Nov. 4, 2006
"We're so young and really put us into position right now to decide what kind of defenses we want to really be committed to. What type of offense we feel like we want to be committed to was largely going to be determined by the progress of our freshmen, also with the progress of Britany Miller and Shante Williams, Alicia Gladden is going to be somebody that you know what you're going to get and we needed to make some determinations about who we felt like was going to step up and score with her also who was going to step up defensively with her and how we were going to do that. I can't say that we answered all of our questions in Wednesday night's game (first exhibition) but we will look different than we have in the past in the sense that we won't be a team that is largely a player-to-player team as we have been the past couple of years. With the type of experience we had the last couple of years, it gave us the level of trust that we needed in order to be that kind of team that would lock up player-to-player in the half court. In the first half of our exhibition game, we played a lot player-to-player and we just don't have that same level of trust at this point in time. Even our veterans aren't attacking the way we need them to attack because they're not confident enough yet knowing that the help side is coming at the proper time, from the proper people, at the proper angles. That's something that over time we hope to develop but in the mean time, we'll play more multiple defenses than we have in the past. Our zone, I thought was much better for us early but we will have to make some determinations when we look at the fact that we have four games in the first seven days of the season so we've got a tough schedule ahead."
"Offensively, we have the potential to be a much better offensive team than we were last season. I think Britany will draw a ton of attention. People are going to have to decide how they are going to defend her. If they're going to double on her, who are they going to double with, what are we looking for. After Wednesday's game, we are really pleased with the combination of both Britany and Jacinta on the floor together. We had hoped that it would be a good combination and we think that will develop into a great combination which will allow Alicia Gladden to move out and play more on the perimeter for us which is more of her natural position anyway."
"Our guard play, with the exception of Shante, is very, very, young but I like the different looks that we have in our guard spot with Mara being the top of player that she is and with as solid as she is, we feel very comfortable with her being out on the floor at the point spot for us and putting Shante in more of a scoring position for us at the two-guard and everyone else kind of falls into place after that. We can play almost every guard at a multiple position and that is something I like, having that versatility. We still have a lot of questions to answer even within our own staff. Will be develop into a pressing team with the kind of quickness that we have? We're just not ready to put it in yet, there's hasn't been enough time."
"The rule changes are that we've started our games a week earlier. So now we have two more games and a week less practice so it will probably look more like WNBA teams at the beginning of the season rather than college teams that are young. What I mean by that, I think early on in the WNBA, they don't look as much like a team. They turn the ball over more. They don't know one another as well. I'm a little worried about that with the game of women's basketball. I think we need the practice time in order to put a great product on the court."
"I love the staff of people that we've put together. Again, having the same staff in place for the last three years have been very significant in the kind of adjustments we can make knowing one another. Our strength coaching position in
On the true freshmen...
"Jacinta Monroe, the Gatorade Player of the Year last year in the state of
"Alysha Harvin is a player out of
"Angel Gray, who started for us in the first exhibition, was probably the least-touted of any and yet has been the quickest learner who gives us the most stable presence the court and can play both the one and the two spot for us. Defensively, she's one of the quickest players I've ever coached. She has a lot of power in the way that she moves. We called on her Wednesday night to pick up the ball handler as soon as there was a change of possession. She's the quickest to that kid and she's the one that keep that player in front and we just love that about her and she doesn't make a lot of mistakes."
"Again, I think all three of them (the freshmen) will be significant in our game plans this year."
On redshirt freshman Cayla Moore...
"Cayla has come leaps and bounds. She's a player that has a Rodman-type mentality in that she's a great defender and can rebound the basketball. I put her in for two minutes in the exhibition game on Wednesday and she drew a charge. That's the kind of mentality she has. The only thing for Cayla that's holding her back right now is that Britany (Miller) and Nikki (Anthony) play in front of her and as she continues to develop and if either one of those two kids is unavailable, than she'll be that player that steps in at that five spot for us. She's not as versatile as a Jacinta who is 6-5. At 6-1, 6-2, she's a undersized post player but again, we're going to call on her a ton for defensive purposes and rebounding purposes."
On Britany Miller...
"Britany is 25-30 pounds lighter. On Wednesday night, she played 32 minutes without showing a lot of sign of fatigue. She is much more mobile. She's a better defender and she wants the basketball which is a little bit different. I think last year, she thought well I'll do what I can and saw her a lot with her side to the basket, shooting the ball over a defender. Now she's gotten to a point where she's going to get her foot down and make a move on you."
On Shante Williams...
"Shante, the last couple of weeks, we've had absolutely no complaints, she's continued to develop. She's had a hip injury that slowed her early in the preseason so she wasn't as in great a shape as we would have liked her to be in. She continues to get treatment but with playing through it as really gotten herself into better shape and that's going to be really critical for us this year. She's the best penetrator I've ever coached. She can get to the rim and she's done a much better job of getting to the rim and kicking the ball back out instead of trying to make something happen in that paint area. She's the one who has the most offensive confidence on our team. When she's on the floor, people know that we're going to score the basketball. We need her to be that right now but in addition to that, we need to have some people step up with her."
On how the team will look...
"Right now, what we're doing is still teaching a four out, one in type of game where we will ultimately, because we're going to have that versatility, be able to go into some four out motion to isolate Britany who will be a great scorer we hope for us this year. With the evolution of Jacinta Monroe, what we'll look at is more quick hits to get her on the block. She'll be great in back screening situations because you can throw the lob up over and she can catch just about anything. I don't know how quickly we'll get to conventional."
"Right now, I'm looking at about nine players who could help us in a ton of ways and that's a lot of kids. To try to figure out what's going to be our best look, is it going to be a running game? Are we good enough passing it in the full court as young as we are? Do we know one another well enough to run a half court game? There's just a lot of questions that we're beginning to answer but we've had two weeks together and two returning starters and one of them is a sophomore who is a lot better than she was last year. It will again, a bit of an evolution process for us."