Postgame Quotes: Tennessee 84, Oakland 50

Nov. 24, 2013

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(Opening Statement)
"Well first off I'm sorry I'm hoarse. At halftime I had to yell and scream. It was a great win for us, it was a win and we've got to learn the game is 40 minutes of basketball. We've done a great job of the second half. We settled down and we decided to play. A sign of a great team is we've got to play 40 minutes. We're very capable of it. We've got the talent to do it so just waiting on us to bust out and play a perfect game. It may not happen but I'm still waiting on it.

(On if she feels there is a false sense of security being so highly ranked)
"I promise you, walking around undefeated, knowing we're 5-0 we just have to have a maturity about us and understand the importance of the defense. If you look at us, we scored seven points in 45 seconds in the beginning of the second half so that should be the answer for them that you can score quickly off your defense so that's why we're stressing our defensive play and what we need to get done so I don't think this team is settling for anything. I just think that we've got to get a little fire under our tails."

(On the second half lineup)
"Well I thought we needed to get off to a better start defensively and we can play any - we can go big, we can go small and I thought the group that started the second half needed to start to set the tone at the beginning of the second half."

(On if she felt they were letting the fans down in the first half)
"I think we have great fans and they come out and it's huge, it's a huge crowd and they deserve to be, in my opinion, entertained and what I mean by entertainment is you play every possession as hard as you can play. Now we may not make every shot. We're not going to get every steal but my expectation is that you are going to play as hard as you can every possession. So, and if you're not going to do that, our fans don't want to see us walk the ball up the floor, turn the ball over, not have effort, not have hustle plays. They're just accustomed to us playing hard and the game the way it's supposed to be played in my eyes."

(On Meighan Simmons' play)

"Well, I think Meighan is a volume shooter. I thought she shot the ball really well tonight but I will say this about Meighan: she is really focused on her defense. I've been really proud of her the last couple games and what she's trying to do for this team. I think at times, she takes a bad rap because everybody know she's such a great offensive player. She has really taken this team on. She's the only senior. She has stepped up and put this team first. For that, I've been really proud of her. I think her overall game has gotten better because of that."

(On the team's rebounding performance)

"I thought we were ok. The first half we weren't very good. We didn't get half the rebounds that we should have gotten. We take a lot of proud in our rebounding and second chance points. I thought in the first half, we didn't go hard to the boards. But we were quick shooting the basketball so it's hard to determine where the shot's coming off when you don't know the shot's going up. I thought in the second half we settled down. Isabelle (Harrison) got in the flow a little bit more with 11 offensive rebounds. We've got to do better. That's got to be better."

"I think it's effort. When you take quick shots, you don't where the ball is coming off so it's a result of taking quick shots and not being ready to rebound. It's a combination of a lot of things."

(On starting lineups)

"It depends on what we do in practice. I'm not a coach that has to say we have to keep this starting lineup for the rest of the season. For one reason or another, it just happens. I want productivity. If somebody has to start and we take them out 30 seconds into the game, then so be it. I just want them to produce and represent our program and this team the way it's supposed to be represented."

(On preparing for the next week's tournament in the Bahamas)

"We'll watch tape on it and learn from it. We'll go back to practice and work on some stuff. That's one thing about basketball. You've got to get it, refocus, and move on. We use this as a teaching tool."


(On second half improvements)
"Defense. They put in what they thought was our best defensive lineup. They knew that starting in the second half we had to get after it and score points on that end of the floor."

(On halftime speech)
"I think what everybody got out of it was- she said we let our fans down. We have 10-11,000 people here watching us play and in those first 20 minutes we let them down and we needed to get out there on the court, so we knew that in the second half we had to pick it up and give the fans what they came to see."

(On beginning of second half)
"It was great. Coach Warlick she was just in the locker room and 45 seconds to start the second half, we scored seven points and all seven points came off of our defense. She said if we can do that for 40 minutes, how good of a team can you be? We have to take pride in that in understanding defense is what wins ballgames and championships. That's what this whole program is based off of. We have to get back to doing that for 40 minutes."

(On going one game at a time)
"I don't think it had any effect on us winning. We definitely have to live in the present. Tomorrow isn't promised. Yes, we're excited about our trip next week, but we have to take care of business and I don't think we were focused for 40 minutes and we have to work on that."

