Dec. 30, 2009
HEAD COACH Pat Summitt:
(opening remarks): "I thought overall we did a lot of good things. Glory Johnson came in off the bench and did a great job in the paint. We had a lot of players who were able to get quality minutes, and we didn't have to ask Kelley Cain to play extended minutes. We had contributions everywhere on the floor. I thought we were better defensively in the second half. We have to be committed there all of the time."
(on whether she was concerned about the team being rusty after not having a game since December 22): "I wasn't that concerned. We've had two very, very challenging practices, and they've responded well. Our players are a lot more invested in getting into the gym. Larry Pratt wasn't happy, and Coach Summitt wasn't happy that they hadn't been doing that. The game against Stanford opened our eyes about that, and that's why they've gotten a whole lot better. Angie Bjorklund--that's why she shoots so well. And Taber Spani. Shekinna (Stricklen) is more dedicated now. The team has to be across the board."
(on the performance of Briana Bass): "Bree had some really good minutes. She tried to get to the paint too early some times, but she ran the team well. I was pleased with her play."
(on Shekinna Stricklen's injury status): "Our orthopedic staff says that she's OK. She just kind of landed funny. We'll see tomorrow. She's day-to-day. The weird thing is that is the third time that has happened in that area. I'm going to tell her to run right."
(on Lady Vols' additional practice in Pratt Pavilion): "I think there's no question that they have been in the gym. Tyler (Summitt's son and Lady Vol practice player) says they have blown his phone up. All they have to do is get in the gym."
(on Shekinna Stricklen): "Shekinna is such a valuable member of this team. She has a chance to be one of the best to ever play here. I've seen this two other times (her being injured. We dodged a bullet again."
(on Angie Bjorklund's improvement): "We had the players write out what they needed to do to get better. Angie needs to be a better defender. She needs to be more patient when we're setting screens. She's very committed to getting better."
(on Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry): "Wendy spoke at the the (Day of) 1,000 Stories. She's been a friend for years. This year has been very difficult for her. In coaching, you have highs and lows, and you've got to weather the storm. I've got a lot of respect for her. I feel for her. I know she'll get through this."
(on Glory Johnson coming in off the bench): "I'm very proud of Glory. She wasn't focused in the San Francisco game, so I decided to bring her in off the bench and send her a message. She's our best athlete. She's much better than she was in that game. I reminded her that she has to work hard and stay focused."
TENNESSEE JUNIOR GUARD/FORWARD Angie Bjorklund
(On the team's strong shooting performance): "Coach (Summitt) really emphasized getting in the gym after the Stanford game and everyone took it seriously. Everyone has been getting in the gym and it really shows. Just getting an extra 200-300 shots before or after practice really helps. It helps mentally too. In your head, you think about how you've been in the gym and that builds confidence, both in each other and in your own shot. We've also been focusing on getting the ball inside, which helps open things up on the outside."
(On what she thought when Shekinna Stricklen was injured): "For me, I go straight to God and say this in your hands. Taber (Spani) and I got together and prayed. We have faith that God can do anything, including healing your knee if that is His will."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE GUARD Briana Bass
(On how much it helped her confidence to knock down a couple of shots early): "It helped a lot. I have Angie to thank for that. She has been helping me stay focused, believe in myself and not put too much pressure on myself and just take that open shot.
(On playing 32 minutes after Shekinna Stricklen was injured in the first half): "I try to always stay ready because you never know what is going to happen. Whether my role is to cheer my teammates on from the bench or get out there and make a defensive play, I'm always trying to be ready."
(On the team's 27 assists): "In the Stanford game, we only had four assists. One of our goals was to share the ball and play more as a team. That's something we've been really trying to work on, whether it's going out to eat together or hanging out together, just working on little things to be a team."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE FORWARD Glory Johnson
(On coming off the bench): "Coaches start specific people that they feel will get the team off to the best start, but at the same time, people on the bench are just as important. You have to do anything you can to help the team out, whether it is getting rebounds or scoring points. You just have to be willing to do whatever you can to help your team out."
(On her excitement when Briana Bass scores): "A lot of players try to take advantage of the smaller players, so I just get excited when I see Bree taking advantage of other people with her cross-over that gets everybody going the opposite direction. A lot of people underestimate what she can do."
OLD DOMINION HEAD COACH WENDY LARRY
(opening statement): "I asked (Tennessee Head Coach) Pat (Summitt) for a fire extinguisher at halftime. I think (UT junior guard) Angie Bjorklund distinguished herself as one of the best there is. She certainly put on a clinic in the 20 minutes she played. I'm hopeful (Skekinna) Stricklen is OK. She is a very important piece to their puzzle. We gave (sophomore guard) Brianna Bass probably her signature night. It's one of those days when you allow a team to get a ton of confidence and it's tough to stop the bleeding. We are in a situation right now where we're trying to find some confidence with the schedule we've played. Up until a week ago we had the toughest schedule in the country according to the RPI. With young kids and a couple of players who aren't 100 percent, we're just trying to find our way."
(On the Lady Monarchs' tough schedule): "The intention with a young basketball team is to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not sure when that light is going to shine bright for our team, but there is also something real good about playing that type of competition we've played because at some point you see the corner and that light comes on, and all the sudden you are competing too. We have a number of young players we would like to cultivate and condition to play some of these games in the future that are competitive."
(On beginning conference play): "We're going to hit the reset button. I'll use that tomorrow after we lift. One of the purposes of the schedule we play is that we've had some good success in our conference. Last year was the first year we didn't win the conference so now we have to be in the posse instead of being the chased. We're hopeful that these types of experiences will do nothing but afford us an opportunity to play harder and more physical the next time we take the floor."
SOPHOMORE POST TIA LEWIS
(On Old Dominion's tough out-of-conference schedule preparing it for Colonial Athletic Association play): "I haven't played in the CAA. I have only watched it, but from what I've seen it's aggressive but not as aggressive as the teams we've played. For our team, our schedule should help us a lot because we've played some of the country's best teams."