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Pat Summitt Teleconference Transcript



On the three tough games this past week…

“I’d say that it has been a challenge for us. Our trip to Mississippi State was difficult with the injuries. Fortunately, we survived that and my biggest concern was to get our basketball team healthy. Certainly, with the help of (Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine) Jenny Moshak, we probably dodged a big bullet. That said, the challenges that we have faced have been good. Hopefully we’re a better basketball team, as opposed to having a situation where it was all easy. It was anything but easy. I thought we played well in spurts against Kentucky, probably better in the second half. That is what we are striving for right now, to have better consistency. The Rutgers game was an incredible atmosphere. It was a great night for the “Think Pink” event to bring awareness to breast cancer. It was a tale of two halves. The first half was one of our best 20 minutes of basketball. Rutgers came out in the second half and was terrific offensively and defensively. I hate that it ended in a controversial situation, but aside from that, it doesn’t get much better for women’s basketball in terms of the performance of both teams.”

On preparing for Louisiana State… 

“We are getting ready for LSU. They are a veteran team. Sylvia Fowles presents one of the biggest challenges in terms of post play. She separates them out most of the time in what she does. With Quianna Chaney and Erica White, they are strong. They are playing their best basketball right now. We have a big test for us tomorrow night.”

On whether you think the Rutgers win is tainted… 

“I hated that it ended that way, as far as all of the controversy. It could be a real damper if you dwell on it. After the game, talking to Vivian (Stringer), she is such a great person and a great friend. By no means did I want for it to end that way. I have tried to keep my focus and move on and get our team ready for our big test with LSU.”

Has the controversy surrounding the Rutgers ending made it more difficult to prepare for LSU… 

“I haven’t been with the players since the end of the game. We gave them yesterday off, because of the big game we have with LSU and being mindful of our legs and energy. We were pretty spent after that Rutgers game, physically and emotionally. We will get back together today and begin that preparation. I don’t know what the team has heard or read. We haven’t talked about it, but when we go into practice today, our focus has got to be on our next game. I’m not aware of what has been said to them. I will tell them that late in the game, I was proud of them for fighting the way they did. If we hadn’t gotten those two offensive rebounds, we wouldn’t have had a chance to win. We’ve been really emphasizing our rebounding. We have to move on and focus on the conference race and be able to play LSU.”

On your discussion with C. Vivian Stringer since the Rutgers game… 

“I have not talked to coach Stringer since she got back to New Jersey, but I did visit with her after the press conference. I have watched the end of the game. At this point, I’ve said what I have to say. I hate the way it ended. We, as a coaching staff, have to move on and keep our team focused on our next opponent.”

On whether you thought of forfeiting the Rutgers game… 

“Well, no. I went into the press conference. First of all, I saw the 0.2 go back up on the clock when the officials went to the scorers table to review what happened. At that point and even now, to me, it is something that has to be managed by the crew. They had gone to the monitor and gone back and that is how the game was closed out.”

On Shannon Bobbitt’s technical and your reprimanding of her… 

“We met yesterday. I think Shannon understands. We discussed it. That is not what we do at Tennessee. We also watched some game tape. We are moving on and trying to get ready for LSU.”

On why this team is having so much trouble putting together two halves… 

“I know that (Rutgers first half) was one of our best halves of basketball. When we came back out of the locker room, what we had talked about was not what we saw on the court. Our emphasis after halftime was to get paint points. We started putting up long-range shots. Alexis (Hornbuckle) was putting up threes, but she’s got to get paint points. Even with Shannon (Bobbitt) it was shoot the three or go to the rim. Playing off the dribble and getting to our mid-range game will be significant in our success on the offensive end. We were undisciplined at that time.”

On the loss to LSU in the SEC Tournament last season… 

“Our team really looks at that tournament game as a defining moment for our basketball team. It was a game in which Candace Parker had her poorest outing as a Lady Vol player. As a result, we struggled. LSU played terrific; you have to give them credit. They took it to us. At that moment, we had a meeting after the game and a meeting the next day. We basically gave everyone an opportunity to voice their concerns and to determine which direction they wanted to go in. They said right then that they wanted to come together, play together and win a national championship. With that said, we took our days off and then got back in the gym and worked really hard to be a better basketball team and play together. That was a defining moment for our team in the road to the championship.”