(On personal improvements)
"It's been a long time coming from a personal standpoint. It's something the coaches have been talking to me about since day one. It took me a couple years for it to click, but I'm glad it's clicking now. I think we have all the pieces to get it done and get to where we want to get to. I'm happy that it's here, that it clicked and just excited trying to get better every day to reach our goal."

(On lineup changes)
"We didn't know, but we're 10 deep and 10 strong. It doesn't matter which lineup the coaches put on the floor. The energy level, compassion and heart should never waiver at all. Whoever they put out there to play- you have to go out there and produce."


(On being out-rebounded)
"It was definitely. We had a goal to have 25 offensive rebounds and we didn't reach that goal. In the first half, our rebounding was non-existent and in the second half it got a lot better, but that shouldn't happen."

(On Ariel Massengale)
"She's making a huge difference. She's our leader. She talks to every single one of us. She's been leading us in every single game, so to have her out on the floor and her scoring ability is there, so when she's scoring and she's hot, she's our point guard. Just to have that leadership is pretty awesome."

(On first half play)
"Oakland hit some pretty good shots, but I think our defense wasn't there. Our energy wasn't there. In the first half, we weren't closing out long on the shooters. That hurt us a lot. They were just hitting open 3s and we weren't getting in their face."


(Opening statement)
"Obviously, it was a tale of two halves. First half I thought we played extremely well and did some good things. I thought our zone defense was very good. We knew at halftime we would see a different team coming out in Tennessee. They had like two offensive rebounds in the first half and went to the line one time. We knew in the second half, they were going to attack and the pressure was going to be increased in the press. You know, in a typical situation, we wouldn't play zone as much. To keep up with their athleticism and size, we felt we had to go to 40 minutes of zone for the most part. Our kids played extremely hard. We hit some shots in the first half that weren't falling in the second half. The difference was in the first half we were getting stops. In the second half, we weren't making shots, we weren't getting stops. They had a huge run to start the second half. Obviously, they're the third-ranked team in the country. They're an outstanding basketball team that we'll see in the Final Four, I'm sure."

(On how game was scheduled)
"When I got the job in July, the schedule was already done. One of my dear dear friends is Dean Lockwood. I've know Dean longer than these two are old. Dean and I have been friends for a long time. I don't know how the game came about, but it was one that we definitely wanted to come down and play and one we were excited about. Obviously the history and to be down here the weekend where Pat (Summitt) had her statue, and for our team to be able to see that. We went to the women's basketball hall of fame yesterday. What an incredible experience for our young ladies to be at the University of Tennessee when Pat was so deservingly honored for all her contributions to the game and to the university. That's something these players are going to remember for a lifetime. How the game came about, I don't know but I'm glad it did because it's something they're going to remember the rest of their lives."

(On how much zone he usually plays)
"This is our fourth BCS school we've played in five games. We've played a lot more zone than we typically will. Over the course of the season, we'll probably be 75 percent man-to-man and 25 percent zone team. Because of our schedule, we've played a lot more zone than we typically would once we get to league play."


(On takeaway from game)
"I would say the experience of just knowing that the other team is a little bit stronger and a little bit bigger, knowing what it's like to be at that level. You've got to take away from that and grow and remember the things like boxing out and those little things that end up going a long way."


(On starting the year with a difficult schedule)
"We definitely do like playing teams like this. We're a Division I basketball program. We might be a little bit smaller than most BSC teams, but this is why you play the game. To be able to come down here to Tennessee to play a quality team and compete, it's definitely a great experience for all of us. We enjoy it. This helps us get better and helps get us ready for conference play."

(On rebounding success, particularly in the first half)
"I credit that to our zone. I also credit the five players out on the court. That was one thing we talked about during the week. We realized how many boards they had again Georgia Tech, and that was an emphasis that we've had all season. We just tried to hit bodies and clean up. That was pretty much our whole folcus for the whole game."

(On close game in the first half)
"We were just playing basketball. We were having fun. That's one thing we were talking about. This was just having fun. Even though it was a 1-point game, I don't think many people on court realized it was a 1-point game. We just came down, ran our offense and made plays. We just wanted to keep up with them. ... I don't think anyone noticed it was a 1-point game."





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