Nov. 25, 2009
Head Coach Pat Summitt
I thought our basketball team did a good job coming in and embracing our defensive schemes with what we wanted to do and how we wanted to defend certain people. We shot the ball pretty well, and that always helps. Our defense was much stronger in the first half. We had some lapses in the second half. I am overall really pleased. Glory Johnson is playing extremely well for us. Her efficiency in getting paint points and now she is shooting from the free throw line out and rebounding. She and Kelley Cain have a great presence for us inside which opens up a lot of things on the outside. I wish our bench play had been better and I would have liked to have gotten more minutes off of the bench. They made some runs at us and we never felt safe so we stayed with who was playing the best.
On Glory Johnson:
She has just matured so much on and off of the court and she has tremendous confidence now because she has been working on her offensive game a lot. She is a quick jumper, can get inside people and get the ball up on the glass. She has been terrific for us and I like her competitiveness and composure. Dean Lockwood deserves a lot of credit for the composure she is bringing.
On the importance of this game to the state of Tennessee:
You can look at the crowd that was here and know that the people in this area embrace and support women's basketball. Rick has done a great job of getting out in the community which a lot of coaches in our game are not passionate about. He has people here because they love basketball, but they also like the style of play and they know Coach Insell is going to continue to win. It is great to have that fan support and it continues grow year in and year out.
On having a higher scoring percentage than last year:
This group has invested in getting into the gym. It is no secret, if you are not going to work on your skills, then do not expect them to improve. Get in the gym and get extra reps in and come in and shoot the ball. Taber (Spani) is in there all of the time. Angie (Bjorklund) is in there all of the time. And (Shekinna) Strickland is in there all of the time. Glory is working out with Dean all of the time and this is outside of practice on their own. They are much more invested and last year was a tough lesson for us to live through, but it is the best thing that happened to us because they took ownership. It was not about the coaches; it was about the players taking ownership.
On defending Alysha Clark:
Limit her touches, deny her the ball and double team when she got the ball. We did a great job with our defense in the first half and she did a better job of getting open in the second half. We mixed up our man and zone defenses and she got more looks out of our zone.
On her performance:
I got to show off a lot of what I worked on over the summer. Taking the ball down the floor and shooting jump shots early in the game. I surprised myself with how consistent my shots were from the free throw line.
On playing in hostile environments:
We had a lot of energy. Before the game we were pumping ourselves up a little bit. We got really hyped before the game. We started off slow, but we knew what we had to do to win. So we started picking up our game.
On road games:
"The biggest thing that is preached to us is sticking together and being our own support system. Like coach says, everyone but Tennessee fans hates Tennessee and is going to root against us. It has helped our team and we realize that we have to be our energy and that we cannot rely on our fans for our energy. That and the work ethic and compassion we put in every play has helped us and we have gotten better at that."