June 25, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) has a chance to rewrite the record books during her career as a women's basketball player at UCF. Through just two seasons with the Knights, Cannon has already positioned herself third among the program's all-time rebound leaders and is just 122 points shy of becoming UCF's 12th 1,000-point scorer. Cannon is on pace to become the school's all-time leading rebounder and has an outside chance of besting Tamika Coley's 2,006 career points.
As a sophomore, the New Yorker averaged 15.5 points and a Conference USA best 11.6 rebounds to lead UCF's turnaround season and earn C-USA first-team all-conference honors. As the Knights won the C-USA tournament title last March, Cannon averaged 14.3 points and grabbed a record 58 rebounds to claim the tournament MVP award.
With so much success so early in a collegiate career, some players would be apt to become satisfied and stop working as hard, but Cannon knows she and her teammates have a lot more to accomplish. In a recent Q&A, Cannon talked about her summer, her goals and her thoughts on the Knights' upcoming 2009-10 season.
What has been keeping you busy during the summer?
"Basketball, basketball, basketball. I went home and played more basketball. I hung out with my family a lot. I had not seen my mom since Christmas so that was great and I spent a lot of time with her. I love to shop so I hit up a lot of stores. I think I added three pair to my collection and now I have too many to count."
Being so far away from home for most of the year, how special is it to spend some time during the summer with friends and family in New York?
"Oh yeah of course it does. My dad, my grandma and my mom are the ones that are up there so it is great to see them. I do have family that moved to Florida and [high school teammates] Marshay White's parents are down here now so it is not too tough being that far away from home. I am a momma's girl though, and of course I love my Dad so I like to go home."
What has been the highlight of the summer so far off the basketball court?
"Just being home and spending time with my mom. We did a lot of fun things while I was home. We went to the movies and had a little girls' day out."
What class or classes do you have on your schedule for Summer B?
"Math and probably Fitness Assessment"
Personally, you accomplished a lot as a sophomore - C-USA Tournament MVP, first-team all-conference, leading the league in rebounding. Were you expecting to have a season like that or did you surpass your own expectations?
"Before last season started I talked to my position coach, Coach [Greg] Brown, and he asked me what my goal was for the season and I told him I wanted to be the player of the year for the conference. I think I had a great year and I put in a lot of work to have the season I had. Once I did not win that conference player of the year for the regular season it made the conference tournament award that much better because we were the last team standing so nothing else mattered any more."
What have you focused on since the season ended to make sure you improve and build on the success you had last season? What are you hoping to add to your game?
"I have been working on my handles, my left hand and my jump shot. As a post people think we are limited to our drop step and post moves and our rebounding, but I am trying to become an all-around post so if you take one thing away I have a counter."
You may accomplish some very impressive things statistically this season, including becoming a member of the 1,000-point club and becoming only the second member of the 1,000-rebound club. Do things like that mean a lot to you as a player? Which of those two will you be most proud of?
"It will be a great achievement if I get to that point. Not a lot of people accomplish that goal so if I can become one of those people in both of those categories it will be great. I would definitely be prouder of the rebounding because I love to rebound."
Now that you are all back on campus, has the team done anything fun as a group?
"We just went to go see The Hangover together last week, and other than that we just hung out a lot together at camp and in the locker room. Some people are still in school and some people are not so it is hard for all of us to get together ."
Do you think winning the C-USA tourney and making the NCAA Tournament gives the team more motivation to work hard in the offseason and accomplish even more next season?
"I think a lot of people came back this summer with a different mindset. Seeing as far as we went and knowing that we can go further puts a chip on everyone's shoulder. It makes it easier because everyone wants it and you never have to tell somebody twice to do something because it is already in their mind that they are going to do it."
What are your goals for yourself and the team for this upcoming season?
"As a team of course we want to get back and make it further than the first round of the NCAA Tournament. We feel like we can go further and it is just up to us. As an individual I want to get better defensively and I want to lead the conference in rebounding again because that is my favorite thing to do."