Feb. 5, 2009
Quotes from Coach's Summitt's address to the fans following the post-game celebration.
"First of all-this may be hard for me-because we've got the greatest fans in women's basketball here tonight. I want to thank the administration for making the commitment to women's basketball here before it was popular. From the president through Joan Cronan to Mike Hamilton-it's been incredible."
"I've been extremely blessed. I thank God for the opportunity to be able to coach and work with these ladies. I thank every person who has been part of our staff. Several of you here are in business, and you know how important it is to hire great people."
"To all of the student-athletes who wore the orange-there have been so many dedicated student-athletes. I'm proud of our 100 percent graduation rate."
"Obviously, I want to thank our current staff. We've had a few challenges this year. Have you noticed? I want to personally say thanks to them."
"We may be young and inexperienced, but our goal is to be in St. Louis. That is something that we talk about. We talk about that vision."
"My brother, Tommy, and Delores (his wife) are here tonight. I want to say thanks to them. Obviously, Coach (Billie) Moore came in from California. LaTina Mayes, my right-hand assistant and her family are here."
"I miss my mom being here. She's had a tough last few weeks, but she'll be fine. I know she's so excited tonight."
"All of you have made a big difference, and I love you for it. You're so invested."
"Before I go-I'll remember this as a special night and all who made it possible and who still love the Lady Vols with all their heart."
"One last thing-can you believe it? Webb School had a game tonight, and my son was not here. He said, 'Mom, I want to be there.' I said, 'Son, you never miss a practice, and you never miss a game.' I hope they won. Tyler Summitt has taught me more than I have ever taught anyone. I love him to the bottom of my heart. Here's to Tyler."
POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
"Obviously, I had no idea how we were going to play tonight. With this team it's been the unknown. You have to wait and see how we play. I thought that our defensive intensity early in the game set the tone and I'm excited to see us play quality basketball. I think this was the closest we've been to playing a 40-minute game. I'm proud of how we played. I thought that we may have felt pressure tonight, but I just told them that we really needed an SEC victory, especially a big one over Georgia. I feel much better about where we are as a team if we can just build on this."
(On if her team felt pressure to win tonight):
"I think if they did, it was probably because it was very important to me that we get this win in front of our fans. I knew our challenge at Oklahoma would be really tough, but I didn't want us to come back and not play the type of game that would give us a chance to win over a quality opponent. We just have incredible fans, and I never want to do anything but compliment them. It was a huge crowd and it made a difference."
(On what it means to her to have 1,000 career victories):
"It has a 'wow' factor from the standpoint of never, ever did I think that I would coach for this long, nor did I ever envision this program winning 1,000 games. It certainly is a time for me to reflect about all of the players that scored all of those points. We've had more Olympians, more All-Americans than anybody else. People have told me that this is a record that will never be broken. I don't know if I believe that because records are made to be broken. The fact that this program was the first to do it is a great source of pride for all of us."
(On what Alex Fuller's hot start meant to her team):
"When Alex opened up shooting the ball so well, it took pressure off of her teammates. It also gives her a little more confidence as a senior, showing our young players how we need to play. I thought we played with more freedom on offense-the ball was moving a lot quicker. We had a lot of good interior passing, which is an indication that we're growing on the offensive end. I was really pleased with how we defended."
(On what it meant to her when former Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight told her the amount of victories it would take for another coach to reach 1,000):
"I thought 'wow'. I didn't think those would be the numbers. I think that's why a lot of people say no one's going reach it, but I think there are some people out there that will stay in it even longer. Coach Knight is looking to get back into coaching, so I know he's after my record. You've got to watch out for Coach Knight."
(On why she had the team create its own scouting report for this game):
"After our loss at Oklahoma, I was very upset and disappointed with our team. We were picking and choosing when we play hard, and we didn't know who we could depend on. When Vicki Baugh went down, I thought that we were going to be in trouble if we didn't start to turn things around. I even started looking at our schedule, and I shouldn't have. I've never had to do that before, but I did it because it was on my mind. I told our team that that we gave them a great scouting report at Oklahoma, and their best three-point shooter went off on us. That told me that they were not using our scouting report, so I told them to make their own scouting report for this game. It's not something that I'm going to do from now on, but I thought it did help us, when you know what someone's going to do and you know how you want to disrupt it. They misspelled some things on it, so I told them that they might have to be in school for six years instead of four. When they finished it, they really understood what UGA liked to do and what they had to take away from them, and I think that helped us tonight."
(On how she feels about her team after this game):
"I'm encouraged that we played this well, but we'll just have to wait and see how we come off a big win. Do we think that we've arrived or do we understand that we're still fighting to get a good placement in the SEC tournament?"
