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Q&A wth NIU junior forward Mauvolyene Adams

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Mauvolyene Adams earned her way into Northern Illinois' starting lineup nine games into this past season and ended her sophomore year averaging 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds a game for the Huskies.

In her junior season, Adams will be counted on heavily in the post along with junior Ebony Ellis. After Wednesday's practice, the Daily Chronicle's John Sahly sat down with Adams to talk about the team's offseason conditioning program and more.

Marke [Freeman] was talking about the football field and how often you were out there. How much time did you spend there? I personally feel like we camped out on the football field. We were out there basically every day. We did agility, sprint work, speed, all kinds of stuff. We just really worked on our conditioning. We worked really hard, everybody did, especially in the summer. That's what set the tone for the preseason.

What kind of results did you notice? Oh, man. I can recall last year, even up until the first practices we were doing more conditioning in practice. But this year we're able to just get right to the drills, right to the offenses, right to the different things that coach wants to implement because we came in in such good shape.

How dramatic of a difference is that from previous years? It's a very dramatic difference because it kind of puts us ahead of the game. We're able to come in and not have to review things. We're able to go right into new things because we're already on the same page and we're already ready to go as far as being introduced to more full-court stuff and breaking down things rather than having to work on being in shape.

Is this team going to have a different look or a different style of play at all this year? Yes. I think we're more of an athletic team. We'll be able to run more and we should be a much better defensive team based on our quickness and our agility.

And, of course, that's because of the conditioning you did in the offseason. The most important thing about playing defense is conditioning. When you're in shape and you have heart, you can play. So for us to be in such good shape, I think it's going to be a plus for us in the long run. Coach [Carol Owens] was observing other teams and was telling us how she was proud of us because we're in better shape than some teams that she's seen. So to hear that from your head coach, it's great motivation to keep up the hard work.

How do the freshmen (forward Shaakira Haywood and guard Brittney Callahan) look? The freshmen look good, very coachable. They work hard. If you tell them they did something wrong, they're quick to fix it and they're just really good kids. I think they're adjusting very well.

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