Q-and-A with Ally May

By Ryan Ostry

DeKALB — Redshirt sophomore forward Ally May has been a starter for the 2017-18 Huskie women’s basketball team despite a constant struggles with injuries in her career.

May is averaging nearly seven points and seven rebounds per game. The Hartland, Wisconsin, product has been one of the conference’s best 3-point shooters at 46 percent through 18 games of play.

Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said she has high praise for her redshirt sophomore forward, especially coming off her most recent injury after she broke her hand in a practice this past season.

“Just when [May] has gotten going in the last couple years she’s been hit by injury,” Carlsen said. “[May] broke her hand in early December right when she was getting ready to be a significant member in the rotation, but she’s healthy now and adds great length.”

Q: The team will go into this next game against Miami at 10-10. What are your overall thoughts of the season so far?

A: So far there have been some trials, but I think, overall, we’re proud of each other and how we’ve adjusted to those trials. As a whole, we’re looking forward to bouncing back defensively and trying to get over this little hump, which I know we are capable of doing.

Q: During this six-game losing streak where games have been decided by a few points or less, what has been the struggle to pull away with the victory?

A: It’s always tough, especially because basketball always comes down to a possession or two. There’s always a few possessions after the game where you look back and say, ‘We should’ve made that stop or got a better possession.’

Q: It’s not a secret to say that since Myia Starks has gone down with her ACL injury, the team has struggled. What is missed the most when your starting point guard goes down like she did?

A: Myia put in a lot of work to get comfortable in that starting point guard role. It’s not easy to be a starting point guard at the college level, so it takes a lot of confidence to distribute the ball and have the defense respect you as a scorer. Overall though, we definitely miss Myia on the defensive end guarding those tough point guards.

Q: You’re listed at 6-foot-2-inches. Do you think you add another element to a team that lacks height, especially down in the post?

A: When it comes to matchups, I’m usually on the bigger post because Kelly [Smith] is a little more versatile. I definitely think it’s good for us because we can keep Kelly [Smith] out there on the perimeter more, so being one of the taller ones helps us on the defensive end.

Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and weakness on the court?

A: I’m really on the court a lot for rebounding the ball. That’s something I take pride in and something I try to keep my numbers up in. I’m surrounded by a lot of scorers, so I just try and get those rebounds for my team, and then when it comes to things I want to work on, I want to get better on the all-around offensive end.

Q: You’re a redshirt sophomore so you’ve had some experience and tenure with this team. Would you consider yourself a leader, and if you do, what’s your style of leadership?

A: I’m one of four captains this year, so I think I’m definitely considered a leader. When it comes to my leadership, I’ve had a lot of different roles on the team, and I am a pretty vocal leader on and off the court. So, I definitely take pride in my work ethic, so I like to lead by example.

Q: Can you talk about your injury that sidelined you a year ago and if there’s any hurdles you still have to get over today?

A: My injury last year was in non-conference; it was in practice right before the Drake game, and I broke my hand and ended up getting pinned. The hurdles I overcame were losing some muscle, and I definitely lost a lot of weight and muscle tone when I was hurt, so I’m still coming back from that.

Q: You’re shooting 46 percent from 3-point range. Is that something you worked on in the off-season, or how did you become such an efficient shooter from that range?

A: I’ve always enjoyed shooting threes. Being 6-foot-2-inches, it’s not super common [shooting threes], but we do a shooting challenge over the summer, so I definitely got a lot of threes up, and I’m definitely comfortable and confident shooting those.

Q: You grew up in the same town as your teammate Kelly Smith and went to the same high school. What has that experience been like playing with her all these years and has that relationship just kept on evolving?

A: It’s been super fun. In high school, we were teammates and good friends and played volleyball together as well for two years. We actually ended up quitting the same year because of [Amateur Athletic Union] basketball, but as far as Kelly and I’s relationship, I would definitely call it special because we’ve grown a lot as players together, and then our friendship has been growing over the years. I’m definitely sad that she’s a senior and leaving me soon.

Q: You guys have 11 games left not including the MAC tournament. How do you want to finish the second half of your season?

A: We want to win. We need to keep growing on the court, and we definitely struggled against Eastern [Michigan] defensively. Overall, we need to keep getting better at [defense] and get to the point where we need to be. So we just need to get over that hump, and I know we are completely capable of it, so I’m excited.

NIU will continue its season 6 p.m. Wednesday against Miami University at the Convocation Center.