Women's Basketball Media Day Quotes

Nov. 1, 2001

USC Head Coach Chris Gobrecht

'Last year, it was just a struggle for us to get working together and get everyone on the same page. Once we started to click then the play became good. I do not feel we're dealing with the same issues this year. We're still a young team because we're dealing with sophomores and freshman, but the sophomores are seasoned.'

'There is no question Ebony is an impact player. I think we have two great impact players in Ebony and Taisha Hollins. So, it's nice to have a go-to player on the perimeter and inside.'

USC Center Ebony Hoffman

'I think everyone's prediction in March is to be in the tournament. We try not to talk a lot about basketball off the court because we always see each other.'

'I think we've all calmed down a lot from last year. We're getting used to the play. I think we can get our chemistry going early rather than late.'

Washington State Head Coach Jenny Prezekwas

'We're really excited about the Pac-10 Tournament. I came from a Conference where we played a tournament at the end of the year. I think when you have a tournament to look forward to it gets your team excited.'

'Most importantly we need our freshman to play well early on because how we do as a team depends on how well they play.'

Arizona State Head Coach Charlie Turner Thorne

'We feel like our players have worked very hard and sacrificed a lot. From a coaches perspective last year was the best of both worlds.'

'The single most important ingredient to our success is our senior class. Our senior class provided a lot of leadership last year as juniors. Bringing our freshman along and showing them what it's all about will help us in the long run.'

Arizona State Guard Amanda Levens

'I think it has been tough right now. I think our success this year really depends on our leadership and how we show our freshman how to play.'

'I think this year we've learned consistency. There was a lack of it at the end of last season and we left on a sour note. Hopefully we learned what it's like to feel that way at the end of the season.'

Oregon State Head Coach Judy Spoelstra

'Felicia is like the Energizer Bunny. She practices at the pace she plays the game. A lot of the younger players have really learned to follow her.'

'We have a number of practice guys that practice with Felicia and all of them have trouble with her. They go away shaking their heads.'

'Our guards are really happy with our post players. We had seven players who stayed around this summer and worked out, which went very well.'

Oregon State Guard Felicia Ragland

'Like Judy said, I stayed here all summer and stayed in the gym and worked on my shot.'

'I don't think there is any pressure. My main thing is to be team player and help our freshman.'

Washington Head Coach June Daugherty

'I think Giuliana (Mendiola) in particular provided a lot of leadership on the court for us last season. That leadership was key. The six seniors were great kids, but I think we had a lot of leadership from other players that helped us kick it up a notch.'

'I think last year we kind of got away from the Megan Franza show because we had other great players. We were balanced and that's what we'll also look for this season. There is no doubt that last year in Washington it was a great year for high school basketball, and we've got three great players from there. We felt very good about our staff going out and keep the best and brightest at home.'

Washington Guard Giuliana Mendiola

'For me coming in as a freshman I had a lot of expectations for this team. I always thought we had the capability of winning the Pac-10 Championship and going far in the (NCAA) tournament. The Elite Eight was great, but we hope to go farther into the tournament.'

'We need to pick up the leadership, we lost six seniors that brought a lot of vocalness to our team. We just need to play as a team. It's been fun to play with each other and that helps also.'

California Head Coach Caren Horstmeyer

'I think the competitiveness and the drive of everyone is incredible. I think the most important thing for me was the travel. it's a quick turnaround from when you play at home and when you go on the road. That took myself and my staff a bit to get used to.'

'We have nine new players and it's been great. They are energetic and enthusiastic. They are eager to please and are very coachable. The newcomers that we have, the majority are from winning programs. They compete and need to play like they've been here a couple of years. Things are starting to come together, but we'll just need a little bit of time. We're just going to take it one thing at a time. If we just do the basics and worry about ourselves, we'll be fine.'

UCLA Head Coach Kathy Oliver

'I think Michelle (Greco) obviously has grown so much. She just does some impressive things. When the pressure is on her is when she steps up to the plate.'

'Both (Kristie Porter and Whitney Jones) are great two sport athletes. One is on the soccer team, the other on the volleyball team. They come in the office all the time. Both did individual work in the spring. So hopefully we'll see even more things from the both of them.'

'Rebounding is something we've focused on since day one of practice. We need to work on the boards. There are a lot of things that we need to work on. The team knows that and is up for the challenge.'

UCLA Guard Michelle Greco

'I think for myself, what I want to focus on is shooting a higher percentage of shots. I want to pick and choose where I am shooting from. I'm really looking forward to this year. Our team has really grown and we have a lot of confidence, which I think will help us this year.'

'This year it's going to be different. We have a strong team and a good freshman class. I'm going to be excited to pass the ball around and share the shots. This year we have a lot of height. There is a bigger presence inside. It's nice to be in the lane and see bigger bodies to pass it to.'

Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini

'Veranda James asked to leave in August and I agreed with it. I can't really say anything except to wish her well. As far as our team goes, we're better than what you might think. We have some good players returning. Last year we started well and did well, but we had some chemistry issues. We've had good practices and we'll be back.'

'Liz Pickney has been Miss Consistency since she started at Arizona. I think you're going to see her numbers go up. I also wanted her to work on her power game and for her rebounds to go up too. Liz is a really good player and more than anything she is a really good kid. She's a great student and a leader on our team and a leader by example.'

Arizona Forward Elizabeth Pickney

'I worked on rebounding throughout the summer and just to be more aware of where the ball is coming off the rim. I just want to be an example on and off the court. Everybody on the team has a different personality, but we all fit well. Everybody wants to win and I think that will help our team come along this year.'

'I like to take it step-by-step and I want to compete for the Pac-10 Championship. I want to be very consistent. Anything to help the team I am willing to do. I'll try my best to do what I need to do.'

Oregon Head Coach Bev Smith

'First of all I would just like to say that I feel very comfortable here. I'd like to thank all the Pac-10 coaches and Pac-10 Conference for making me feel welcome.'

'Speaking about the Ducks, it is a successful program. We are looking this year to play differently than they've played in the past. If you look at our lineup we are heavy on guards, and having a person like Shaquala Williams come back is a real help. We'll look to have her be a strong leader for us.'

'I don't know that there's is a 'Bev Smith' style of play. I just want us to utilize our teams strengths. I want to have an up tempo team and we have to provide some space for our quickness. We are not a big team, but we'll have to open it up and allow that creativeness at the guard position to happen.'

Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer

'I think our team was excited to finish the way we did considering our start. I was very proud of our team, how well we did and how we finished strong. I think that momentum has carried over to this season.'

'She (Nicole Powell) is very unselfish and would do whatever we need her to do. I think she has improved and matured a lot since then. If she has to play the point, she will. I just like to give her the ball and go.'

Stanford Guard Nicole Powell

'Being picked first, I think it's the expectation that we have. We want to be the top team in the pac-10 and have strong goals.'

'Our practices have been great from the start. We are so far ahead from where we were last year at this time. Our freshman are really good, and our intensity has been great.'

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