CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The second week of Charlotte women’s basketball preseason practice has come to a close, and with it, is the latest edition of the notebook leading up to the exhibition opener Nov. 2 against Johnson C. Smith.

Each week of the preseason notebook, we will feature activities surrounding the program, interviews with members of the support staff and video interviews with players, chosen at random. This week’s players interviews include sophomore Alexis Alexander (here), redshirt senior Jessica Johnson (here) and freshman Danielle Webster (here).

Spotlight in the ‘Big D’
Head coach Cara Consuegra participated in the Conference USA media days earlier this week, Monday and Tuesday, in Dallas. At the annual event, coaches from around the league met with various media outlets who will be covering not only their respective team but also on the national level.
Consuegra spoke with renowned women’s basketball broadcaster Debbie Antonelli, representatives from the Fox Sports Networks, the Charlotte Observer’s David Scott, the Conference USA Digital Network, Time Warner Cable and others. She recapped the day for here.

Preseason picks
Charlotte re-enters Conference USA this season for the first time since 2004-05 and the coaches around the league have placed the 49ers fourth in the preseason poll, announced Monday. Charlotte was one of four schools, one of three in the top-four, to earn a first-place vote.
With one-half of the 16 teams being new to the conference this season, the Niners were second among that pack, trailing only preseason league favorite Middle Tennessee. The complete release and poll can be found here.

Turn on the lights
Charlotte women’s basketball was picked by Conference USA and Fox Sports Networks for two television games this season as part of the league package. The 49ers will be on for road contests at Louisiana Tech Feb. 13 and at Middle Tennessee Feb. 22. Charlotte and MT were the only two schools to have more than one game carried this season on the eight-game televised slate. The complete TV schedule for the conference can be found here.

Season and individual game ticket information is available on or by calling (704) 687-4949. Reserve your seat now as the 49ers look to improve upon last year’s 14-4 home record, which set a single-season school mark for home victories.

This week’s support staff interview is with athletic trainer Skyler Farley. Farley, an Anchorage, Alaska, native is in his first year working at Charlotte and with the women’s basketball program.

1. You joined the Charlotte staff over the summer. What are your impressions so far?
It has been awesome. I knew from day one that this is the place that I wanted to be. It is a growing program coming here. And being able to see eye-to-eye as soon as I sat down with the coaching staff, I knew this was going to be a place I was going to be happy with.

2. Has there been any player on this year’s team that has stood out to you in the weight room?
Ny Hammonds would have to take that. Pound for pound, she is the strongest person on the team. When you look at her at first glance, she is one of the smallest players we have, but she can hang in there with all of our post players. I am just impressed with her relative body strength.

3. What changes in the training regime from summer to now, as we get closer to the season?
We trained our level of physical preparedness high enough to where we are maintaining a pretty high work load compared to what other teams are doing at this point of the year. We will still hit some of big movements all the way through the season. But between those sets, we have done a lot more stretching and some of the pre-hab rehab stuff, so they are still getting a stimulus that we are strong at the end of the year and make sure that their bodies are ready for competition. 

4. What do you tend to focus more on – strength, speed or agility?
If I had to choose one thing, I would say strength; it is the one quality that feeds into everything else. The more force you can put into the ground, the faster you are going to be and speed is the first component of agility. So if I had to choose one I would say strength, but all three of those work together in some way, shape or form. 

5. From what you have seen thus far with this program, what do you forecast for the season?
I think we have a great group of people. We have people that work hard every day with a positive attitude. When you come every single day to work like that and everyone is doing the same hours across the board, it is what you do with that time not how much time you have. There is great potential for this team and I am excited to be a part of it.