On Louisiana State’s Sylvia Fowles… 

“I know everyone thinks that she is a great offensive player, but she may even be more of a force on the defensive end when you look at her presence and ability to block and alter shots. She does a tremendous job of providing support at the basket, defensively. She is an intimidator for most players that go inside against her. She plays really hard and with a passion. We don’t see a lot of big players that make defense a priority to start the offense for their team. On the offensive end, she is their go-to player. (Quianna) Chaney has really stepped up and right now is playing her best basketball. The two feed off of each other and stretch their defense. Sylvia on the inside has great hands, great touch and is relentless on the boards on both ends of the floor.”

On LSU coach Van Chancellor… 

“We’ve been friends a long time. I’ve enjoyed having him back in the league. He brings a great sense of humor. He has done a great job of coaching this LSU team. When there is a coaching change, there is a transition. He has managed to bring the team together. They seem to believe in what they are doing. He’s added a few wrinkles offensively, aside from the motion offense that they are known for and the success that they’ve had with the motion. They are playing with great passion. It is great to have him back in the league.”

On LSU grasping Van Chancellor’s offense at this point in the season… 

“They are much better offensively, now. With a coaching change, there is a transition, regardless. Watching LSU early in the season and watching them now, they are playing with a lot of freedom on offense. They seem to be very comfortable with what they are running. They push tempo. Erica (White) does a great job of that and getting people the ball in transition. When they get in the half court, they are just really comfortable and confident on offense. They know where they want to get their shots and they work hard together to get the touches that they want within their half-court offense. They’ve progressed to what I think is a very efficient half-court team and they can push in transition. They put pressure on you in both situations.”

On the rivalry with LSU, is it the best one in the conference? 

“This one is always a big rival for us. You look at the teams in the SEC that have not only been at the top, but have been able to stay among the top three or four teams in our league. LSU has been very, very consistent. Every year you have a little star on your schedule knowing you’re playing one of the best teams in the country, as well as playing for a possible opportunity to win the conference. When I think about LSU, I think about them being one of the best teams in the SEC. Georgia and Vanderbilt have had that same consistency in the league as well.”

On the three tough games this past week… 

“I’d say that it has been a challenge for us. Our trip to Mississippi State was difficult with the injuries. Fortunately, we survived that and my biggest concern was to get our basketball team healthy. Certainly, with the help of (Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine) Jenny Moshak, we probably dodged a big bullet. That said, the challenges that we have faced have been good. Hopefully we’re a better basketball team, as opposed to having a situation where it was all easy. It was anything but easy. I thought we played well in spurts against Kentucky, probably better in the second half. That is what we are striving for right now, to have better consistency. The Rutgers game was an incredible atmosphere. It was a great night for the “Think Pink” event to bring awareness to breast cancer. It was a tale of two halves. The first half was one of our best 20 minutes of basketball. Rutgers came out in the second half and was terrific offensively and defensively. I hate that it ended in a controversial situation, but aside from that, it doesn’t get much better for women’s basketball in terms of the performance of both teams.”

On preparing for Louisiana State… 

“We are getting ready for LSU. They are a veteran team. Sylvia Fowles presents one of the biggest challenges in terms of post play. She separates them out most of the time in what she does. With Quianna Chaney and Erica White, they are strong. They are playing their best basketball right now. We have a big test for us tomorrow night.”

On whether you think the Rutgers win is tainted… 

“I hated that it ended that way, as far as all of the controversy. It could be a real damper if you dwell on it. After the game, talking to Vivian (Stringer), she is such a great person and a great friend. By no means did I want for it to end that way. I have tried to keep my focus and move on and get our team ready for our big test with LSU.”

Has the controversy surrounding the Rutgers ending made it more difficult to prepare for LSU… 

“I haven’t been with the players since the end of the game. We gave them yesterday off, because of the big game we have with LSU and being mindful of our legs and energy. We were pretty spent after that Rutgers game, physically and emotionally. We will get back together today and begin that preparation. I don’t know what the team has heard or read. We haven’t talked about it, but when we go into practice today, our focus has got to be on our next game. I’m not aware of what has been said to them. I will tell them that late in the game, I was proud of them for fighting the way they did. If we hadn’t gotten those two offensive rebounds, we wouldn’t have had a chance to win. We’ve been really emphasizing our rebounding. We have to move on and focus on the conference race and be able to play LSU.”

