Dec. 22, 2012
Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick(Opening statement)
"I thought Stanford was outstanding and did what they needed to do. We were average to below average. I'm very disappointed in our effort. You can't come in a gym, you're not going to make every shot, but you can control your effort in rebounding. We talked about it and I guess they were putting their fingers I their ears, we just didn't get it done.
"We had a great opportunity to play the number one team in the country on our floor and quite frankly, we were never in the game. It's a learning moment for us, and it seems like we've had a number of learning moments for us and learning moments for the coaches as well. We'll go back to the drawing board and tweak a couple of things and do some things different."
(On forcing a faster tempo)
"I would have loved a faster tempo, but we couldn't score and we didn't have the energy to get up and force the action. They threw the ball wherever they wanted to go and we didn't affect them one bit on defense. When a very skilled basketball team can run their offense to perfection, you're just not going to win the game. Until the second half when we could score and set our press, we affected them."
(On playing against bigger teams that slow the game down)
"We have to defend. As we shot the ball well against North Carolina, we hadn't shot the ball well (since). You have to rebound and defend. We would make a stop, then give up an offensive rebound. If you can't do those things, then you had better hope you're going to shoot in the 50's or 60's, because you're not going to win the basketball game. This program was built on defense and rebounding, and that is not a typical Tennessee team right there. That's not going to get it done. That's not acceptable and I'll take responsibility for that, they will be ready."
(On what they have learned playing two top-five teams)
"You've got to have a relentless effort and a big heart. We didn't play with energy tonight. You've got to make your own breaks, and we're not doing things to make our own breaks. We're throwing the ball up there and hoping it goes in, and you're not going to win like that. You've got to affect them on the defensive end, and in big games we have not done that. It's my job to make sure we straighten that out and change that."
(On if the Baylor game affected confidence)
"It might have, but I felt really good the last two days of practice, I felt good about our attitude. Playing with no effort, I don't care who you play, it's not an excuse. I don't care if you play teams better than you. You still go out and have effort."
(On if she was surprised by the team's performance)
"Yes. The whole game I was in disbelief. Because we did not affect Stanford one bit. Credit to them. If you don't take them out of something they are going to shoot 47 percent. You have to do something to take them out of their rhythm. We didn't."
(On if she is more disappointed after this loss than Baylor)
"Very much so."
(On the low shooting percentage being a learning experience)
"It is a hard learning experience for them and for me. Your offense should have absolutely zero affect on what you do on the defensive end. You have to make it a priority. You have to get ticked off because your man scored, not just because you have missed a shot. You need to be extremely upset and mad that you missed a box out. You just let the team down. You are not going to shoot every shot but you can affect on the defensive end. Until they get that point and until they get that across we are going to keep doing this because one night we are going to shoot in the 40s-50s and the next night we are going to shoot in the 30s. People scout us and they know what we are going to do. But we scout them too. We had no affect on what Stanford did today. None."
(On the maturity of the team affecting their performance)
"It could be. I am not sure. It could be maturity. It could be youth. We can't change our youth. We can probably get a little more serious. We have had great practices. This will change. As coaches we will make some changes too. It is time to grow up. We are freshman and we are sophomores, that is it. We can't do anything about it. We have to go back and we have to learn and we have to compete. I don't care if this is your first game of your college career. You compete. Until we compete we aren't going to win basketball games. If we can compete against North Carolina, why can't we compete against Stanford. It makes entirely no sense to me."
Tennessee Junior Meighan Simmons(On the game)
"I feel like we let our offense dictate our defense. For me personally, that's how I feel. We just can't do that against some of the top ranked teams in the country. We have to come out mentally prepared. We can't come out scared. We have to play Tennessee basketball. When we do that, we are at our best. People will underestimate us, but we just have to come out and play hard. We have to have a sense of urgency when we go out and play."
(On if there was a carry over from the Baylor game)
"I don't think it was a carry over. I really don't know what it was, but I don't think it had to do with Baylor. When we lost to Baylor, we weren't worried about that. We were on to our next opponent. Like I said, we just have to come out with a sense of urgency. We have to come out and play hard."
(On nerves being a factor in the past two games)
"I don't think nerves are that big of a problem. I just think we have to focus on what's on the scouting report and execute what we do best. We have to stop the execution of what Stanford did and I think we had times were we had some good stops, but nerves should never be a factor. We should just go out there and play and stay focused."
(On playing with a faster tempo)
"Our speed is something we can use to our advantage. I think early in the game we came out slower than we should have and I feel like we should have put the pedal to the metal way earlier because we had spurts in the second half were we actually looked good running. That's what Tennessee does. We get the ball out and we run. We have to do that early on in the game. We can't have a bad first half and then try to come back in the second half. It's too late then. We just have to start out strong and end strong."
