Dec. 13, 2009
HEAD COACH Pat Summitt
"...We have to play great defense, especially on the road. You've got to be passionate about defense and always play because obviously we didn't shoot the ball well in the first half and we were jump shooting and not getting our post involved. All in all I thought we had a pretty good closeout in that second half."
About Rutgers' Brittany Ray's performance:
"She's a player. She can do it all. She can get to the hole, pull up and do what she wants to do. We knew going in that she would be the player that would probably pose most of the problems for us and did we do a great job, `no'. I thought we could have done a much better job of denying and defending the penetration."
About recovering from the first round loss in last season's NCAA tournament:
"I have to give a lot of credit to Heather Mason, our strength and conditioning coach. We did a variety of things when we lost in the first round to Ball State. We came home and went back to practice and they were kind of having a little pity party not understanding why, but I thought it was pretty clear that it's not acceptable. What we did was not acceptable and it's not punishment, but an opportunity to get better."
About being a part of the Maggie Dixon Tournament:
"She was just a great person and we knew that we were going to be facing each other in post season and we happened to wind up at the same restaurant so I got to spend some time with her and she had a great mind for the game. She made it very clear that she wanted her players to have great minds and that competitive toughness. I enjoyed getting to know her and she was just a great lady. To be a part of this today meant a lot."
About the intensity of Rutgers team:
"In the second half we matched their intensity and we did a much better job of taking care of the basketball. And you have to do that against Rutgers because you just know Vivian's team is going to come at you and get in your grill."
About two WNBA teams folding:
"It's disturbing and hopefully we're not going to lose our league. I think we have to rally for the cause an... it really bothered me when I heard it and it still does. I think that's why all of us in the women's game need a voice."
About her reaction to the second foul:
"I was upset because I've never had back to back screen fouls. I was upset because I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong...I was kind of confused not knowing why I was getting fouls called on me but just knowing that without me in there I'm not helping my team."
About the conditioning program:
"We've got to be one of the best conditioned teams in the nation. We're still conditioning now. And a lot of the people at the start of the season, they stop, and we don't."
About Rutgers' playing style:
"Their intensity on defense is high. They are all up in your face. They pressure the ball really well."
About playing at Madison Square Garden:
"I think everyone on the team was all excited and it was my first time being here. We were pumped about it. We had great fans here and the environment was good."
Rutgers guard Brittney Ray
Career high 29 points, moved into fourth place for three-pointers with 145 (Rutgers)
"Hard work comes through. We compete every day in practice. Everybody is fatigued, but you have to play the game you are going to play. It doesn't matter if you come off a six or seven game streak, or a seven game road trip, you just have to play every day and that's what I try to do, I just try to play every day."
On Tennessee's run:
"We basically did not box out on the free throw line. Somebody was shooting and I think they (Tennessee) got six straight points and we didn't recover from their run. Coach Stringer always talks about how the game is a game of runs and I don't think we bounced back from their run."
Rutgers Head Coach Vivian Stringer
On the folding of two WNBA teams:
"There was a time that we played for the love of the game. I am actually going to give you two answers on this. One is, I think that maybe parents will back off, and maybe kids will begin to play the game for the right reason. I say that because you also notice, coincidentally, during this time that we have had the WNBA success that there has been a whole lot of transferring. There is whole lot of kids that are coming in here thinking that they are all that, always looking for the program that allows them to have the mat and to let them do their thing. The one thing that has always been true about women's athletics is that it was always for the love of the game. You played and gave everything you possibly can just because you enjoyed playing team basketball together. And then it gets to the point that its "Where's mine?" because I got to make sure that I am in the draft, so you begin to lose this team thing and you begin to wonder what are you looking at? So, I am sad in a way because we need a lot of opportunities for young women....So if we are smart, the athlete will realize that at the end of the day you had better focus on academics, that's what it was always about before. And then I think the by-product is if you happen get an opportunity to play on the professional level, that's good, but the other side is what athletes in college don't realize is that there is two full teams of outstanding athletes that are floundering somewhere in the States because they don't have a job ...You shouldn't be in school to play this sport as a professional. I think that is the biggest mistake you can make. It should be for the reasons that we used to tell athletes all the time, but you begin to change your conversations, and you begin to say what everyone else says-you may have a chance to play in the WNBA."
On today's effort:
"What I am frustrated with, and I let my coaches speak, because I am frustrated, I am speechless. Here is what I am saying. There is a big difference between the way we played today and the way we played against Prairie View. I am upset about that simply because great teams and good teams don't play according to the competition that is on the floor. They just know that someone has a different color uniform than what you have and you are not calling on something that you are not familiar with. I am speechless. I did not say anything in the locker room, normally I would have gone off. But I thought, you know what? I've had it. I came to this game not knowing how we were going to play. Based upon what I've seen the last two or three games, we should have been blown out. The question is could we have won this game today? It doesn't matter, could have, should have, would have, but yes, I think this team really believes that, knows that. But the question is do we put it together because when patterns broke down, Tennessee made plays. When patterns broke down with us, we have young people that have to step up...We've got to take better care of the ball."