On your discussion with C. Vivian Stringer since the Rutgers game… 

“I have not talked to coach Stringer since she got back to New Jersey, but I did visit with her after the press conference. I have watched the end of the game. At this point, I’ve said what I have to say. I hate the way it ended. We, as a coaching staff, have to move on and keep our team focused on our next opponent.”

On whether you thought of forfeiting the Rutgers game… 

“Well, no. I went into the press conference. First of all, I saw the 0.2 go back up on the clock when the officials went to the scorers table to review what happened. At that point and even now, to me, it is something that has to be managed by the crew. They had gone to the monitor and gone back and that is how the game was closed out.”

On Shannon Bobbitt’s technical and your reprimanding of her… 

“We met yesterday. I think Shannon understands. We discussed it. That is not what we do at Tennessee. We also watched some game tape. We are moving on and trying to get ready for LSU.”

On why this team is having so much trouble putting together two halves… 

“I know that (Rutgers first half) was one of our best halves of basketball. When we came back out of the locker room, what we had talked about was not what we saw on the court. Our emphasis after halftime was to get paint points. We started putting up long-range shots. Alexis (Hornbuckle) was putting up threes, but she’s got to get paint points. Even with Shannon (Bobbitt) it was shoot the three or go to the rim. Playing off the dribble and getting to our mid-range game will be significant in our success on the offensive end. We were undisciplined at that time.”

On the loss to LSU in the SEC Tournament last season… 

“Our team really looks at that tournament game as a defining moment for our basketball team. It was a game in which Candace Parker had her poorest outing as a Lady Vol player. As a result, we struggled. LSU played terrific; you have to give them credit. They took it to us. At that moment, we had a meeting after the game and a meeting the next day. We basically gave everyone an opportunity to voice their concerns and to determine which direction they wanted to go in. They said right then that they wanted to come together, play together and win a national championship. With that said, we took our days off and then got back in the gym and worked really hard to be a better basketball team and play together. That was a defining moment for our team in the road to the championship.”

On Louisiana State’s Sylvia Fowles… 

“I know everyone thinks that she is a great offensive player, but she may even be more of a force on the defensive end when you look at her presence and ability to block and alter shots. She does a tremendous job of providing support at the basket, defensively. She is an intimidator for most players that go inside against her. She plays really hard and with a passion. We don’t see a lot of big players that make defense a priority to start the offense for their team. On the offensive end, she is their go-to player. (Quianna) Chaney has really stepped up and right now is playing her best basketball. The two feed off of each other and stretch their defense. Sylvia on the inside has great hands, great touch and is relentless on the boards on both ends of the floor.”

On LSU coach Van Chancellor… 

“We’ve been friends a long time. I’ve enjoyed having him back in the league. He brings a great sense of humor. He has done a great job of coaching this LSU team. When there is a coaching change, there is a transition. He has managed to bring the team together. They seem to believe in what they are doing. He’s added a few wrinkles offensively, aside from the motion offense that they are known for and the success that they’ve had with the motion. They are playing with great passion. It is great to have him back in the league.”

On LSU grasping Van Chancellor’s offense at this point in the season… 

“They are much better offensively, now. With a coaching change, there is a transition, regardless. Watching LSU early in the season and watching them now, they are playing with a lot of freedom on offense. They seem to be very comfortable with what they are running. They push tempo. Erica (White) does a great job of that and getting people the ball in transition. When they get in the half court, they are just really comfortable and confident on offense. They know where they want to get their shots and they work hard together to get the touches that they want within their half-court offense. They’ve progressed to what I think is a very efficient half-court team and they can push in transition. They put pressure on you in both situations.”

On the rivalry with LSU, is it the best one in the conference? 

“This one is always a big rival for us. You look at the teams in the SEC that have not only been at the top, but have been able to stay among the top three or four teams in our league. LSU has been very, very consistent. Every year you have a little star on your schedule knowing you’re playing one of the best teams in the country, as well as playing for a possible opportunity to win the conference. When I think about LSU, I think about them being one of the best teams in the SEC. Georgia and Vanderbilt have had that same consistency in the league as well.”


 

 

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