Nov. 15, 2012
Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick
(Opening Statement) "If you create 22 turnovers and you score 32 points off of those turnovers then you're doing something right, especially here at Tennessee because we stress so much defense and scoring off of our defense. I'm very pleased overall with the outcome."
(On Isabelle Harrison) "I think Izzy right now is a product of last year playing behind an All-American in Vicki Baugh and really taking everything in and learning. It was difficult for Izzy to sit and not play a lot last year, but I think she went to work, she worked in the off season, has really put in the time in the preseason with Dean [Lockwood], and you're seeing the result of hard work and determination. I'm so proud of Izzy. She only played 18 minutes but I thought she had one of her better games."
(On giving up so many points early to Jessica Kuster) "Well with Kuster, I was thinking I was going to have to get out there, I wanted to block her shots from the sideline because we were not affecting her one bit. She's a nice player, and great players make plays and that's what she did. Once we settled down and made her a priority and made our defense a priority we were a lot better. We were letting our offense affect our defense and we can't do that, because defense for us has got to be a priority and when it was a priority you could see we separated ourselves and got easy looks."
(On what adjustments they made defending Kuster) "We changed our defense up a little bit. We switched off on her, but she was in a zone. I thought about going to a zone, but I just wanted to prove a point that our defense needed to step up and I thought it would."
(On if early on in the game she thought they'd end up scoring 101 points) "I thought it was a shooting match. I thought maybe we would score 100, but they were going to score 101. It was an offensive shooting match and we had to stop the bleeding real quick. Like I said we made the defense a priority and I thought it was a good team effort."
(On if this up tempo style is how she envisioned this team playing) "It is how I envisioned this team, because we're capable of doing that. We end up playing a lot of people. Jasmine Phillips got in tonight, still a little tender on her leg but I think she's going to bring some energy to us. Everybody, I think, got a chance to contribute. I don't worry about getting everybody playing time. It's a matter of what you're going to do on the defensive end and what you're going to create. I thought we turned them over, we pushed the ball, we scored in transition, and that's what we've been preaching and that's what we wanted. Once we had some ball movement and the ball didn't get stuck in our hands, I thought we got good looks. I think when we start pressing at the beginning of the game, the ball gets stuck in our hands and we think we have to create one-on-one, when our offense is not designed for you to have to create one-on-one, the shots will come if we move the ball."
(On how much pressuring the ball helped the defense as a whole) "That was one of our goals. Pressure the ball and allow four people behind them to get steals. It starts with ball pressure and I think games like this helps them realize they importance of putting pressure on the ball and what it can result to. I thought tonight was a great example of the goal we wanted and of us getting in and getting after the ball and the result would be the turnovers that we created."
(On the uptempo displayed tonight) "Well it helps me coming out here and telling them this is how i want to play. I think you play with this tempo and this aggression you get to play a lot of people. The kids, they want to play. Tonight, everybody got in double figures except Jasmine Phillips and she is just coming off an injury. I love the uptempo. I love how we are playing on the defensive end. It creates a lot of things for us. If tonight is an example of what we need to continue to do I think it is a great sign for us."
(On winning her home opener) "It is great. It is a lot better than my first head coach game at UTC, I can tell you that. I understand that it is about wins and i do want the wins. I enjoyed watching our players. I have enjoyed watching them get better and develop. As long as we do that we are going to have a lot more wins. It feels a lot better on the winning side than it does getting her butt beat. I am enjoying it right now. We have a tough schedule and I understand that but we are going to take one game at a time. That is just our goal. I can't look ahead and worry about some body down the line. Now i have to worry about Miami and getting our kids ready. We are going to play in the moment and stay in the moment. Tomorrow we go back to work and get ready for Miami."
Sophomore Isabelle Harrison
(On the change in the first half that brought them back) "We just got it together and realized that we didn't need to focus on offense; it would come. So we told each other to get it together and buckle down on defense, and our offense came from there."
(On having a little energy early on) "It keeps me from thinking about being tired. It gets the rest of my team up, too."
(On Jessica Custer) "It was miscommunication. Once we got it together, we put some good defense up on her."
(On looking more comfortable this season) "It's just knowing that I have to step up and be a leader on my team. I don't want to show any nervousness. We need that solid player who is in every game, and I'll be there."
(On appearing shy) "I've grown out of that shy stage. I've moved into being comfortable with my new teammates. They keep on talking to me and telling me go hard and get in there."
Junior Meighan Simmons
(On Isabelle's supposed shyness) "Izzy has really grown a lot since last year. She's made such an impact on our younger freshmen who are post players. She's a great leader and she gets on them, and she gets on me sometimes. Izzy isn't shy. She goes out there and does her job, and she does it very well."
(On the turnaround in the first half) "I don't think there was any specific play. I think it was playing team defense that really got us started. We made sure we were doing the right things out there on the floor, focusing on rotation when anybody else got deep. Things like that. Then the crowd got into it because we were playing defense. I think that was the big thing that got us going."
