Feb. 14, 2010
HEAD COACH Pat Summitt:
(opening remarks): "I thought in the first half we were not where we needed to be. Our intensity level wasn't what it needed to be and we didn't defend as well. We had a prayer meeting at halftime. I was not happy. We need to ne a 40-minute team. I told them, `We're not going to San Antonio (site of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Final Four). We're not going anywhere in the tournament unless we invest in being a 40-minute team.' They responded well in the second half. This doesn't count, though. It counts when we have 40 minutes of busting it up-and-down the court, defending and rebounding at both ends of the court. There's a reason that we have eight championships. We have to change our level of commitment every day. Saying that, I was proud of our commitment in the second half."
(on Tennessee's defensive play in the second half): "We were committed to playing defense. We were playing a switching man. Kelley Cain was switching out on the floor. We buckled down on long closeouts and not giving them open threes. I thought this was our best defensive effort start to finish."
(on whether she had settled on a starting lineup after using 11 different combinations): "I'm not sure. I want to keep you guessing. I like this lineup. (Alicia) Manning is playing really well. Obviously, we wanted our starters to get quality minutes today. I don't know how deep we'll go the rest of the season. There were a couple of players who didn't give us much off the bench today."
(on Alicia Manning): "I watched her a lot in AAUs. She was very athletic. There was a toughness about her. She played the perimeter as well as the high post. She could play all positions. She caught my attention. She could play multiple positions. I'll look at her at the point. She pushes the ball hard. She can knock down shots from the free throw line. She's our most athletic player on the perimeter."
(on whether she was disappointed in Alicia Manning as a freshman): "I was disappointed in the whole team last year. You could take roll call. She did some good things, but she was inconsistent. After the Stanford loss, there were only two players who were getting into Pratt Pavilion. I'm not going to call names. Alicia has invested a lot of time in Pratt since then."
(on Tennessee's post game): "When Lyssi (Brewer) doesn't give in to fatigue like she did today, we have two imposing players in the paint. When Kelley (Cain), Lyssi (Brewer), and Glory (Johnson) are playing, because we do rotate, we've got one of the best games in the country. We've got to get our guard play stronger."
SOPHOMORE GUARD Alicia Manning
(On the effort she has put in away from practice): "Coach Summitt has been preaching to all of us for a year to get in the gym and this year, I've become very invested in doing it for my team and coaches. I've been working with (Associate Head Coach) Holly Warlick and getting good game shots--shots that coach wants me to take. It's helped build my confidence so I'm going to continue to do that."
(On Kelley Cain): "She's our bread and butter and when I see her in there, I can't help but get her the ball because I know it's going in."
(On her improved confidence): "My offense feeds off my defense. When I get some stops and steals, I get more confident and loosen up a little bit, which allows my offense to come."
JUNIOR GUARD Angie Bjorklund
(On winning today's game in decisive fashion): "It feels good. I think once our team got together at halftime and everyone committed to defense and rebounding, that made a huge difference. We need to keep it like that more often and focus on playing a 40-minute game."
(On the benefits of creating offense from defense): "I think our offense should start with our defense getting stops and rebounds. Pushing tempo hard makes for easy offense and today, I didn't think we had to set up in the half court that much. That makes a huge difference."
(On Coach Summitt's halftime speech): "A lot of times, she lets us speak and tells us that the motivation can't all come from her. She can stand up there and talk about it all day long but it makes a big difference when we take ownership and responsibility for getting each other going. I thought that's what we did today in the second half."
REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE CENTER Kelley Cain
(On playing perimeter defense): "I probably couldn't have done that last year--maybe once or twice. I'm completely different from last year."
(On the play of this year's team): "There's no limit to our potential. We know it's there, but it's a matter of us tapping into it and showing it every game."
(On the different lineups used by Coach Summitt): "We just go hard every time we go out there. It doesn't matter who starts on our team, we're going to go hard every time out and make the best of our time once we get in the game."
(On Alicia Manning): "She brings a lot of energy because she's emotional and that's good, for the most part. We feed off of her emotions. She brings a lot of energy and a different tempo to the game. You can always guarantee that she'll be battling for rebounds down low."
(On the team's effort in the second half): "Coach Summitt told us that we need to turn that half into a 40-minute effort. I think everyone can agree that's the best second half we've ever played and we need to bring that every game for 40 minutes."
FLORIDA HEAD COACH AMANDA BUTLER
(opening statement): "Honestly, we are very disappointed in the way we played - especially in the second half. I thought we showed a lot of fight in the first half. In the second half, the fight wasn't there. The intensity wasn't there. The things that you have to do to compete with a team like Tennessee - especially on their home court - weren't there. That's our challenge - to figure out why those things weren't there and get it fixed before Thursday. We have another tremendous challenge at Kentucky on Thursday. You've got to give Tennessee tremendous credit for setting the tone in the second half, because that's what they did and we reacted."
(On what changed for the Gators in the second half): "We just didn't do the things in the second half. I'm not sure exactly where it occurred. Tennessee is known at the beginning of ball games, and at the beginning of halves, for trying to overwhelm you. And we allowed that to happen I felt like. We just didn't fight. We didn't try to answer things like we did in the first half. I thought we did a great job of being physical and doubling, and doing some things that we didn't necessarily always get rewarded with like tying some balls up. That's outside of our control. We just didn't display that same fight. I thought (senior guard) Steffi Sorensen fought until the end, until we took her off the floor and was a tremendous example. We've just got a few folks who don't play with enough heart and that's not acceptable."
(On Tennessee's height advantage in the post with Florida's starting center, Azania Stewart out): "It's difficult. We're not going to sit here and say `Gosh Tennessee whipped our tails because we didn't have Azania (Stewart).' I'm sure it would've helped if we would've. Injuries are part of handling adversity. When that happens, champions step up. Different folks compensate in different ways for whatever is missing. In particular with our post play, I don't think we did that enough. Do we miss (Azania Stewart)? Yes. Are we going to use it as an excuse? Absolutely not."
(On what's different with this year's Lady Vol team compared to last year's squad): "I'm a big believer that your expectations drive a lot of things. I think it's very clear that Tennessee's team this year expects different outcomes and handles adversity a lot better than they did last year. I would certainly attribute that to Coach Pat Summitt, because I think she is fantastic. Maybe it's a year of maturity. Maybe it's a combination of all of those things, but it's very obvious that that expectation of that group of kids is very different than what it was last year."
FLORIDA SENIOR GUARD STEFFI SORENSEN
(On regrouping after back-to-back blowout losses): "After you have losses like we've had, especially back-to-back, you find out who is tough and who is willing to do the dirty work in games. Right now we have to respond. We can't just roll over and die and accept these losses. We have to move on. We have a tough schedule ahead. It's frustrating and it's disappointing. Truthfully, I came in her thinking, `Sorry guys, but we're going to knock you off.' It's frustrating when you give it your all and that's not what happens. We just have to bounce back. That's what it comes down to."
(On Tennessee's post players switching, and guarding the perimeter at times):
"I remember Kelley Cain coming out on me a couple times last game. We prepared for their bigs to switch out. It's obviously harder when a 6-6 girl is running out at you. That's nothing we didn't prepare for. Getting my shot off is something I work on every day. That's a little intimidating, but it's nothing I didn't think I can handle."