Nov. 9, 2008
Head Coach Pat Summitt:
"I thought as a team, we did a good job overall. We had some lapses and didn't maintain intensity five-deep. When we switched to working on our zone, there were a lot of people who were not great. We need a change-up. We've got a lot of good footage that we'll learn from. I thought Kelley Cain was very efficient. Sydney Smallbone shot well, and Bree (Briana Bass) did a nice job of pushing tempo and was very unselfish. Lyssi (Brewer) was very efficient. I like what I'm seeing from her."
(on overall impressions from the game):
"I thought we had some good challenges in this game. At the same time, we had some lapses that we'll look to improve on. What Lyssi Brewer brought to us was solid play. I thought Glory (Johnson) was overanxious today offensively. I liked how Sydney (Smallbone) and Shekinna (Stricklen) shot the ball well, and that opened things up for us."
"Our offense is ahead of our defense right now. We're playing catch-up on defense. We have to identify the ball earlier and get into the passing lanes. The big thing right now is repetition. It's knowing and not second-guessing. We'll go back and practice. We've got good footage to learn from."
(on Tennessee's up-tempo style of play):
"We're definitely going to push tempo. We're going to go with our primary offense first. That's priority over a set play. We're good in the open court and unselfish. We're trying to stay in an up-tempo mode. We'll get more efficient in our transition."
(on freshman Shekinna Stricklen):
"Without question, when you look at Stricklen, she is strictly a great player. She has a great feel for the game. Her composure is exceptional. Even when I watched her as a ninth grader, she didn't get rattled. She's working on becoming more vocal. I thought our communication today was better overall. She can shoot the three. She's a good rebounder. She is just a player."
(on freshman Briana Bass):
"Briana has a point guard mentality, but I told her that she has to hunt her shots, too. She was 3-for-7 from three-point range today. She's got the green light there like (Shannon) Bobbitt did. When her hands are up and she's applying pressure on defense, size is not a factor. She went to a different gear in the second half. When she puts pressure on defense, other teams are going to drop people back, and that gives us better rebounding position. She pushes tempo and knocks down threes. I said when she was in high school that she was the fastest I had ever seen."
(on freshman Amber Gray):
"Amber finally got her get-up-and-go. She was able to find a different gear. Give her credit. We've been watching a lot of film together. She is one of the most skilled players we have. She can shoot the three and has nice post moves. She's a nice passer."
(on Tennessee's rebounding):
"I thought we did a nice job on rebounding. We will break down the film. We can get better. Kelley's (Cain) presence is big. We will challenge our guards. They can give more help on the boards."
(on working on defense):
"We came in after our first (exhibition) game to practice, knowing that there were things that we could fix on defense. Every day, we hope to get better on defense as the games progress."
(on Tennessee's up-tempo style of play):
"I love playing with this team. Pushing the tempo is a lot of fun."
(on quicker release on her shot this year):
"In the off-season, I worked on getting the ball off quicker. As a team, we move the ball well. This is a role that I've got to have."
(on behind-the-back pass to teammate Shekinna Stricklen):
"It wasn't a fancy pass. It just happened. Sometimes, it's just quicker to do a behind-the-back pass."
"Coach (Pat Summitt) has been harping on us about crashing the boards. When we're tipping and grabbing the ball, it's going to be hard to stop us. That's a huge part of our game this year."
(on Tennessee's assists):
"Our assists proves that we play together."
(on playing point guard):
"In high school, I didn't play point guard much. Today, I started at point guard. We've got a great team, and that's making it easy to play there."
(on fellow freshman Briana Bass):
"She is so quick. She can outrun other players, and they can't keep up with her. We get to our open spots and look for her. I've never been on the floor with someone who is that quick. She's always looking for someone who is open."
Love & Basketball head coach Colleen Matsuhara's postgame thoughts
On her relationship with Coach Summitt
"I've known Coach Summitt for a long, long time. I was hoping she'd give me 25 points but obviously that didn't happen. I'll have to get on her about that."
On what kind of game her team was expecting
"We knew that we were going to be playing a very physical, defensive kind of team that likes to press the ball down the floor. I'm sure that the spectators had a lot of questions about his year's team because they lost so much in the offseason, but I think the cupboard is well stocked and it should be a good year for the Lady Vols."
On the difference between Tennessee and Vanderbilt
"We played Vanderbilt on Friday and they jumped on us from the beginning. In the second half, we got in within one point and ended up losing by nine. I read that Vanderbilt was picked to win the SEC and I think that's a very interesting selection. Vanderbilt is talented but I think the Lady Vols go deeper offensively and in terms quickness. Vanderbilt's offensive sets were very well executed. As far as today, the Lady Vols are known for their rebounding and they kept us on the boards. I was very impressed by several freshmen that came in, I thought they played like upperclassmen."
On how Tennessee was able to disrupt their style of play
"They got us out of our offensive sync-they were making us settle for jump shots. They made it very difficult for us to go inside to our post players, as far as getting the ball inside and then (they made it difficult) for our post players to get some easy looks at the basket. We knew before the game that we had to box them out and prevent them from getting second and third chances and that's something that we were unable to do."
On Tennessee's talented freshman class
Brianna Bass is extremely quick-she's really going to make all of the pistons go, so to speak. We played her for the pass and she hit several threes, which we weren't expecting. I liked what I saw from Kelley Cain, she shot the ball well and had 10 Rebounds, half of which were offensive. Sydney Smallbone's catch and shoot was impressive, she actually reminded me a lot of Sydney Spencer."
On her team's performance
"I thought we did the best we could-this is our seventh game in 12 days and we just came off 4 games in a row last week but that's not an excuse. I thought our girls get a little bit tired in the second half."
On Lady Vols defending their title
"I think that everybody is underestimating the Lady Vols this season. To start off with, they have Pat and her staff on the bench which gives them a lot of points as far as mental preparation. I think this is a good year to sneak up on people-when people don't give you the respect that you're used to getting, that's the best time to surprise people. I think it's only natural that teams will lick their lips and want to get revenge but I think it's going to be very difficult for them to do so based on what I saw today."
On the matchup problems created by Brianna Bass and Shekinna Stricklen
"We just wanted to make sure that that person didn't score, whether they were little or big It does give you a different look, I think Pat can do a lot of things with that. She could even play both of them at once, but who am I to tell Pat Summitt who to play?"