(On whether Holly likes her four-steal defense style) "It is, and there's a bigger expectation for me this year. Holly isn't the main one, Coach Elzy is the main one about me getting in the passing lane and getting easy baskets by stealing the ball. Holly follows along behind her and still communicates to me and reminds me what I need to do out there on the floor."
(On second half mindset) "It was focusing on defense and just letting the game come to me; being calm about it; trying to get my teammates involved ahead of time; making sure I'm playing consistently."
(On improving her shooting record from the first half to the second half) "I think it's another thing of just having the mentality of not getting down when the shots aren't falling. Continuing to shoot no matter what. If the shot's not going in, just let it come to you and once you start getting the flow and getting baskets, everything will go into place."
(On energy level in the second half) "I think it's just me following my second wind. It's remembering that just because I have a bad first half doesn't mean I'm going to have a bad second half. I didn't want to make anything about me. I wanted to go out there and prove to the coaches that I can do whatever it takes for the team."
(On team's 24 assists/7 turnovers and sharing the ball) "We were reminded today, all day today, actually, about Chattanooga. We didn't want to embarrass ourselves at home. We decided to go out there and pass and continue to move forward and be the Tennessee team. We decided to continue to work together."
Freshman Bashaara Graves
(On how guards' pressure on the ball helps the posts) "It makes it a lot easier, because we can get on the sides, and we help them a lot, too. It helps a lot."
(On Andraya and Ariel being good pressure on the ball) "Andraya and Ariel are great on the ball, as defenders. They get easy steals. They just make it so much easier for the whole team."
(On Taber's three during a shooting slump) "We were so excited. You never want to see Taber down and not having a good shooting game, so for her to get that deep three and get some shots up, it was great. We were excited for her."
(On working with Izzy being a post) "I think we're getting comfortable. Izzy's great on the boards, and I am, too. Sharing getting the boards and working the other team hard is what we both do."
(On everyone having such high energy levels) "It was great. We were running, we were playing big defense, getting steals, and being in the passing lane; that's what we needed. Playing like that the whole game is what we need to do every game."
Rice Head Coach Greg Williams
(Opening remarks) "Well it was fun for about the first eight or ten minutes. I enjoyed coaching the first eight or ten minutes. Jessica Kuster got off to a great start, really carried us early, and then the great overall strength and athleticism started taking its toll. Hats off to Tennessee and Holly, her first home game. Holly and I go way back. I have a lot of respect for her. I'm very happy for her and her staff. We're two of the youngest teams in the country, two of the top twenty youngest teams in the country. They've got a bright future ahead of them; we think we do. They really, really took it to us. They were very aggressive, got in the passing lanes, and then they were very opportunistic to finish off those defensive plays they made. That fueled everything they did."
(On why Tennessee finished the game on an 85-26 run) "Well, I think they cranked up their defense a little bit, and we got careless with the basketball. Their posts do a great job of really working hard. I think they wore us down, and once that gets going, it's like a shark feeding. Early on we were able to get Jessica Kuster a lot of good looks. They cranked up their defense and took us out of rhythm. That's what they're capable of doing and then started hitting shots. They were averaging 21 offensive rebounds a game coming in; they get 15 tonight. They're very long and athletic and very aggressive. They shot a great percentage tonight as well. We were in a nice offensive rhythm early. They brought their defense to a higher level, and it just literally turned the game around. Good question."
(On Jessica Goswitz coming home, getting a nice cheer from the crowd) "I hope they did. She's a hometown girl from Webb and won two state championships while she was at Webb, played for Shelley Sexton who's now Shelley Collier who was the starting point guard on Pat's first national championship team, and that's the reason we came to play this game was to bring Jessica back home."
(On Pat Summitt not being on the sideline) "It was the first time in 39 years. That says it right there, and when we originally scheduled the game, we scheduled it thinking Pat would be the coach. My thoughts and prayers are with her. Holly Warlick is the perfect person to take Pat's place, first player to have her jersey retired here. I coached against Holly in the first women's pro league, and I want everybody in here to know that Holly is a thief. She stole a championship ring from me. We had a 2-1 lead in the championship series, up 11 points going into the fourth quarter, and Holly had back-to-back steals off my two all-pro guards in the backcourt for layups, and it turned the game around. We lost game 5. So, here's my blank finger."
Rice Senior G Jessica Goswitz
(On playing in her hometown) "I'm really grateful Coach Williams scheduled me to play. This is just a wonderful opportunity to play. To know I have people that I love and support out in the stands, it's just very refreshing to have people's support at the game."
(On hearing the cheers for her) "I sure did, especially my mom."
Rice Junior F Jessica Kuster
(On Tennessee's adjustments on her) "I think they kind of weren't pressuring them as hard as we expected them to when the game started. Then once we kind of proved that we were capable of scoring plays, they locked down a lot, and their help-side defense was a lot better. They weren't allowing as many isolation plays."
(On this being a good experience)
"Definitely. Obviously it's just awesome to play a school with so much tradition and just to have so many fans in the stands even if they're not for us. It's just really fun to play in front of big crowds which we don't get to do a lot. It was cool."