Feb. 2, 2011
Pat Summitt Teleconference Transcription
"I thought our Arkansas game was one of our better games. We got a lot of different people quality playing time. One thing for sure, Glory Johnson has really stepped up her game at both ends. I'm very proud of how she played. Kamiko Williams came in and did a great job. I just thought it was a good road win for us. Of course with (Shekinna) Stricklen being back home, it was home week for sure for her. I said nobody was left at her house. Everybody was where they needed to be. Again, Stricklen has really matured to play multiple positions for us. I'm very, very pleased with the Arkansas game. I've been watching tape on Kentucky, and that's going to be a great environment. We're just trying to give our team some rest time. I think they need it. I know Taber (Spani) needs it, and I know Kelley (Cain) needs it. It's going to be good for us to have this time to not feel like we have to be on the court."
On Tennessee's guard play at Arkansas:
"You can tell a big difference. Meighan Simmons struggled, and just trying to do too much - typical freshman. We came home and watched tape with her. When Kamiko (Williams) came in, I thought she had great composure and did a great job distributing the ball. As a freshman, beforehand (Williams) wasn't anywhere near where she is now. I think that she is really, probably more confident as a player - and doing just a better job of distributing to everybody. The ball didn't get stuck in her hands. I thought she did a really good job of looking for Shekinna (Stricklen)."
On playing at Kentucky on Monday:
"I just watched them yesterday. (Assistant coach) Dean (Lockwood) and I have been watching tape on them. To me, they do a great job of playing pretty much all man (defense). I didn't see any zone, whatsoever. Obviously (Victoria) Dunlap has been a real staple for their team. The one thing they do, is they really push hard in transition. I have not seen them play any zone, whatsoever. They're going to get up on us. Ball security has got to be at a premium just because of how they play. Just watching their game against Vanderbilt, they were running on every opportunity. That is what really concerns me. We have to pick up early and slow down. Of course, I've never seen them play a zone and that's something, I know for us, we're going to try to mix things up."
On turnovers and transition defense:
"I think ball security has improved. We've been working daily on our 50-pass drill, just to keep the ball moving - to get ball movement, player movement, passing and cutting. I think we've had some good reps at that. At the same time, we've wanted to get them a couple days to rest, and then get focused on this Kentucky scout. Dean (Lockwood) and I both have been watching tape. We have to take care of the ball, and we've got to be able to really work the boards on both ends. I think those are both going to be big factors."
On unforced turnovers, bad passes, etc.:
"That has to be at a premium, our ability to take care of the ball - again, it's something we'll work on this week. Hopefully we will make that a priority. I know the coaches will make it a priority, but our players have to make it a priority, too."
On improved transition defense:
"I think it's a lot better. We've made it a point of emphasis, and we have improved. Every game, presents something different. Kentucky, they're going to bring a lot of heat. They push hard, and they push constantly up and down. I think the pace of the game, if anything, we have to be a little savvy with that and try to slow down their transition."
On how hard it was to build a fan base at Tennessee:
"I'm in my 37th year. I can tell you only one time have we not led the nation in fan support. It's all about getting out in the community. That's important. To give back to this community is important. We have just been so blessed to have the type of fan support night in and night out that we receive. And they travel. It was amazing to see how much orange was in Arkansas."
On the location of a program affecting popularity:
"I could see (competing with professional teams) obviously being a tough completion to go against. Here, our student-athletes are very visible. Our fans, they have certain players they cheer for. I just think that this community embraced women's basketball long before it was a popular thing to do. It's just been incredible. I never, ever, want to take that for granted. Even when we were not playing at the level we are playing at this year, (the fans) were still there. They just show up. They travel with us. I know when we go to Nashville we'll be fighting for tickets against Vanderbilt. They have indicated that they have a sellout. My whole family is up in arms. And location does have a lot to do with that. Also, visibility from the coaching staff and the players - we take a lot of pride in making sure the fans know that we appreciate them. Twice this year, I've got on the mic and thanked the fans for being there in cold, bad weather. They show up. They feel like they can help us win, by being in the stands and being passionate. It's just been tremendous."
On former Kentucky head coach Mickie DeMoss returning to Lexington as an assistant with UT:
"I was excited when Mickie went to Kentucky. I think her big thing, after awhile she didn't like the head coaching part of it. I think that's one of the reasons she decided she wanted to come back to Tennessee. She had been here 18 years. I think she is really happy in the role she is in, and not feeling the pressure of being a head coach. It's not for everybody, it's really not. I'm just the crazy one, I guess. Having her back has been great. She's such a strong motivator and a strong teacher. Every now and then, she can fly off the handle like the rest of us, but in a good way. Just her being on the sideline, our players have really enjoyed her coaching and her style. She is very demanding and also very encouraging."