Feb. 12, 2009
Tennessee vs. Alabama Post-Game Quotes
HEAD COACH Pat Summitt:
"I thought our starters got us off to a good start. I thought Kelley (Cain) and Alex (Fuller) played well together. Our high/low game worked well, and we got some good touches. Defensively, I thought their two best players got too many touches. We did a better job in the second half. We went to our zone. We need to work on it. We wanted to get everyone involved and had good playing time off our bench. They had four offensive rebounds, and we had 17. Overall, we had 51 rebounds, and they had 31. Our rebounding was much better. That's where we need to make a commitment."
(on the status of Shekinna Stricklen who went down with an injury in the first half):
"All I can tell you is that we dodged a bullet. We probably need to get (Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine) Jenny (Moshak) in here. When she (Stricklen) got hit, she had a hard fall. I think she'll be all right. She'll be doing a lot of rehab with Jenny."
(on Tennessee's guard play):
"I thought our guards did a great job moving the ball. They did a good job of cutting. Angie (Bjorklund) and Sydney (Smallbone) moved the ball well. Alyssia (Brewer) did a good job, too. She's going to have to handle a lot more if Shekinna (Stricklen) can't play Monday night (against Duke)."
(on Amber Gray thinking that she was being subbed for):
"I guess she thought that she wasn't playing well, and she went to the bench and sat down. Remember-we've got seven freshmen. I can't wait to write this next book. I'll have a lot to write about."
(on Kelley Cain):
"Kelley is getting better and better. I knew from her play in high school that she likes going to the rim. She likes to play in the paint. Some post players don't. She doesn't mind contact. She's getting more comfortable, and she's gaining confidence now that she's had some success. She and Alex (Fuller) play well together. That will be a tough defensive assignment for anyone."
(on Glory Johnson's performance off the bench):
"I thought she was tough on the defensive end. She played with a lot of composure, even though she wasn't shooting well. She had 10 boards. I was pleased with how she responded. She wanted to come in and compete and help the team out."
(on the play of senior Alex Fuller):
"Alex showed a lot of composure on the floor. She and Kelley (Cain) play well together. They don't seem rattled. Others play well when they see that. I was pleased with our high/low game."
(on Tennessee's high/low game):
"We've worked at it. When you have the size we have. . .we're able to go four deep in the post. The pressure is on the defense."
(on possibility of playing without Shekinna Stricklen Monday against Duke):
"We would definitely favor a zone sooner than later. Hopefully, she'll be ready to go."
(on Tennessee's reponse as a team when Shekinna Stricklen went down with the injury):
"I thought we responded well. Obviously, there was concern. We dodged a bullet. I think she'll be OK. When they saw her in the locker room (at halftime), they were relieved. I think they picked it up when they had to. That's why you have a team. They responded well."
ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JENNY MOSHAK
(on status of Shekinna Stricklen):
"The good news is that there was no ACL tear. The bad news is that there is a subluxed patella. The major ligaments are fine. We'll have to wait and see how much swelling there is and how the quad responds."
TENNESSEE SENIOR FORWARD Alex Fuller
(On the team's high-low game):
"It was effective. Kelley (Cain) is a big post to guard so I think it's kind of hard for smaller teams to guard her, especially when you have a high post that can shoot the jumper."
(On Shekinna Stricklen's injury in the first half):
"We knew we had to step it up. She's basically our other point guard, so that meant that Alicia (Manning) had to come in and step up her game at the point."
(On Kelley Cain's play):
"That's just another threat that we have on the inside. Not only her passing, but her ball handling is good too. She's also able to get steals on the low block."
(On her thoughts when Shekinna Stricklen went down):
"My first thought when someone goes down is that I hope it's not their ACL, because I've been there and done that. We all just prayed that nothing was wrong and that it wasn't anything acute."
(On the team's rebounding):
"That's something that is harped to us is rebounding, especially at the post position because we are close to the basket. We have to come in and work harder to get rebounds, spinning off of people and just putting our body on people and blocking out."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN GUARD Alicia Manning
(On her thoughts when Shekinna Stricklen went down):
"Shekinna going down was a big hit for us. I knew I had to step up my game. Coach just told me to go in and run the offense, pass and cut."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE GUARD/FORWARD Angie Bjorklund
(On the team's ball movement):
"We've been working on our ball movement for a while, especially with our guards. Also, the inside-outside game was awesome. We were trying to get it into the high post a lot and Coach was really getting on us to move without the basketball. I thought we did a good job with that and it created a lot of offense for us.
(On bouncing back from the lost to Florida):
"We've been working hard all week to prepare for Alabama. Now, we'll get back in the gym to get ready for Duke. I think that this was a good confidence booster for us."
(On the team's nine three-pointers):
"I think it's huge. Coach has challenged us to get our shooting (percentage) up. We've been getting in the gym and getting extra shots up and I think this will really help our confidence going into the Duke game."
ALABAMA HEAD COACH WENDELL HUDSON
"This is not my first time being in Knoxville for a basketball game, and what I really like about it here is the atmosphere. This is a great place to play. I look forward to coming here. I've always enjoyed it here. I've been in and out of the SEC for a long time and I just think it's a great place to come play basketball. To play a team as talented as Tennessee - that's what you hope your team can aspire to be like one day. Tennessee did a great job - especially in the second half making some adjustments. We gave a lot of effort."
(On Alabama's guard play):
"(Varisia) Raffington has been playing the best for us all through the conference play. She has been at another level for us. (Dedrea) Magee stepped up and played really good. She's the point guard and she played 40 minutes, and I thought she played really well. As you can tell, we are a guard-oriented team. We don't have that inside presence yet, so our perimeter players get a lot shots. Fortunately, tonight, a couple of them made a lot of shots."
(On guarding Tennessee center Kelley Cain):
"(It's) very difficult. There were times when we thought we had her blocked out, an offensive rebound came down - but she was so much bigger than everybody else and she just reached over the top. Just that size makes so much difference. She was able to get those offensive rebounds. I thought the second-chance points actually were the difference in the basketball game."
(On how difficult it is to be winless (0-10) in the SEC):
"The good thing about this team is that this team will come to practice and played in every basketball game, and given the effort that they needed to give. I know it's tough. I have the experience of understanding how to build a program and been a part of building a program. When I initially went to Alabama as a player, the program is not even close to where it is now. I saw that program grow. From my standpoint, I understand it. I think this group of young ladies has really bought into playing hard. That's the way we practice and what we expect out of them during every game."
ALABAMA JUNIOR GUARD DEDREA MACGEE
(On playing a much younger Tennessee team without stars such as Candace Parker):
"I look at it as Tennessee is always going to be Tennessee. They always have a good program and a good team."