Q & A With Telia McCall
Sophomore forward Telia McCall (Marietta, Ga.) recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to recap the Cavaliers’ competition at the Paradise Jam and to preview this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Virginia heads to sixth-ranked Ohio State on Thursday (Dec. 2) at 7 p.m., seeking its fourth-consecutive victory in the annual event.
Question: Can you recap the Paradise Jam Tournament? Virginia went 1-2 but really ended on a positive note with a 59-55 victory over then-No. 21 TCU.
McCall: Our first game vs. Iowa State wasn’t great, our shots were off so we got frustrated and stopped playing defense. In the next game, we could have beat West Virginia, but we were just very off and didn’t have a good game. Against TCU it came together more for us and we got the victory, but there is still a lot left to work on. The tournament and especially Thanksgiving with my teammates was really nice, we had a lot of interesting Virgin Islands food. The beach was great too, we got to go snorkeling in the clear, blue water. Overall it was a memorable experience.
Question: What kind of physical toll does three games in three days take on you as a basketball player?
McCall: It’s just like having three back-to-back practices, you have to be mentally focused and ready. It definitely takes a toll on your body, but it is more mental than physical.
Question: What do you know about Jantel Lavender, Ohio State’s post player and leading scorer at 25.0 points per game, and how will you prepare for her?
McCall: I know she is very good so I will be mentally ready for anything.
Question: Following the men’s basketball team’s win at No. 15 Minnesota, how do you feel about playing for the ACC in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge?
McCall: We have to represent the ACC; we have to play hard from the beginning instead of playing from behind.
Question: What’s one thing you think your team needs to improve on from the Virgin Islands?
McCall: Definitely our shot selection and our shooting percentage.
Question: What’s one positive thing your team can take from the Virgin Islands?
McCall: Our defense played really well, although it can still improve.
Question: Seven games into this season, how has the freshman class progressed?
McCall: They have definitely stepped up for this team. We have Ataira Franklin who is great on defense, Kelsey Wolfe who is a great 3-point shooter and Jazmin Pitts who is very strong around the basket.
Question: Growing up, is there anyone you modeled your basketball game after?
McCall: I modeled my game after Candace Parker even though she’s taller, but I admire her because she is very versatile.
Question: After being on the road so much will it be nice to finally get the fans involved ?
McCall: Definitely, it’s a chance for our fans to see us for themselves.
Question: What are you majoring in?
McCall: I’m planning on majoring in sociology.
Question: Do you have a favorite class this semester?
McCall: Yes I’m taking a SWAG class called Women, Sports and Gender, and we talk about how women started playing sports and we compare that to women’s role in sports today.