsin’s, uh, less than stellar program history, “I don’t know that it would be fair to look back and say, ‘Hey, we could have, should have done this,’” she said. “For me, it’s what are we going to do moving forward to make Wisconsin the best program possible, make it as attractive as possible to keep homegrown talent in-state, and to really create an atmosphere of excitement with our fans, alumni and community?”
If you’d like some further reading on Moseley, the Baggot post is awesome. He has quotes from both of her parents, former boss Geno Auriemma, he former players at Boston University and much more insight from Moseley herself.
As for the rest of her press conference, Moseley said that she respects analytics and uses them in her coaching but tends to rely more on “her feel” for the game.
Marisa Moseley when asked if she will have an analytical approach to the game mentioned how she got an A in statistics at Boston University but leans on her feel for the game when it comes to coaching.— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) March 29, 2021
That’s not my favorite answer, but I think it’s good that she uses statistics to her advantage even if it isn’t as much as I’d like.
Moseley also said she has reached out to former Badgers forward Imani Lewis, who is currently in the transfer portal, about potentially coming back to Madison. Outside of admitting that she has talked to her, Moseley didn’t go into any detail.
According to Baggot’s post, Moseley was a point person for social justice initiatives at Minnesota, UConn and BU – she founded the Patriot League Anti-Racism Commission – and she would be the only Black head coach at Wisconsin.
Marisa Moseley is the 7th Black female head coach in Power 5 women's college basketball. While her mission is to win games for the #Badgers she wants to accomplish much more than that @BadgerWBB @marisamoseley— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) March 29, 2021
"We can do so much more than teach kids this game with a round ball." pic.twitter.com/AFpIChi2y3
Moseley has the correct attitude and credentials to be a successful coach at Wisconsin and it will be exciting to see if she can sell her vision, and the program, to recruits moving forward.