Nov. 11, 2007
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Nov. 10, 2007
Penn State Women's Basketball Head Coach Coquese Washington Quotes
November 11, 2007
Q: You went to Janessa pretty early, what did you see that you felt like that she could make an impact?
A: I felt like she could rebound, and she is bigger than Rashida. And I felt like her muscle and her added weight could help us inside against Marcedes. Also I felt like Rashida was a little spent after her efforts yesterday. She was working as hard as she could but I just felt like she played a lot yesterday and Janessa had a little more bounce in her step and I just felt like we needed her in there.
Q: Being a rookie head coach, what does winning this event mean to you?
A: I just hope to put the kids in the best position possible. And see if we can come out at the end of the night. It definitely feels good to win, but I do not put a lot on the fact that I am a rookie head coach and me building confidence. It is definitely a team effort with my staff. I look to them and rely on their guidance a lot during games. They give me a lot of confidence with their input and knowing that it is a collective effort.
Q: Could you have predicted that Janessa could've have made an impact like this, this soon?
A: Yes I could. She is very smart, a very quick learner and she is tough, and she is not afraid to bang. I figured once she started to get experience and she is out there playing she would pick up things and act on them quickly. Now keep in mind she is a freshman and next game she might absolutely stink, but she had a great game tonight, and I hope she can have these type of games more often then not.
Q: Can you talk about the balance that you were able to get from the duration of the three days here?
A: Well one thing we always talked about, is that we have to be a team. We are better when everyone understands that on any given anyone can step up. On Friday is was Kam, and yesterday it was Rashida, and today it was Janessa. The one constant has been out point guard play, and when you have a great guard like Brianne O'Rourke and she runs our team, we are in good hands. And I thought she had a phenomenal weekend.
Q: What do you think the difference was between how it started and how it ended?
A: Brianne was taking us a little too long to get us started in our offense and she was being the good little point guard. Making sure everyone was in the spot they were suppose to be in and finally I told her to get us going. Maybe yell at them or something, just try something different, and we loosened up after that. We started playing basketball and driving it and attacking it and we got into the bonus and got into the foul line.
Q: How important was it to get Marcedes Walker into foul trouble?
A: There were two big keys. One was to get rebounds and we wanted to attack Walker and make her play defense. We had no idea that we would foul her out of the game. But we wanted to make her work. I thought both Rashida and Janessa did that when they were in the game. We told the guards make them work on defense and it worked out for us.
#1 Tyra Grant
Q: What does winning this game mean to you guys?
A: It is a confidence booster. It shows the fans and the media how much work we have put in, how much Coach's direction...she always says the best, and wants us to have a world class experience, and that is what we are doing right now. We are having a great experience. 3-0 is a great way to start the season, and we are ready to keep moving forward.
#25 Kam Gissendanner
Q: Talk about the Pitt Penn State rivalry means to you guys?
A: It is always a good game when we get together. I am friends with a lot of girls on that team, so I know how hard they compete night in and night out. It is fun to play them because it is an in-state rivalry and we do take it seriously. It was fun to get a win today.
Q: How did you guys get to the foul line 41 times in this game?
A: We were just aggresive. We were trying to attack them. We knew that they got into foul trouble a little bit early (in the game), so we took advantage of that and tried to keep our confidence in getting to the foul line.
#42 Janessa Wolff
Q: How much of a goal was it for you to go after Mercedes Walker?
A: We came into the game knowing that they play a lot around Walker, and they are a completely different team when she is not in there. Coach had us work on our defense, and Rashida (Mark) and I played the toughest defense we could and tried to get her out of her comfort zone so we could play our game.
Q: How id you prepare for Mercedes Walker?
A: I did not do anything different. We were preparing one game at a time, so I started preparing when I woke up this morning. I mentally prepared the way the coaches taught us, and I executed that.
Q: I saw signs for you. Did you have a crowd here for you tonight?
A: My parents flew in from Minnesota for the weekend. They decided to make signs because my whole hometown was watching this game and they wanted to be seen on television. It was a motivational thing.
Pittsburgh Women's Basketball Head Coach Agnus Berenato Quotes
November 11, 2007
Q: The Pitt/Penn State rivalry is good in almost every sport. Could you talk about how it doesn't really matter that your team is ranked and their team isn't and what the records are. Is there anything really to that when Pitt plays Penn State?
A: No. I think that Pitt/Penn State is a big rivalry, but I'm not really sure anymore how many teams play each other. I was thinking about it this morning in the shower, and football, we don't play. Men's basketball we don't play. So I don't really know. We don't play, so I don't know. But to us it's a nice rivalry.
Q: Beyond the free throw numbers you guys missed 47 shots. It seemed like early in the game you guys were settling for jump shots instead of driving to the basket. Is that something you do on the road, being that you are probably always going to have a hard time, on the road, getting calls? In the future, is that something you can learn from?
A: Well I don't think there should be a difference between getting calls on the road and getting calls at home. I think a call is a call. If you foul it's a foul. If you travel, it's a travel. If you block a shot, you block a shot. So we will try to work on always trying to get to the rack and then if there is a call, it's a foul. So yes, that is something we will work on, getting the ball to the hole, and I don't think that we should settle for the jump shot. Unless it's the last two minutes of the game like tonight, you want to penetrate and kick. I know that's a strategy, but I am an inside out person as you know. I like to go inside and kick it back out. Then if you're clear, go ahead and take the penetration. We didn't get a lot of that tonight.
Q: You talked about Mercedes missing some time and obviously you lose the post presence. Can you talk about how that affects your team early and the overall dynamic of losing her?
A: It's a huge dynamic. It's like, if you're not a vegetarian, when you have dinner, you have your meat, you have your potato, and you have your vegetable. You'll maybe have a salad if you're really cool. You take the meat out and that's the crux of your team, and for us, that's our anchor. Our post is our anchor. Again, maybe we depend too much on that and I'm a post player and so I really do believe that our post is our anchor.
It's not important to me if Mercedes scores. She doesn't have to score. When Mercedes is in the came, she attracts so much attention. And it frees everybody up just a little bit to have their game. But the one thing that we have to learn how to work with is how to work with Mercedes and without Mercedes. Mercedes has to learn how to work with not being a risk-taker; to stay out of foul trouble.
Q: What did you think about Wolff's impact on this game? She hadn't played a whole lot of minutes before this ball game.
A: I like her. I liked her the first time I saw her last night. I talked to my team about her. She's the one who came out with a bloody nose last night, and came back with a big wad of toilet paper up her nose and she played. I talked to my team about that because it wasn't about points or rebounds. I just loved her effort. I really like her. I liked her game. I wasn't surprised that she got eight rebounds. I thought she helped her team out last night and the night before as well. She impressed me. I don't know if she didn't play a lot before. I thought she really made the difference last night, when she was in the game. I like her body, I like her size, and really I like her heart. I like her attitude.