Women's basketball preseason notebook - Edition 4 (10.26.12)

Each Friday the Charlotte women's basketball team will be featured in a notebook detailing news and notes surrounding the program leading into the 2012-13 season. Each notebook will feature a series of highlights, a short Q&A with a member of the coaching staff and videos with the 49ers players.

In-depth information on the program can also be found on the Charlotte women's basketball program's official twitter feed @CharlotteWBB. Be sure to watch this week's videos with Amanda Dowe (here) and Shequana Harris (here).

Preseason A-10 listings
The Atlantic 10 released its preseason coaches poll and all-conference teams Wednesday morning and the Niners were highly regarded across the board. The 49ers were picked to place third, including one first-place vote, by the coaches in the expanded 16-team race. The ranking comes on the heels of a sixth-place conference finish a year ago.
Senior Jennifer Hailey was tabbed to the league's first team and all-defensive team. She was the only Charlotte representative among the honors but the selections fall in line with what many national organizations have predicted for the Marshville, N.C., native.

A trio of 49ers were voted to serve as team captains this year. Taking on the leadership role for 2012-13 will be seniors Jai Forney and Jennifer Hailey, along with junior Ny Hammonds.

Another Hailey honor
In addition to her All-Atlantic 10 First Team selections by the coaches and College Sports Madness recently, Jennifer Hailey also collected a Preseason All-High Major All-American Second Team nod from College Sports Madness. Hailey was one of three players from the conference to garner a spot among the four teams (20 players) chosen by the website.

Media Teleconference
Head coach Cara Consuegra participated in the annual Atlantic 10 Media Teleconference Wednesday morning. Her time on the call was limited to eight minutes but she fielded seven questions via various sources, including Twitter, newspapers and radio stations throughout the conference footprint and nationally.

Q&A with Director of Operations Eric McCombs
1. What is the favorite part of your job?
I'd say the best part of my job is knowing what's going on behind-the-scenes in the program. I always know where we're traveling, what hotels we're staying at, what kind of equipment we're ordering. I know where we're eating at. I enjoy doing all the behind-the-scenes stuff and knowing what's going on with all of that.
I love traveling and going to different places. That would probably be my favorite part of my job.

2. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Juggling it all. I'm in charge of traveling, game scheduling, some parts of academics, all of our equipment (from the things we wear to the things we use, like ball racks and practice items). I also handle some of the official visit paperwork and the Fast Break Club. There's a lot of things I do but the challenging part is staying on top of it. It makes for a long day, a long week and a long season. But I enjoy it very much so.

3. Do you ever want to coach or do you enjoy the director of operations position?
I really enjoy this job a lot. I enjoy being here at Charlotte but I have always told myself, and I told Cara this too, the only reason I would ever leave and take another job is if Cara and I both said it would be foolish for me not to take one of those jobs. Yes, I do want to be an assistant coach one day. I'm not going to be an assistant coach just to be an assistant coach. It has to be the right position and at the right place. But, right now, I like what I do and love Charlotte. This is home and it will continue to be that until an even better opportunity comes along.

4. As an alum from Charlotte, how have you seen this campus grow since you first became a student?
It has changed a lot. There was no Student Union. There was no football field. There was no EPIC. There was no Alumni House. The Chick-Fil-A was in its old location and the post office was small.
But, I love seeing the changes around here. The buildings are so nice. If I was a student, I would love to be here at this time. I enjoyed my four years that I was here but I can't imagine how much more I would have enjoyed it now. It's almost a brand new campus. I know (assistant coach) Sabrina (Gregory) love watching it change and the transition in which it has gone through. It's cool to be a part of it and watch it unfold before your eyes. It's incredible.

5. What excites you about this season?
We're dog-gone good. We have a lot of talent. We are returning nine letterwinners and all five starters, all of whom had significant minutes last year. I'm excited about our home games. We have some winnable home games for our seniors and others that can really put us on the map. If we take care of business in some big games, and with the start of conference play, we can have a really good record. I'm so excited for the seniors because they can do something that hasn't happened in a few years and that's win an Atlantic 10 Championship. They have that kind of talent. We just have to stay healthy and they have to be good leaders. They sky is the limit for our team. For us, it's NCAA or bust.

Charlotte women's basketball will open the 2012-13 campaign with an exhibition against Johnson C. Smith November 3 at 7 p.m. in Halton Arena. A week later, November 10, the 49ers begin the regular season with a 6 p.m. tip against North Carolina Central.

Season tickets are on-sale now starting at $30 and are available by calling 704-687-4949 or visiting the "Tickets" menu option at Charlotte49ers.com.