Oregon Women's Basketball Media Day Quotes

Oct. 25, 2001

OREGON head coach Bev Smith:

'Well I think the expectations are very high and we're looking to fill those expectations. I think that one thing that is really important is that we need to be the best team we can be. Every day we step on the practice floor and on the competitions floor we have to be a little better each time. I think that will help us take care of the end result and we'll be near the top of the Pac-10 come the end of the season.'

Q: I am sure you have looked at tape and have a little idea of what everybody can do. Do you know what will be your team strength this year?

'As you noticed just in the presentation of our team, we're not going to be the tallest team in the league, we're not going to be the biggest team in terms of pounds. But we're going to play it very tall and we're going to have to play it very big and as you can tell we're going to be a very small and quick team. That is not going to have to be our problem, but the opposing team's problem. So we're going to play an up-tempo game, not necessarily because it's our coaching staff's sort of style, but I think our philosophy is that we need to play to the strengths of our athletes. Certainly our quickness, shooting, and running are going to be solid strengths that we're going to do at both ends of the floor.'

Q: It's now been a couple months since you took over. Can you talk about the excitement you have on the eve of finally putting the team on the court and working with them as a group?

'Well I'll tell you, it has been tough because I think the coaching staff coming in, and of course (assistant coach) Dan Muscatell having already been here, knows some of the players already here and knows some of the freshmen. We haven't had a chance to see them as a group and so we are just dying as a coaching staff to see them together on the floor as a group, because I think that's where are strengths are going to be this year, a team, as a group, our depth, our chemistry within that depth. So Sunday can't come soon enough, and I think it can't come soon enough for the players as well.'

Q: You had a team that had kind of a tough ending last year. Have you done anything or plan to do anything to bring the team together?

'They're together. They have been together for a long time. And it's amazing because we talked about that healing process and there is no trying to hide the fact that was a rough season on people. But we've talked about it and they've talked about how they've become different and better people because of that, and now we're just moving forward. I think if you could sense the underlying hunger and underlying enthusiasm and energy in this gym right now, then I think that's a pretty good sign that there is some healing that has taken place and the scabs are off and we're ready to just go forward.'

Q: Can you talk a little about being back at Mac Court, where you have some of your best moments as a player?

'I'm not saying it just to say it, Mac Court is one of the best places to play the game of basketball in the world. I've been all over the world and it's a great facility. But I think what's even better about this facility is the people that you play in front of and you know the enthusiasm for women's game has grown over the years. Even back when I played here, you know the 1,500 or 3,000 or 5,000 people that came out at times, it wasn't the quantity that counted it was the quality. And there are quality fans here at the University of Oregon.'

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