Q & A With Sami Whitcomb

Feb. 5, 2009

Washington senior hoopster Michelle Augustavo is serving as a GoHuskies.com correspondent this quarter and will be doing weekly Q&A's with her teammates through the rest of the season. This week, Augustavo caught up with junior guard Sami Whitcomb who is coming off a career-high 29 point scoring performance in UW's last outing versus Arizona State. Whitcomb shared her thoughts on how the team is holding up during the current losing streak as it makes the turn through the mid-way point of conference play. The Huskies host #3 Cal and #7 Stanford this week, but still hold last year's upset of the nationally-ranked Golden Bears in Seattle on their minds as they head into action this week.

GoHuskies.com: When did you first start playing basketball?
Sami Whitcomb: 'I first started playing in middle school. I actually played soccer first, but ending up quitting because I lost interest in it. So, my dad threw me into basketball because I was tall for my age.'

GH: What were your expectations for the team this season?
SW: 'I had pretty high expectations just because we had a very solid recruiting class to add to the seven veterans returning who knew what Coach J was like and what to expect. But at the same time I did expect there to be bumps along the way and obstacles to get past due to losing so many players (last season).'

GH: Has it been hard to keep the team positive during this eight-game losing streak?
SW: 'Yeah, it's tough every now and then, but I feel like we've really come together as a team and have good leadership across the board. Under the circumstances I think we've remained confident and have stayed positive with each other.'

GH: As a captain what do you feel your role is during this time when people may not be as confident?
SW: 'I think it is to continue to be positive with players individually as well as collectively. For example, if people aren't playing as well to remind them of their strengths. And collectively to remind the team what we're capable of and the goals we have that are achievable.'

GH: You just came off a career night vs. ASU (29 points), what were you thinking during that stretch where you just could not miss?
SW: 'It seemed like a lot of my shots were falling, so if I had an opening I wanted to take it. I didn't want to force stuff, but to play within the flow and hopefully knock down a couple more shots because I thought we were really starting to battle back into it. But I also wanted to get other people involved when the pressure increased.'

GH: You seem to be shooting the three a lot better this year, did you work at that in the offseason a lot?
SW: 'Yeah, that's kind of something I've been wanting to improve on since high school. I was never really a three-point shooter or threat at all, and ever since I've been here it's been a focus of mine. I just wanted to develop a level of consistency.'

GH: How fresh is last year's game vs. Cal at home? And do you remind the underclassmen of it often?
SW: 'I think it's pretty fresh for the returners. It was a really exciting game for us and we played really well against them. It is a very similar scenario as last year with Cal being ranked so high, and as much as it's fresh in our mind I think it's probably just as fresh in their (Cal) minds. I think it is important to keep in the back of our mind that it is doable and they are a beatable team.'

GH: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
SW: 'I want us to win the games that we are expected to win, the ones that we probably should've won the first time around. I want us to finish strong, keep competing, win the Pac-10 tournament, and go to the NCAA Tournament.'

GH: How is it living with the coolest person (Michelle Augustavo) on the team?
SW: 'Michelle and I have a really good time. She's really easy to live with because we are very similar and we do so much together. It's fun and easy and it's going to be weird not having her around next year.'

GH: Would you say you're a pretty good roommate?
SW: 'Yeah, I mean I'm not the most helpful person. I can't cook and don't clean a ton, but I think I'm fun. I'm not loud or noisy and I don't throw parties so, I think I'm ok to live with too.'

GH: What do you like to do in your free time?
SW: 'Sleep! I love movies and watching TV shows on DVD, so if I can do that I love to. I like to hang out with my teammates, go get food, and occasionally read.'

GH: I hear that you have a pretty big DVD collection, what's your favorite movie?
SW: 'My favorite movie is Love & Basketball and Supertroopers, it's a tie.'

GH: What are your plans for the future?
SW: 'Post-college I want to continue to play professionally, here or overseas. And then eventually I want to teach and coach.'

GH: Can you share with me something about one of your teammates that no fan would ever know?
SW: 'That's pretty tough. So, not many people would know this...Kristi Kingma is actually majoring in Pictionary. And she is an incredible artist; you should probably look for some of her artwork that is going to be on sale at the next auction. She does pastels, free-hand, and watercolors, but particularly when it comes to Pictionary. On Laura...She is actually incredibly smart and she got a 4.0 in our summer class. She also received the highest grade on a paper in that class, and they only use Laura's paper as an example still to this day. Laura is really really actually smart!'

GH: Last question...Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, do you have a Valentine?
SW: 'I have two valentines actually, Michelle and Kristi are my valentines! I do, I'm very lucky.'

GH: Thanks Sami, good luck against Cal and Stanford.
SW: 'Thanks!'

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