Head Coach Charity Elliott calls Michelle Osier “the heart and soul of our team.” The 6-1 senior is a three-time first team All-CCAA selection and the Tritons have a 75-20 record over those three seasons as well as one conference title and three trips to the NCAA Playoffs. As a junior, the Placerville, CA native averaged a double-double (15.2 ppg/10.9 rpg). “We rely on Michelle to bring intensity to our play on both ends of the court,” says Elliott. “She leads us in virtually every category and has worked hard to improve her game. I think you’ll see a player with better one-on-one skills that will be able to get to the basket and score off the dribble.” With the 2008-09 season getting into full swing, Osier took time to reflect on her career and talk about her final season at UCSD.
Q: How has your UCSD career compared to the expectations you had when you arrived as a freshman?
OSIER: During preseason of my freshman year, it was projected that we’d take second to last in league. Boy, were they surprised! In the last three years, we have won a league championship, a regional championship, and have made it to the Final Four. We’ve made history. And we’re not done yet!
Q: What would make your senior season a success?
OSIER: Success would mean walking away from my senior season with no regrets. I know what this team is capable of and I will be unsatisfied with anything less. For four years, my sights haven’t changed...I want a national championship ring. Go big or go home!
Q: What facets of your game do you feel will be improved in 2008-09? Why?
OSIER: I think that I have matured a lot as a player since last year. I spent the off-season working to expand my game. Instead of relying on my athleticism, I feel like I have a lot more to turn to as far as individual skill.
Q: How does it feel to be a senior on a very young team? What type of a leadership responsibilities does that demand?
OSIER: Honestly, it still surprises me when I hear the announcer say: “Michelle Osier, senior from Placerville, CA.” I have always felt comfortable leading by example, but as a senior captain, I have been forced to be much more vocal than I am used to.
Q: How have you grown the most as a player in your first three years?
OSIER: Well, I would definitely say that I have grown since my freshman year...grown in that I’ve gained 15 lbs of muscle (haha). Really though, in the past three years, the most valuable thing that I have gained is experience. Now that I feel completely at ease on the court (well, most of the time), I am able to focus on just playing basketball.
Q: What are the most significant things that second-year coach Charity Elliott brings to the program?
OSIER: Coach Elliott takes pride in developing her players individually. She is genuinely excited when one of us succeeds in trying something new. For me, this was key. Spring and summer individual workouts did wonders for my game.
Q: Which of your new teammates have impressed you the most in the early going?
OSIER: I have a great amount of respect for each of my teammates, but I would have to say that Leilani Martin has stepped up tremendously. She is stronger than anyone in the backcourt and she easily handles the responsibilities of a point guard.
Q: Which of your past teammates have had the most impact on you? Why?
OSIER: Don’t tell her this but a past teammate that has had the most impact on me would have to be Alexis Mezzetta (current asstistant coach). She is the most passionate and hard-working teammate I have ever played with. My freshman year, Coach Jones asked each of us: “If you were in battle, who would you want by your side in the trenches?” Mezzetta was my number one.
Q: If you weren’t playing basketball, what other sport(s) do you think you might excel at?
OSIER: In high school, I also played soccer and volleyball. But if I hadn’t been recruited to play basketball, I definitely think I would have made a great hip hop dancer.
Q: How does your hometown of Placerville, in Northern California, compare to La Jolla?
OSIER: Well, let’s just say that I live a mile back on a dirt road and the biggest threat about being out late at night is being eaten by a mountain lion. Enough said.
Q: When are you scheduled to graduate? What are your plans after you do?
OSIER: I plan to graduate in June. I am hoping to pursue something in the business field or possibly play basketball overseas.
Q: Off the court, what characteristics and interests do you have that people might find surprising?
OSIER: On the court, I probably appear to be pretty serious and kind of intimidating. But off the court, most people who know me would agree that I am just a big goofball.
Q: What do you hope fans remember about you as a basketball player at UCSD?
OSIER: I’d like to be remembered as one of forces that put UCSD on the map. And when I say “on the map,” I mean a very specific location: St. Joseph’s, Missouri, the site of the 2009 NCAA Division II Championships.
Previous Q & A Articles
Sylvia Schmidt (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2008
Denny Harper (Men’s Water Polo Head Coach) October 17, 2008
Ron Larsen (USA Volleyball Assistant Coach) October 13, 2008
Jessica McGovern (Women's Soccer) October 6, 2008
Bre Schofield (Cross Country) September 26, 2008
Tony Fernandez (Men's Soccer) September 18,2008
Kimberly Carpenter (Women's Volleyball) September 12, 2008
A.J. Kotanjian (Men’s Water Polo) September 2, 2008
Peter Akman (Men's Soccer) August 21, 2008
Natasha Belak-Berger (Women's Soccer) August 15, 2008
Jake LaVieux (Men's Cross Country) August 8, 2008
Dr. Penny Rue (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs) July 30, 2008
Michelle Torres (Women's Volleyball) July 15, 2008
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer Head Coach) July 1, 2008
Julie Ertel (Athletics) June 16, 2008
Clint Allard (Men's Basketball) June 9, 2008
Jen Myers (Women's Crew) May 27, 2008
Casey Ryan (Men's Track and Field and Men's Basketball) May 21, 2008
Keith Noe (Baseball) May 13, 2008
Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 30, 2008
Sydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008
Sarah Hendy (Women's Track and Field) April 17, 2008
Eric Leserman (Men's Volleyball) April 9, 2008
Danielle Lukk (Softball) April 4, 2008
Chris Franco (Baseball) March 24, 2008
Dan Perdew (Swimming) March 18, 2008
Evan Hsiao (Swimming) March 9, 2008
Eric Rubens (Men's Tennis) February 27, 2008
Melissa Ward (Softball) February 20, 2008
Cameron Sprowles (Fencing) February 13, 2008
Kim Hockett (Women's Water Polo) February 6, 2008
Trevor Decker (Baseball) January 31, 2008
Jordan Lawley (Men's Basketball) January 23, 2008
Jason Spangler (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2008
Andrew Skewes (Men's Diving) December 26, 2007
Alexis Gaskin (Women's Basketball) December 17, 2007
Aubrey Panis (Women's Swimming) December 2, 2007
Andrew Hatch (Men's Basketball) November 26, 2007
Kevin Klein (Men's Cross Country) November 12, 2007
Kim Adams (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2007
Ben Miller (Men's Water Polo) October 31, 2007
Alie Avina (Women's Soccer) October 19, 2007
Charity Elliott (Women's Basketball Head Coach) October 15, 2007