Jan. 9, 2011
MISSISSIPPI vs. TENNESSEE
Jan. 9, 2011
HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
"I think this is one of our best efforts from beginning to end. We were able to play a lot of people. We doubled them, 38-16, in the paint. I was pleased with the way Shekinna Stricklen responded. The last game, I was not pleased. I told her, `You should be an All-American.' She played that way today. We've had some long practices and some challenges. Today, they responded."
(on Shekinna Stricklen):
"I held a prayer meeting with her, and my prayers were answered. She and Angie Bjorklund are our captains, and we need more leadership from them and to hold others accountable. Sometimes they speak up. I think they've gotten it now. When we go on the road, I'm going to meet with every individual player and identify their role, what it would be, could be, and should be. Today, Shekinna responded. I didn't know how she might respond. I told her that she had to lead by example if she wanted to play at the next level. Right now, I don't know if I could recommend her. I think she heard what I said."
(on Tennessee's defense):
"I think our defense was pretty solid. There were a few situations where we weren't in the right place at the right time and in our five-defense, we didn't switch out as quickly as we should, but we had great focus."
(on ball movement):
"I think our ball movement was solid. A lot of people had touches. We have a 50-pass drill in practice, and that has helped us. They have to pass the ball 50 times before shooting. 50--that's 5-0. That's my age, I wish."
(on Kelley Cain):
"Kelley fought through fatigue and some other issues today. With her back, she ran the floor well. We didn't get the ball to her as much early as I would have liked, but once she started getting the ball, she did great."
(on Meighan Simmons):
"Meighan had a great game. She knows what defense is now, that it isn't something that you put up in the back yard. I had to explain that to her."
(on Kamiko Williams):
"We talked about battling through fatigue and that she was not in shape and that if she wasn't in shape, she wasn't going to play and that she had to decide. She had a good game."
(on the crowd for an early Sunday afternoon tip-off):
"It was a great crowd, considering the noon start. Our fans are the greatest."
(on setting the bar for this team):
"We want the team to set the bar at the same place our staff has set the bar. They have to know the scouting report and be just as invested in it as our staff. They're starting to buy in and take ownership."
JUNIOR GUARD / FORWARD Shekinna Stricklen
(On her aggressive play):
"I'll just say coach (Pat) chewed me out yesterday. We had a good long talk. She was just on me telling me that I haven't been aggressive, that I needed to step my level."
(On not being aggressive in past games):
"My problem was that I had a new role since I had started playing inside. The coaches told me to keep creating and playing hard and getting my teammates open. Basically what they told me is that I'm in the inside, but I can still step out and be a guard."
JUNIOR FORWARD Glory Johnson
(On Tennessee's rebounding):
"Pat was talking about how we're not going to get anywhere, we're not going to win very much if we don't get our defense and rebounding down. I think that kind of hit us hard the last couple of practices, and just the guards crashing the boards today was crazy. There were so many people around me when I was trying to crash the boards. It was great."
(On having different players in the media conference every game):
"I think we can all trust each other to get the job done, no matter what. We all do different things; we all have different roles. (Pat) has a lot of people to choose from."
(On Shekinna's offensive versatility):
"She's really hard to guard, especially when she puts the ball down on penetration and when she drives to the basket. She's hard to guard in practice, so I'm sure she's hard to guard (for everyone else)."
FRESHMAN GUARD Meighan Simmons
(On guarding Ole Miss' McFarland):
"She's pretty good, and I give her props. She's a good player. One thing that my teammates were telling me as well as coach Mickie and Holly is to stay over her right hand and force her to her left side to where our post players can get in and they can help. Other than that, she kind of picked up my defense a little bit because I was going to be sitting behind the bench if I didn't play defense. She's making me work while I'm making her work is kind of what happened today."
(On her game being raised by others' good play):
"It does. It really does. It gets me hyped. When Strick gets into a flow, she just looks so smooth. She looks smooth, but she's also getting hyped, and it gets me hyped, and I'm like, `Let's go.' That's just how it all starts. I think one person plays to their potential and gets everyone in sync, and it kind of brings everyone together."
OLE MISS HEAD COACH RENEE LADNER
"Tennessee is an incredible team. I thought they outplayed us in every capacity. We thought we would challenge them very well but they did what they do best. They out-rebounded us and gave us fits all day."
(On preparing to play Tennessee):
"Believe it or not, we focused on rebounding. You couldn't really tell that today, though. I think you have to stop their transition game. That was a huge point of emphasis all week and we were not successful in doing that today. Their transition is outstanding and the addition of Meighan Simmons has only made it better. To me, she is the biggest difference in their team. So we focused on stopping the transition and trying to keep pressure on their shooters. Offensively, we wanted to limit our turnovers. I thought we had some success with that, but overall, they were just too much at positions one through five today."
(On taking an early timeout):
"If I had about 20 timeouts, I would've been in great shape. We didn't want Tennessee to go on big runs. We thought we would be okay if we stayed within five. We had to hit key shots to match them and we struggled offensively."
(On the difference between this year's Tennessee team and last year's):
"I think Meighan Simmons is the difference in the team. I thought that was the missing piece last year. They had to play people out of place. Now, (Coach Summitt) can play Stricklen at the two, three and four instead of having to handle the ball a lot. I think Kelley Cain is a lot better this year with the addition of Meighan Simmons and of course, they have great shooters. They really don't have any weaknesses at any position, per se."
(On the effort of Valencia McFarland):
"I think Valencia is a very mature freshman. She doesn't play like one and she stepped up to the play in a big environment. I thought this was her first true test and she succeeded in a big way. She's very strong mentally and we're very fortunate to have her in our program. She is a seasoned player right now and she understands the game. At this point, she's a little unselfish. I would like her to score a little bit more. I don't think size is going to be a factor for her because her heart is so big. Her understanding of the game is incredible. She does things we cannot teach."
(On her team):
"I told the kids that you can't control the environment. It's an incredible venue to play in and I wanted them to be excited about that. I didn't think we looked fearful but I certainly don't think we handled it well. I also told them that you can't control officiating, so there's not a lot to say about that. I told our team to focus on controlling themselves. I thought Tennessee dominated us throughout the entire course of the game, for the most part. This team has been an unusual team in that we have come from behind in several games to win. I was sad we didn't bring the same fight in this game. Of course, maybe we were fighting and Tennessee was just too much for us."
FRESHMAN GUARD VALENCIA MCFARLAND
(On playing at Tennessee):
"The atmosphere was great. I loved it and I was ready. I tried to use my quickness to my advantage."