Nov. 12, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Pat Summitt:
"I thought our team played hard on the defensive end and generated lots of opportunities on the offensive end. I liked our overall teamwork and intensity and unselfish play across the board. We had some good open looks and were able to get the ball inside. We had good inside/outside movement. It was a good way to get the season started. It was good to see Cait (McMahan) play. We played much better than we did in the exhibition games."
(on Tennessee's offensive showing) "We got some good looks. Alexis (Hornbuckle) was consistent. Dominique (Redding) and Sidney (Spencer) spent a lot of time in the gym this summer and made a real exerted effort to get better. I thought our inside game was very efficient but also very unselfish. The question mark on this team coming in was how they would distribute the ball and play as a team. I think they demonstrated that they are looking for the best opportunity every possession."
(on Candace Parker's dunk) "I knew by the time that she got to halfcourt that she was going to dunk. It's probably good for her to go ahead and get it over with. She wanted to dunk at home for the Lady Vol fans, and she took advantage of the opportunity."
(on the performance of Shannon Bobbitt) "Shannon did some great things. She was pushing the tempo. She takes great pride in her defense. I was concerned about her foul situation. I told her that she can't take herself out of the game like that. I wish the officials were as particular about that in the post as they are on the perimeter. I told the team at halftime that I hadn't prepared them for that. We have to get our hands off on defense."
(on Chattanooga's long-range shooting and outrebounding Tennessee) "They shot 31 threes. That's a whole lot of threes. I was disappointed that we gave so many threes up, but that explains some of those long rebounds. That was a different look for us. We'll look at the tape to see how we rebounded the missed threes."
(on Tennessee's bench play) "I'm excited about our depth. It was good to see Cait (McMahan) play well. I thought this was Alberta's (Auguste) most efficient performance. Dominique (Redding) had a good first half. She wasn't as strong in the second half. She's such a great spark offensively. If she would come around defensively, that would be huge for us. Alex (Fuller) did better when she got going. She provides leadership. And Nicci Moats did a good job with the minutes that she got. I thought our bench overall did a great job."
"They got more good looks in the first half than I would have liked. We decided to work on our zone. We wouldn't typically play zone against a team like that. With a team that shoots so many threes, we'd typically play man-to-man. In the second half, we worked on our zone. We'll watch the film, and like they say, the film doesn't lie. We went with our zone and stayed with it in the second half."
(on Tennessee's proficiency from the free throw line) "We shot well in practice from the line. I expected it, but we never take it for granted. If we're going inside, we're going to get to the line."
(on the Chattanooga team's performance) "From watching UT-Chattanooga on tape, we obviously knew that they are a great outside shooting team. They have a go-to player inside. With the number of threes that they got off against us, that's a real strength. Wes (Chattanooga head coach Moore) does a great job. Our speed and quickness bothered them, but they didn't let it stop them, and they attacked our zone."
"I was pleased with our player and ball movement as well as our shot selection. There were a lot of positive things. Initially, we were pressing, but we decided to take that off, but we continued to be very aggressive. Our starters know that they have a certain responsibility when they are on the floor, and when players come in off the bench, they know that they have to be mentally in tune so we don't have a drop in play. I thought our bench did a good job of that in the first half."
(on the balance of Tennessee's scoring attack) "I'd be disappointed if we didn't have balance. A scouting defense might change who gets the most looks. I would imagine that Candace (Parker) will get some double-teams. Teams are going to guard Shannon (Bobbitt) because she has shown that she can shoot the three and penetrate. I wouldn't leave Sid (Spencer) or Dom (Redding) open. The opponent will certainly influence that balance."
(on the peformance of Alexis Hornbuckle) "Alexis had a great opening. She was able to knock down some threes. She's one of the best on our team off the dribble. That helps her to created for others. I was pleased with how she played. She's gotten better."
(on her dunk in the second half) "Honestly, I thought about letting the ball go out of bounds, but when I looked and saw the open floor, I just decided to do it. The fans at Thompson-Boling have never seen a dunk at home. It was great. The fans' excitement and enthusiasm helped us out."
(on Tennessee's bench play) "Our bench play did well for us in keeping the energy up. The bench stepped up huge. Dom (Redding) was hitting shots, and that helped to open things up for us inside."
"I just had a mindset coming in that we have to play together. It's about the team. We played about as well as we can on the whole. I took pride in getting the team together."
