Nov. 25, 2008
Head Coach Pat Summitt:
"You can tell I'm real excited about it. I told our team we've got a lot of people who know how to complete, but we've got a lot of people who don't. They better understand in a hurry. The game opened up and we were able to extend our lead, but it's not going to be that way against DePaul or on the road. We've got players who pick and choose when they play hard. Knowing that Kelley Cain is coming back, they better be working hard to prove their worth. They've got to get better."
(on Vicki Baugh and Glory Johnson):
"Vicki hasn't had as many repetitions. I was trying to get her as many minutes as possible to get her some confidence and get her conditioning level to where it needs to be. I was pleased with what we got from Vicki and Glory. Shekinna (Stricklen) played 37 minutes, and even when her shot isn't falling, she's making things happen."
(on improvement on free throw shooting):
"I guess I can sleep better, but that could be short-lived. With the number of young players that we have, I guess we should expect some inconsistency. I can't think that way, though. I'm going to demand better from them. We weren't average tonight. We were below average."
"I thought about giving them Thanksgiving Day off from practice, but we'll make that call after tomorrow's practice. You can't reward them by letting them off. We've got to get ready for DePaul."
(on competition for playing time):
"Competition will sort out the competitors. Wait until Angie Bjorklund gets back-and Alicia Manning-certainly Kelley Cain. Right now, we've got five posts, but we're not going to play five deep. They better get better fast."
(on substitution rotation):
"With this team, they'll get in a good rhythm, and then. . . .It depends on the combination. The score situation allows us to play more players. In more competitive situations, we're not going to substitute as freely. Even in the first half, our bench was not ready to come in and maintain the level of play."
(on Western Carolina's Brooke Johnson):
"She's solid. After watching (tape of) her against North Carolina, she has a toughness to her. She had what-12-tonight? She's hard-nosed, tough-minded, and skilled. She's very, very competitive. I knew that she would be a player that would help them in a lot of ways."
(on the play of freshmen Alyssia Brewer and Amber Gray):
"The unfortunate part is that they played like typical freshmen. Bri (Bass) and Glory (Johnson) didn't play like freshmen, and even thought Shekinna (Stricklen) wasn't shooting well, she still did good things. I expect more from both of them. They have to decide what they're going to bring so we can know what to expect from them. They didn't enhance their opportunities tonight."
(on facing former Lady Vol Kellie Harper):
"It's always great to have them (former players) back. Kellie and I have stayed in touch. She did a great job. She's excited about this team. She lost a lot of upperclassmen from last year's team. In talking to her, she said, 'I love my team.' They respond well to her. She's a great coach and inspires her players, not just on the court but in the classroom. She's a great role model. She left her mark on this program with three championships. She's special."
Tennessee forward Glory Johnson
(On her block of a three-pointer in the second half):
"I was going to try my hardest to get out there and luckily, I got a piece of it. I'm glad I did, because you never know when they are going in so you always have to go after them."
(On her team's performance):
"It's a team effort. It's not really about scoring points. We didn't play to our ability as a team. As a whole, we could have played better."
(On the team's improved free-throw shooting):
"We were just trying to think too much. We're getting in the gym and shooting 100-200 before and after practice every day. It's more of a mental game than anything. It's a free shot. We were just thinking too much."
Tennessee guard Shekinna Stricklen
(On scoring from the paint):
"My shot has been really off. I'm in the gym shooting more, trying to find my confidence, but right now, I'm just trying to get more in the paint like Coach (Summitt) has been telling me to do."
(On her team's defensive performance):
"It picks up our intensity when we get a block or a steal. That's what we want to do. Once we got our defense going, our offense goes well too."
Tennessee forward Vicki Baugh
(On playing 32 minutes):
"I feel fine. I just have to keep getting stronger. I'm still not completely in shape, but that is just something that comes with picking it up and running."
(On helping the freshmen improve):
"We just have to lead by example and realize that even though we are just sophomores we are the leaders on the team. We have to be the veterans because the freshman have to look up to somebody and Alex (Fuller) can't do it all by herself. We have to follow the examples of Nikki Anosike and Candace (Parker) and talk more on the court. If there is any confusion with our freshmen, we have to be the ones to pick them up and let them know what to do. We have to talk on the court. We have to learn faster and realize that we only have one senior on this team, so the sophomores have to become seniors."
(On winning in spite of some struggles):
"It's definitely encouraging. We know what we can do. I believe that when this team comes together and we have everyone healthy, we are going to be unstoppable. Although we are young, we can still reach our main goal of getting to the Final Four and winning the national championship."
(On the team's potential once everyone gets healthy):
"We have a remarkable amount of talent. Once we pull it all together and everyone gets their confidence back, we are going to be fine. We have no worries. What we have to do is continue to pick it up because the team's we are going to play are just going to get better and better. The competition is only going to get harder."
Western Carolina Head Coach Kellie (Jolly) Harper:
"We had a few minutes there in the first half where we struggled to score. We turned the ball over too many times and gave them the lead that they were able to maintain the rest of the game. I'm disappointed that we couldn't maintain our competitiveness with them for longer in the first half, but I'm proud of our effort-we played hard and did positive things. Hopefully, we'll continue to improve throughout the season. We haven't seen our best basketball yet, but hopefully by the end of the year both of these teams will be competing for championships."
(On Tennessee's defensive length):
"I think that's one reason that we went in the dry spell (in the first half) was their length and their quickness. We could be around one person and then a bunch of arms would come in and surround us. They are so long and so athletic, and they take you out of your comfort zone defensively. I know that's something that Pat's harping on and I think they're doing a good job.
(On how it feels to be back in Knoxville):
"Right now, Thompson-Boling Arena sure does look different. It's very fun to come back and see so many people that have meant so much to me and think about the fond memories that I have here. I'm happy that I get to share this atmosphere-which I believe is the best in the country-with our players. Our student-athletes deserve to get a chance to play in this type of game with this great crowd. I wish we could be more competitive but I enjoy coming back."
(On Brooke Johnson's recovery from a knee injury):
"Nothing against Brooke, but where she was last year at this point, she was phenomenal. She'll get there."
(On her relationship with Pat Summitt):
"Pat's a special person to my family. Every time I talk to her she asks how my parents are. Today, she asked if my mom and dad would be here. My dad couldn't make it but my mom was here and I told her where my mom was and she went to go speak to her. For her to be able to do that right before a basketball game is just one of many reasons why she's special."
Senior forward Brooke Johnson
(On Pat Summitt's comment that Brooke is extremely tough):
"That's a pretty high compliment from a great coach, I came out here and wanted to play hard and see what we could do."
(On her recovery from a knee injury):
"I'd say I got tired during the second half. It still bothers me but it's something I've been able to play through. I'd say I'm at about 85 percent."
(On playing in Thompson-Boling Arena):
"Like coach said, this is the best atmosphere in all of college basketball. For us to get to come here and play and compete was a great opportunity to play near my hometown (Seymour, Tenn.) during my senior year."