Quotes from Women's Basketball Media Day
Nov. 9, 2005
Coach Charli Turner Thorne
On the Vanderbilt game:
'Vanderbilt is obviously a very well coached, talented team coming off exhibition wins. It's going to be a tremendous basketball game right off the bat. We're excited; we're going to find out where we are right off the bat. They are a team with a very explosive inside and outside attack. They've got a lot of veterans coming back. They are not just a good offensive team; they do a very good job defensively as well. They have a little bit of a different style than us but they do a really good job of fixing up their defenses.
'It'll be interesting playing this early. We've just got to be prepared to evaluate and adjust during the game. Everything we have right now is off last year's film and both of us have different turnovers and some new players coming in playing big roles. It'll definitely be a challenged come game night.'
Feelings on the team so far:
'We keep getting better. We're scoring the basketball very well, inside and out. It's very early right now. We're opening a week earlier than the rest of the country. The main thing I'm stressing is to play hard, during every possession. We pride ourselves on our all out effort and our game intensity. Our defense is coming. Half of our team is new and they're learning, but their learning curve has been amazing. I think we are only going to get better. We are ready to dig in and defend this weekend.'
On whether or not she is surprised on the freshman impact:
'No. We're at a point in our program where all of players that we're bringing in our the best of the best. And that's fun. Right now we have more talented scorers at ASU than we have ever had before and now we just need to focus on working together, playing as a team and play great team defense.'
On the signing of three new recruits:
'It's a big day today. We signed three players, two local from St. Mary's High School where Kristen played. We're very excited. Right now in the recruitment rankings, we're in the top ten in the country. We recruit for our system and our style and these three players are going to be impact. We're losing Kristen and Amy and we need more post players. Kaylie Murphy and Lana Gibson are athletic versatile post players that can play right away and help us keep an aggressive defensive game. They're great rebounders which we value highly. Diamond Simon adding her to the mix of amazing guards will just add to our transition offense right now and next year we're just going to explode even more.'
On the benefits of signing star local players:
'It's a win-win when you sign local players. They're family and community helps support our program. They already have an identity with the media and the public. It helps provide more of a fan base for us as well. On the flip side, they get the best of both worlds in terms of playing in a nationally ranked program. Even though they live a half hour away, they are still going to live in the dorms and get a full college experience with the support of family and friends. It's exciting for everybody. Some players love everything about the program but feel its too close to home. There are also the players that love being close to home and we are blessed that Diamond and Kaylie feel that way. They love Arizona and love being close to home and they appreciate.'
On this season and future schedules:
'We have an amazing preseason schedule. Every game is going to be a test. We're definitely excited about the Cancun trip. We've got USD who have a new coaching staff. The North Carolina rematch, I'm really looking forward to it as a coach. I don't think we played the way we're capable of playing. To get them again, on a neutral floor, this soon is going to be fun. They're a top five team, so that will be another test. That is why we go to these tournaments. Its more than a beautiful setting and fun place to vacation. It's a great NCAA tournament setting, where you're playing top competition on a neutral floor. Mississippi State is another hard nosed SEC team. Our home holiday classic is really loaded. They're not top 20 teams, but these are perennial postseason teams that go to the NCAA tournament every year. That is going to be a really strong feel.'I think we generally schedule tough. That is our philosophy at Arizona State. We like to schedule strong and prepare ourselves for arguably the best conference in women's basketball in the country. It doesn't do us any good to go into Pac-10 without being tested. It's just going to get stronger next season. W e open with Tennessee here, play Texas at Texas, Texas Tech here at home. We go to the Virgin Islands with Duke and Penn State will be in the tournament. If you think this seasons tough just wait until next year.'
On Friday's opening night:
'We're always a little nervous before games but you have to turn that into excitement and turn that excitement into energy for the games. It's wasted energy to be nervous.
'It will be very exciting to see how we measure up against a team like Vanderbilt. It's a great way to start the season and start off on the right foot. It will be a tough game; we will be shooting outside.'
On Jill Noe:
'I am so excited that she is back. She worked so hard, everyday. Its just so amazing that she can come back that much better. She's so much stronger now that she's back. She worked hard everyday, even when we had the day off she was still working hard. She has totally shown how great and how talented of a basketball player she really is.'
On being a team leader:
'I have to be a leader on and off the court. With Emily, Aubree and Amy we all have the experience and need to help lead this team. Reagan being point guard; she is helping the team unbelievable right now. Bri is amazingly fast.'
On goals for the season:
'We really do have a talented team. I think we can go far. I really believe we can win Pac-10 and even get a national championship. That is our ultimate goal.'
On getting playing time as a freshman
'I'm excited, I'm just going to go out there and play hard. I really don't feel like the expectations are too high. I love these girls; the team mentality makes it so much fun.'
On what she expects to contribute as a team:'I hope I'm able to contribute as a scorer. I've been really working on my defense so I hope to contribute to that as well.'
On having a large freshman class:
'It's great, I would hate to be going through it by myself. It's such a huge life change, basketball change... Its really nice having other girls here with you, going through the same struggles you are. We all build off each other and help each other so it is very helpful.'
On the Vanderbilt game:
'I'm so excited. I'm not nervous, I'm excited, I can't wait to go out there and have fun. We just have a good team mentality.'