(On early missed shots messing up tempo)
"At times, it did. But at the same time, I had Coach telling me 'Don't let your shots dictate how you play on the defensive end'. I had my spurts, too. There were times when I was playing good defense, but we just have to play both ends of the floor."
Tennessee Freshman Bashaara Graves(On what can be taken away from the past two games: Baylor and Stanford)
"It gives me a lot of experience playing against the best two players in the country. They are amazing post players and I take a lot from the defensive end having gone against both of them."
(On how tough it was to get a good shot against Stanford's defense)
"They were doubling down a lot and we were trying to kick it out. So it was kind of hard in the beginning to kick it back out to the guards, but I think we ended up adjusting to it."
(On Christmas break)
"I'm just going to go home and have a good Christmas with my family, but I'm still going to get in the gym. I'm going to come back and get better and work on getting more wins."
(On Stanford players praising Graves play postgame)
"It gives me a lot of confidence. Playing against Chiney Ogwumike is great. She is an amazing post player and a great rebounder. I've watched her play over the years with USA Basketball and her time at Stanford. So to hear her say that, it gives me a lot of confidence."
Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerVeer
"I'm really proud of our team. This is an excellent Tennessee team, and it's December, so we'll both get better. It's a great win for our team."
(On first win in Knoxville since 1996)
"It is. Obviously, every game is a big game, but coming in here and having the chance to compete with the great players and great program they have is a great win for our team. We're very excited."
(On Chiney Ogwumike)
"The most important thing was that she didn't get in foul trouble. It was disciplined basketball. She does everything for us. She's a leader; she puts the team on her back. She made her big sister Nneka proud today. I'm really pleased with how she has developed into a go-to player with us with rebounding. She's a great player."
(On Bonnie's three-pointers)
"I think the only problem with Bonnie's threes was why didn't I put her in sooner? Bonnie's an excellent shooter. She's so confident and knocks them down. She knows what we're doing. Bonnie had a sprained ankle and missed a game, and I'm really excited for how well she played."
(On late timeout with Tennessee catching up)
"It had nothing to do with what I said. I hope we gave our team a better alignment. People made plays. Toni went to the basket; Chiney went to the basket. We did a really nice job from the free-throw line. That's something I think our team did well on. I don't remember exactly what went on, but we just try to give our team alignments and spacing. We put people in the right spots to make plays. Josalyn was huge for us. She made some great plays for us."
(On Amber Orrange)
"In the beginning, I thought Amber didn't really have the tempo we wanted. She is very coachable. She listens and asks, "What can I do better?" That's her strength. She's a team player. She does what we need her to do. She knocked down some shots. I think she took care of the ball really well for our team. Amber is a premiere point guard. People who don't know about her will learn about her. She's got great speed and is a very unselfish player."
"Our team focuses really well on the scouting report. We knew that Graves is a really great young player who is very physical. We had to get in and stop their players. I thought they played well. They made some great plays going to the basket. We really needed to clog the paint."
(On being targeted because Stanford is number one)
"Maybe a little bit. During introductions, it makes me think, "Alright. We better play like number one." The most important thing now is that we keep improving and stay healthy. We've got great leadership and great chemistry. I'm hoping that we'll be playing better in March and April."
Stanford Junior Chiney Ogwumike
(On win over Baylor)
"It gave us a lot of confidence. This year, we lost my sister Nneka. The people outside and inside the team doubted how well we'd do this year. That gave us confidence and preparation for games. Being number one gives us a huge target. Everywhere we go, arenas are sold out. It's a great atmosphere-and I'm sure you guys sell out a lot here, too-but we have to know how to compete and have our composure at each game. It keeps those high expectations."
(On Nneka's game last year)
"Nneka had a great game last year. So did Toni Kokenis, but one thing Nneka didn't do was get a win here at Tennessee, so I wanted to one-up her. It was a great game. I know in my freshman year, it was a heartbreaker when Tennessee won against us in overtime. We were very fortunate to go against this Tennessee team and get the win before Christmas."
(On Bashaara Graves)
"I wouldn't necessarily go at her. My approach is to go at anyone, any game. I just go hard. I was really happy for her because, as a freshman, she has the same mentality that I did. Crash the boards and hustle. I see a lot of promise in her and in this team. It was cool to go against her. She's strong and she's making me stronger."
Stanford Sophomore Bonnie Samuelson
(On a double SEC win before Christmas)
"It's awesome to defend our ranking. We came into this week knowing it was going to be tough, and we prepared well. We knew both of these teams were going to be excellent. I think it's exciting to see our team step up to the pressure. Both games were very competitive, and it's really exciting to get two wins and go home and be happy before coming back to go against UConn."