(On which number excited her more: 1,000 wins or the 40-minute game her team played):
"I'm excited about both tonight. If we lost, I didn't want them to have the pressure at Florida and then they may have felt pressure from both situations. I was adamant that I wanted this to be in front of our fans. Now, I would never throw a loss, you don't have to worry about that. But I have said from the get-go that I wanted this record to be in Thompson-Boling Arena."
(On why she established to the fans that her team's goal is to be in the Final Four):
"I think you have to say it and you have to believe it. I want our players to understand the expectations. With some of the losses they've had, I think that they've doubted where we are and where they have to go. I've told them that it doesn't matter if we're struggling right now, we've got a lot of games left and you've got to believe that you can do it."
(On her team's effort tonight):
"Hopefully they understand what they did, and I think that the results speak loudly for all of us. They all made a commitment to their goals, and when you've got a team that's willing to do that, they don't have any excuses. I'm really proud of them and I appreciate everybody being here tonight."
TENNESSEE SENIOR FORWARD Alex Fuller
(On the game as a whole):
"It was a good win for us. We're mostly excited about playing a 40-minute game, and we finally played together for a whole game instead of for a half or for 30 minutes."
(On what the game meant to her):
"I grew up watching the Lady Vol program play. I've always wanted to play here. I was a part of her 900th win, and that was a big deal for me. I guess all that means is that I've been here a long time."
(On the team's focus on getting Coach Summitt her 1,000th win):
"I don't think that was our main focus. We knew we were going to get it tonight. Our main focus was playing as a team and playing together. We had a 'Come to Jesus' meeting yesterday, and I think that helped us as a team."
(On yesterday's team meeting):
"It was just players and coaches, just laying everything out on the line and saying what everyone needed to do for us to win."
(On the team-created scouting report):
"We worked really hard on the scouting report, and I thought the freshmen really stepped up and took over. Who knows? Maybe Pat might let us take over the scouting reports."
(On if the game had a big-game feel to it):
"It had a big-game feel to it, but it also had the feel of a game where our young players were finally realizing how they have to play for us to win."
(On the importance of this win moving forward):
"It kind of builds everybody's confidence. It's huge for us to move on and carry over to Florida."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN FORWARD Glory Johnson
(On what it means to be part of Coach Summit's 1,000th victory):
"Personally, I would never have thought that I would be here experiencing this. It's a great experience for me, and it's an honor."
(On the team's performance tonight):
"This is about us playing hard and coming to play every day, no matter if it's a game or practice. We're a great team. We just have to play hard all the time."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN FORWARD Kelley Cain
(On whether or not the absence of Vicki Baugh gives her a sense of urgency):
"Definitely. It leaves us with four posts, so we have to play hard every day in practice."
(On what it meant to face her home state school):
"That was (Etowah, Ga. native) Alicia Manning's and my goal-to show out in front of Georgia and also to help Coach get 1,000 wins. We had to prove ourselves as a team."
(On what it means to be a part of Coach Summitt's 1,000th victory):
"We've realized that all season. She's Pat Summitt-success comes with her name."
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers (opening statement):
"The 1,000 wins is a wonderful thing for Coach Summitt and the University of Tennessee. I said just now on our radio program: the thing that is impressive to me is the consistency with which they've done the things they've done. You just don't see the bar go that high and stay that high very often in anything. Think about it a minute. They've been able to do that for 35 years. Holy cow. When you compete at the highest level and you compete for championships on every level over a 35-year period of time, it is a remarkable accomplishment and that's the thing that impresses me the most.
(On what Tennessee women's basketball's trademark has been during the Summitt era):
"The trademark has changed since the early years. A long time ago it was the commitment to half court basketball and the stifling man-to-man defense that they played on the 20- to 25-foot level. I think their defense changed when they went to full-court man and started pressing. The half-court (defense) is different than what it was then. As that changed, they became a dominant rebounding team on the offensive end, and they've remained that way for a long time. I think most people that have played them would say that defense and rebounding have been their staple."
(On the text message he sent Summitt last Sunday night):
It was my way of saying to her that she was on the cusp of something great. I think I was the first to congratulate her tonight and that means something."
Georgia guard Christy Marshall (On being held to two points in the second half):
"That was kind of my fault. They did a box-and-one (defense) on me. I slacked down, and didn't get myself open as well as I did in the first half. It wasn't just their doing; it was my doing too."
(On if the team talked about Summitt's attempt at her 1,000th win before the game):
"Coming into the game, we weren't focused on any stats. She's one heck of a coach. Congratulations to her."
Georgia guard Ashley Houts (On if the team talked about attempt at her 1,000th win before the game):
"We weren't focused on that heading into the game, but it happened and we're just going to have to take this and learn from it. "
(On being held to just 43 points as a team):
"I think everybody on our team has the ability to score, and I think Christy showed that tonight. Porsha Phillips has showed you that before. It's not anything anyone does in particular; it's just about us trying to find what works. It's just us trying to execute. This is obvious not what we wanted. We will learn from it and grow."