Tennessee-Texas Postgame Quotes

Dec. 6, 2009

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HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
(opening remarks):
"Obviously, I was pleased with what we did on the defensive end and on the boards in particular. From an offensive standpoint, we had great ball movement. Kinna (Stricklen) and Angie (Bjorklund) play so well together. Our inside folks, Glory (Johnson) and Kelley (Cain), stepped up on both ends of the floor."

(on Kelley Cain not starting the game): "I didn't know how much she was going to be able to play. Jenny (Moshak) hadn't given her the green light yet so she came in off the bench. She hadn't been able to go for three days. I put her in when I did because I didn't like what I saw on the court."

(on Tennessee's offensive performance): "We used a lot of different sets in order to get Angie (Bjorklund) the ball. Kinna is able to get paint points. She has a great pull-up game. It was a combination of us using set plays and going three-out, two-in. We have size in the paint, and that enables us to be efficient in scoring. I attribute that to our three-out, two-in. That gives us more freedom on offense. We have size and skill in the post. When our posts get doubled, they're able to kick the ball out. We used a lot of sets. I asked at one point, `How many more sets are we going to use?' I'm more confident with this group and trust this group to make decisions and have more freedom in the halfcourt game. They were really good tonight."

(on Kelley Cain's post play): "In the first half, she was running to the block. In the second half, she was running to the rim. I told (assistant coach) Dean (Lockwood) that we have to be on the posts to run the `post highway' and go rim-to-rim. Kelley is more confident this year. We're looking for her. She ran to the rim, and Kinna (Stricklen) made a beautiful pass to her on the dime."

(on Tennessee's defense): "I thought we did a very good job of defending them. You know they're going to get points off of penetration. They've got quickness and size. I knew we would have to play good defense. We challenged them with our man-to-man. That's good preparation for our next game because Rutgers always plays off the bounce and hunts for paint points. This was a good test for us. I think a lot of our defense was how much we rushed them. They had some good open looks, but they didn't shoot the ball well. Sometimes you don't shoot well on the road."

(on this game as a confidence booster): "They're excited. But this is just one game. We've got to get ready for our next game, and preparation starts tomorrow. I expected this game to be closer, but when you play on the road, it can be different. It will be different for us."

JUNIOR GUARD Angie Bjorklund
(On she and Shekinna Stricklen shooting a combined 12 of 24 - 50 percent from the field):
"I think it definitely opens up the inside and that's why we always go inside-out at first, so her making those shots inside at the same time helped to turn it out. We always try to go inside-out and it worked well for us."

(On the increased shooting accuracy): "I would definitely say just our ball movement - like I said before, starting out getting the ball inside really helps open up our outside shot."

(On getting the much different outcome from last year's meeting with Texas): "It just shows a lot - how hard we worked in the summer, and just how having a year of experience under your belt really helps. I remember last year in the Texas game we played well in the first half and then kind of gave in during the second half and they came back. We're just working on continuing to be a 40-minute team and playing every possession and not giving in a possession here and a possession there."

(On the versatility of the defense): "We worked all preseason on defense. That was definitely the focal point for our team, and I think it's really paid off. Coach always says you win with defense and rebounding."

(On the coaches using the term "post highway"):
"I don't even know the number (of times the coaches say it) - about fifty million times a day, in a few hours. It's almost like engrained in our heads."

(On her concussion in the UCLA game and the effects): "In that game I just got elbowed in the back of the head and all I know is I'm good now. I just try not to think about it, but I'm good."

(On coming off the bench): "It doesn't matter if you're coming off the bench or if you're starting. All that matters is that you're giving your all while you're out there. That's just what I strive to do, because I know my role on the team and I know what I need to get done to help this team win. I just keep that in mind that I need to go out there and do what I need to do to help everybody. Like they said, we worked hard in the offseason so I'm definitely physically ready. It's just a mental thing - to go in there and get your mind right for the game."

(On how she got good looks at the basket to go 6-for-6): "My teammates shooting well of course helps open up the inside for me, and them being patient and having confidence in me always helps too."

(On Tennessee's wings' increased shooting accuracy): "I think it's because they're more confident. You can tell we have a different swagger about us this season, and you can tell our guards are a lot more confident about what they do."

(On the week off ahead):
"I think [Pat Summitt] was extremely pleased about this game and our effort and how much we put into this game and prepared for it. I think she'll be not so hard on us for the week coming up until we go to Rutgers."

(On what the team takes away from this game, beating a ranked opponent): "Just knowing we're that much better this year than we were last year and just all the time that we put in this summer and seeing Angie (Bjorklund) and Kelley (Cain) all the time in the gym. We all stayed for summer school. Just knowing that we know what we can do and what we have to do to beat teams and be successful. When everyone brings their A-game and everyone can contribute during a game, then I think our team will be great."

(On the height advantage): "With Kelley - anyone really - when Kelley is guarding them and they're trying to make a layup, normally they either just throw it into Kelley's hands, or they can try. It's hard for me when I'm practicing against Kelley to get it up because of her arm span. All of us being tall definitely works to our advantage."

(Opening statement):
"I'd like to say congratulations to Tennessee. They played a great game and were really hitting on all cylinders and we didn't give them a good game. We're all disappointed. We missed six layups in the first half and six more in the second half which was 24 points we could've used. When you come to play a great team, you have to take advantage of the little things and we didn't do a good job with that. I've seen all of their games and I thought this was really their best overall game so congratulations to them."

(On the challenges that Tennessee's height presented): "I felt like we had good looks. We got layups so I don't know that the height was a factor if it was in our head and we were expecting a block. I felt overall we got some good looks. I'm not quite sure if it was a factor."

(On Tennessee center Kelley Cain): "I think she does the best job of any post we've played thus far of really sealing on the inside and the guards do a great job of looking for her. She does her work before she even gets the ball so when she gets it, she has a layup. She does the best job I've seen of getting two feet in the paint and sealing, and the guards do a good job of getting her the ball in the right position."

(On the biggest difference between this year's Tennessee team and last year's): "It's a combination. Kelley's such a steady force--they know that if they get her the ball, she's going to score more often than not. She creates havoc on the defensive end as well with her size and shot blocking ability. I think all of their guards are much more confident this year. They have a better flow about them this year and you can really see that they trust one another."

(On the challenges that Tennessee's height presented):
"We were definitely rushing. Layups are what we make every day in practice and so height and Tennessee altering shots is not an excuse for us."

(On what she said to her teammates late in the game): "We just needed to keep playing. No matter the score, no matter what's going on in the game we have to stick together and continue to fight. That shows a lot about the team--we don't want to look like we don't have good character or that we don't care about the game because that's definitely not the attitude we have."

(On Tennessee center Kelley Cain):
"Kelley Cain is a great player--being 6-6 and having a good body, it's a challenge to guard her but that's why we're here, to play against great teams and great players."





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