"I was happy with our defense. We had some breakdowns. They got too many threes. Against a shooting team like that, you've got to match up. I'm excited, though, and more pleased with our defense overall than I was last year."
(on switching from point guard to off-guard this season) "It's beneficial. It's easier to crash the boards from the wing and playing in the passing lane. Shannon (Bobbitt) creates fro you. It's exciting to play with her."
(on her first official game as a Lady Vol) "It feels good. With the first game, everyone was hyped. We had good chemistry. Everyone was willing to win and play defense. Everybody came together well."
(on Candace Parker's dunk) "I started to block her shot, but then I realized that she was on my team. It was exciting. She gave the crowd what it wants. Now we'll have more fans for the next game."
CHATTANOOGA HEAD COACH WES MOORE:
"Well, obviously the first half was not what you want to see when you go on the road, but that's usually the case in this building. Just the defensive pressure, the athleticism and the length is something that you just can't simulate in practice. We didn't handle the press very well at all, and that's something we're going to have to get better at. I don't think we'll see a tougher one to try to beat throughout the year, but at the same time, it's something we'll have to get better at. The best thing I can say, at halftime I talked to our kids about giving up. And I'm proud of them for that. I didn't want anybody to pick up the paper tomorrow in Chattanooga and say, 'Wow, they must have packed the bags and gone home.' Our kids battled. I do think Pat was very gracious in not continuing to press the full 40 minutes. Again, Brooke Hand and several of her teammates were able to do some good things, and it's something we can build on as a young team to try to get better."
(On attempting 31 three-pointers): "Normally, it wouldn't be what you'd want to see. Again, their size is so overwhelming. Then you take Alex Anderson out with 18 minutes left in the game due to foul trouble. So you do what you have to do. Our kids did a fairly good job of getting some open looks. Then they went to a zone defense, and that opened some things up as well. No, it's not what you want to make a living off of, because we're not going to shoot that well every night. Everything changes when you play Tennessee."
(On Alexander's foul trouble): "Some of those fouls were due to her teammates having breakdowns defensively. She was the only thing left between a player and a lay-up. We're going to have to do a better job defensively as a team. It is a concern. There's no doubt we need her on the floor. She picked up her fourth foul to start the second half, and she got another one before we could get her out of there. Today gave some other kids an opportunity to get some experience and get adjusted to the college game a little more."
(On not giving up): "We're not the most athletic, and we're not the biggest. We recruit good kids, kids that are going to have a passion and are going to excel. Most of the time, they are going to make me proud. You never know, you just don't want to get discouraged. We have a tough stretch ahead of us with five straight road games including today. We're going to Clemson Thursday, so we'll probably be sick of orange by the end of the week. We're going to get better from it, and by the time we start conference play, maybe we'll be a pretty good team by then."
(On Parker's dunk): "More power to her. It's good for the game, and she's obviously such a special player."
(On turnovers): "What's frustrating to me is the turnovers. At halftime, I looked at the stat sheet, and we gave up 24 points on turnovers (in the first half). You take 24 points out, and it's 35-31. Sometimes we'd be better off just holding the ball, sticking it in front of them and letting them tie us up rather than throwing it away. You're not giving away two points, and you're going to get 50 percent of (alternating possessions). We throw it up for grabs and we're not going to get 50 percent against (Tennessee). You've got to handle the ball, you've got to handle pressure, and we just can't simulate that in practice."
(On Tennessee's press): "They're going to extend the defense full court. If this game had been close they would have kept that full-court pressure on for 40 minutes. In the past, they have only pressed on made free throws, and if you made a lay-up, they would jump you pretty hard. But I think this year they may be pressing closer to every possession. The only thing that may hurt is their depth. They don't have as many bodies, but they will also be in great condition."
(on her day shooting the ball): "You can have an off night anytime. You have to come out there and think to shoot if you're open. If not, go down low, and we've got people that can score."
(On getting so many open looks): "It wasn't something I was sure of. That skip pass helped out. They're so long that sometimes it's not going to be open even if they're way off of you. I took it if I had it, and if not, I just looked inside."
(On not giving up when trailing late): "It's something that's going to help us in the long run. It's nice to see that we're going to fight no matter how the game is going. We're going to keep playing hard and showing a lot of heart. That's what this team is made of, a lot of heart."