Nov. 17, 2010
Pat Summitt Teleconference
Opening Statement: "I thought in our Chattanooga game we really played really well together. That was much needed, to work together as a team. Obviously shooting the ball very well covers up all the work out there. Overall, I thought it was a good way to get some confidence and I thought we played really well together and got everybody quality playing time. With Virginia, I'm getting ready to look at them. They've obviously been successful against us. I know it's going to be a great challenge. We have to be prepared, particularly our defense, board play, and ball security. It's going to be a good test for our team. I think that it is going to be something that is beneficial to us, to play a quality team. Coach Ryan is no stranger to Thompson-Boling Arena. She does a great job preparing her team. That right now is the first and foremost thing on our minds. Arizona State, we have tremendous respect for their team and their program and how they play. They do great job spacing, inside/outside attacking. They always have great shooters and just toughness about them. Our next two games are going to tell us a lot about our basketball team."
On the starting line up from the Chattanooga game: "I liked it. You always like it if you get off to a good start. I thought Shekinna Stricklen did a good job; she will have to be mindful of not fouling. I like her at the point because she can see over people. Certainly Meighan Simmons has continued to be very impressive. Angie (Bjorklund) seemed to relax a little more. Meighan has probably helped that out a little bit. The two of them shot very well. Kelley (Cain) on the inside, I think we have to get more touches. Kelley has to be more aggressive. She turned down a lot of shots. With her size and skill around the basket she needs to take some ownership. A-Town (Alicia Manning) did a really good job on the boards."
On Meighan Simmons' start: "She's playing with tremendous confidence and shooting the ball really well. There's no friction between her and the team. I think they are so excited about what she is bringing to the team. She may shoot that well consistently, but if she doesn't she knows she has to be mindful of playing great defense and rebounding. I think she's got a really good basketball IQ. As long as she's not trying to do too much - that's just a feel thing from the coaching staff and just really managing with her as she plays each and every game."
On Simmons' playing both sides of the floor: "She's playing both sides of the ball. Because she's so light on her feet and has so much energy and passion for the game, she doesn't take possessions off. She's going to continue to have an effect on our team. You can't watch her and not be excited about what she brings to the court and to our team.
On Simmons' energy level: "She's got high energy, she's passionate about the game, she's so light on her feet and so quick. She is athletic. I've been very, very excited by what she brings and also impressed with how she handles herself. It doesn't seem to affect our team in a negative way but in a very positive way. I know (Shekinna) Stricklen is so excited by how she is playing.
On Taber Spani and Alicia Manning off the bench: "This isn't etched in stone - the lineup. It does speak to our depth and what we can bring off the bench. That's what I like about this team right now. We didn't know a year ago what we know now, how many players have matured and stepped up - those who will take control of their game and really contribute to our team."
On getting whether the Lady Vols need to get Kelley Cain more shot attempts around basket: "Absolutely. We get her the ball and she is in a great position and she kicks out and reposts. That's something that can be corrected immediately. She has to know she has a significant role as our go to post. She has help from Glory (Johnson) and when Vicki (Baugh) is back in the mix, as well. The potential depth we can have, I think Kelley has to take a little more pride with getting touches and finishing."
When Kelley (Cain) and Vicki (Baugh) aren't in the game, is the post game a concern? "We don't have the size factor when we're playing smaller. Hopefully, when we get healthy - when Vicki (Baugh) is back and Lyssi (Brewer) is ready to play, we'll have four solid post players that we can rotate and keep players fresh, and that really excites me."
On helping raise other programs by traveling and playing them? "Arizona State is a solid team, and is well-coached. I like their commitment to play together and play both ends of the floor. It's a tough matchup, because of how they play. I think we learned from being able to go out there and play, that they understand how to compete and also to be efficient. They shoot the ball well and they go inside-out. Their guards play very solid every year. I haven't had a chance to see them this year, but I'm going to do my homework after we get past Virginia. It is a touch matchup and especially if we don't pick up early and do a good job on the defensive end and have some level of control on the boards."
On Monday night vs. Chattanooga: "I felt pretty good about our bench play. Not across the board, but for the most part. I thought we were ready to come in and contribute. I like the depth. We talk to our team about it - when you have that much depth, sometimes people can get complacent. I think they understand, `when I come off the bench, I better be ready - otherwise then it is going to be short minutes and someone is going to come in.' With the depth factor it has been pretty positive for us."
On Vicki Baugh and Lauren Avant: "I told our trainer there is no rush whatsoever for either of those two players right now. We just want them healthy. We are a better team when they are healthy. We don't want to fast forward anything. We just want them to take their time with their rehab work."
On a typical day at campus for her: "It varies. Today I had an early appointment in the morning. I'll watch tape and do a workout. I've got to do a function on campus at noon for Joan Cronan, our Athletics Director. After that I'll go to the gym and get ready for practice and meet with my staff. We will watch tape, which is what we typically do before we take the court and start our practice."
Difference now from teaching classes early in her career and coaching to now:
"It's a breath of fresh air. I have more time to plan and practice. Still one thing that's on my plate a lot is doing things in the community, which I am grateful that we have such great support here at Tennessee. Our fans are just tremendous. Along with that comes some responsibility to doing some community things. For example, working with UT hospital, which is one of my top charities right now. I like that and I have met a lot of wonderful people through it. I want to give back to this community. This community really embraces all of our sports, and we benefit from it. I liked teaching, whether it was in the classroom our not; however, I liked teaching on the court better. To be able to have the time now to sit and watch tape with individual players, that is a great teaching tool and learning time for individuals and the team. We watch a lot of tape now. I don't know what we did before tape. I guess we guessed a lot. You can see it, they can take videos with them and watch it and come and give us feedback. They have to arrive at what they see, it is better when they're really invested in learning the sets and we are not spoon feeding the players."