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Baylor-Tennessee Postgame Quotes




Nov. 15, 2009

Recap |  Box Score


NO. 8 TENNESSEE (1-0) 74, NO. 7 BAYLOR (0-1) 65
THOMPSON-BOLING ARENA • KNOXVILLE, TENN.
NOV. 15, 2009
• ATTENDANCE: 12,824

Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey

Opening Statement...
"I thought (tonight) was a good basketball game for television. There was a lot of history involved in the game with former players and coaches involved that are in the Hall of Fame. You saw the past, the present and the future. It was a great way to start off the season other than the loss."

On when Tennessee took control of the game...
"I thought the game was lost in about a ten-minute stretch at the end of the first half when we were in the bonus. We didn't take advantage of those last seven or eight minutes (in the half). I thought the first three to five minutes of the second half we didn't take advantage and we allowed them to really pound it and get in there for some second-chance points. Let me say this: this basketball program at Baylor is gaining respect. Have you ever watched a game where Pat Summitt only played two possessions of man-to-man defense? That's respect. That's an intelligent coach. That's why she's won over 1,000 games. The second thing is that I brought a basketball team in here with three kids that didn't have any experience at this level. I brought them into a hornet's nest. (Summitt's) mad at her team. They lost in the first round of the tournament, they got kicked out of their locker room, and I'm coming to Knoxville, Tennessee. You think I wasn't sitting there proud as a peacock when we had a lead at halftime, and proud at the end of the game? Absolutely, but I'm not into moral victories. I've been around too many winners in my life. This will be a loss that we will go back and we will watch film, and we will get better."

On freshman Brittney Griner receiving her fourth foul early in the second half...
"It's critical when any of the people that you are going to rely on get in foul trouble. I will take blame for the fourth one. Maybe I put too much on her plate and had too much faith in her at that moment. That was not smart on my part. Just like Brittney and every freshman - you look at (Tennessee guard Taber) Spani and all those kids that played today - those kids are in a new environment. They're in a new environment. Brittney is in a new environment. We will breaking the game down and ask her, `you still played 32 minutes, but you only got four rebounds. Is that the coach's fault or is that you're fault?' When (junior guard) Kelli Griffin is your second leading rebounder, you've got to evaluate things, and that's what we do as coaches."

On if Baylor's freshmen were nervous and how that affected the game...
"I hope they had the butterflies in the stomach. Competitors do. The mistakes those freshmen made are correctable, and most of them - believe it or not - were on the defensive end of the floor. They would do something good on the offensive end and turn right back around and do something bad on the defensive end of the floor. You bring it to their attention, so that they will learn. In high school, you can do those things. At this level, every possession on both ends of the floor is so valuable."


Freshman Center Brittney Griner

On what she learned in her first collegiate game...
"Like coach said, every possession counts. You can't take one possession off, and you've got to cherish every possession and capitalize on the defensive and offensive ends."

On getting into foul trouble...
"I wouldn't say it was frustration. They were petty fouls. That's part of learning. I will have to learn how to play with four fouls and watch the petty fouls that aren't necessary."

On playing in her first game live on national television...
"It was exciting to come here and play in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic. It was an honor. We learned a lot. It was a good thing."


Junior Guard Melissa Jones

On if she expects the team to learn from the loss...
"Most definitely. Like coach said, we had a lot of mistakes that are correctable. Tennessee is a great program. That came in and really wanted it. We are going to learn a lot from watching this loss that will help us out in the long run."

On her being a leader with three seniors leaving off last year's team...
"It's just a good experience. The freshmen will get better with time. They have a lot of talent. It's great playing with them on the floor. As the season continues we'll be a great basketball team when we put it all together."


Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt

Opening Statement...
"Obviously, I thought we did a lot of good things today. Kelley Cain picked up two quick fouls, and that handcuffed us, but we had some people step in and do a good job. Last year when that happened, we struggled. Shekinna Stricklen was terrific at both ends. I like when she starts at the point. She sees over people, makes good decisions, and attacks the rim. Our high/low game was effective for us."

On the impact of Baylor freshman Brittney Griner...
"It was huge. Look what happened to us. You had two of the best posts in the country, and they both got into foul trouble."

On Tennessee's comeback in the second half...
"We talked about it at halftime. With the hype of the game and the large crowd, we were nervous in the first half. We didn't have composure, and we rushed at the opening of the game. I told them at halftime, `OK, you can settle down now. Most of these people are cheering for you.' I thought they did a great job in the second half."

On Glory Johnson...
"Glory did a lot of good things. She's the best athlete on the team. Because of that, sometimes she rushes, but she played with a lot more composure today. Lyssi Brewer also had a great presence inside. When we are able to rotate like that, it gives us an edge."

On Tennessee's zone defense...
"That's the first time in 36 years that we started in a zone and stayed with it throughout the game. How about that? They (Baylor) play so well off the bounce. We worked on it. We had to keep them in front of us. Our players bought into it, and we were able to extend our press."

 


 

 

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