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Baylor, Tennessee Postgame Quotes

Nov. 27, 2011

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#1/1 BAYLOR 76, #6/7 TENNESSEE 67
NOV. 27, 2011 • ATTENDANCE: 16,623

  Head Coach Kim Mulkey

Opening Statement:
"We took their best shot. How many games are you going to get outrebounded as much as we did, particularly on the offensive end, and win? In fact I think the last time we got outrebounded, we lost. How do you make that up? Where you make it up: by playing good defense. We still are holding our opponents to under, you know, 40 percent. They shot 29 percent, and while they made a lot of threes, and a lot of that's because of Brittney Griner. They're not coming in that paint very much, but that's what kind of balanced out where we were able to win the game because we gave up 18 offensive boards. They were flying to the boards; every time Griner would alter a shot, everybody on the other side was flying, and that's a great strategy to use. So, our challenge is you better keep playing great defense, and I thought we did. I thought the atmosphere was outstanding. Win or lose, today championships aren't really won in November or December. We're going to play them all. We still have a little hunger inside from the way our season ended last year, and the only way to get better is to play these types of teams. We won."

On challenging her team to rebound:
"Oh, yes. I challenged them in the locker room. It's on me. It's my job as a coach because we're so athletic and we're so tall we think we're just going to go in there and out jump people. Well, at this level you better understand there are other teams that have athletes who can out jump you, and I've got to do a better job in just pounding it in their head about blocking out, just about blocking out because offensive rebounding is nothing but effort. It's nothing but effort, and it's not that we didn't give effort today. It's just you've got to think about putting a body on somebody."

On play call with two seconds left on shot clock late in second half:
"That was a great call, wasn't it? (laughter) I was a good coach right there. You must understand, and they'll laugh and tell you this. If you watched it, I didn't have to make the call. All of them on that floor knew exactly what to do in that situation. We work situations every day in practice. If that ball had been two feet further this way, they would've made the call. I didn't have to make the call. They knew what to call because I always tell them my job in practice, that's my classroom, that's where I have my do overs, so that if something happens to these coaches during the course of the game, you can coach yourself. It's so ironic that you asked that question because that's one of the things I'm going to talk to them about tomorrow is I saw a team grow up. They didn't look at me for a call. Every one of them, not just Griner, not just Sims, every one of them knew what to run right there, and that's when you know your team is making progress. I thought the second half, to answer your question, we went to the, and I hate to even say the word, zone. (laughter) I got it out. I thought we went to zone there a few possessions, and it made them use up the shot clock more. They were killing us on on-ball screens. They were bringing Griner away from the basket. They were flying to the boards, and I thought, `You've got a six point lead here, Coach, grow this basketball team. Help them grow right here.' And, so we went to a 2-3 (zone), we spread it wide, and I thought those were valuable, valuable possessions on the defensive end for us."

On Vicki Baugh:
"I've never seen Vicki play like that. Well, as I told l Vicki and as I told Stricklen after the game, `If you guys play like that, you're going to win the SEC.' I mean the kid (Baugh) hit a three with Griner right in her face. Now you must understand there was probably a game plan there where Pat wanted Griner to go and bait her to go to the ball and alter shots and dish and do all that. She got some open looks because of it, but she also turned around and made some buckets with Brittney on her. When you play against the best, it brings out the best in you. That's what happens when you play teams that are No. 1 in the country. It brings out the best in competitors. I just thought Vicki Baugh was very good today. I thought Shekinna Stricklen was outstanding. If they play as well from here on out as they did today, we'll probably see each other again somewhere down the road. I hope not until Denver."

  Junior Post Brittney Griner
On this game compared to playing in Knoxville two years ago as a freshman:
"Freshman year we kind of like got thrown into the fire. We didn't know too much, opening up at Tennessee and now being a junior and being here longer, we know the offense. We know what to do. We understand the game better. We can adjust. When we get down, we know how to pull ourselves up and keep going each play. Keep going."

On the ending to last year motivating Baylor this year:
"(That's) all the motivation that I think we need. These games are just getting us ready for March. That's what we need, games to get us ready."

On getting deep position in the paint late:
"(It was) just mentally knowing that I needed to help my team. I felt like I didn't do what I needed to do in the first half, and I knew that in the second half I needed to step up and do whatever I could to help my team out. I was just listening to my coaches and getting on myself, `Get deep. Get deep. Get the ball, and go up strong.' They were doing a great job on getting me the ball."

On being surprised when Coach Mulkey calls a zone defense:
"Um, sometimes, yeah. I'm used to a man (defense)."

  Sophomore Guard Odyssey Sims

On the ending to last year motivating Baylor this year:
"We did a great job. It gives us an opportunity in the film room to watch what we did wrong and correct our errors. It gives us an opportunity to get ready for March, but this team is very hungry. We're working on our team chemistry on and off the court, and we're making ourselves better in practice."

  Head Coach Pat Summitt

Opening Statement:
"First, I`d like to say I was proud of how hard our team played today. We didn't come out with a win, but I saw us do some really good things. This is a game we can certainly grow and learn from, and we will.

"Baylor is a great team, and I don't think we'll see one any better. They present so many challenges with their inside-out game and a great back court. Baylor flat-out knocks down shots. That is such a great strength for them.

On Brittney Griner:
"Obviously Brittney Griner is a tremendous player. She has advanced her game and improved her skill set. I felt like we did a nice job on her in the first half limiting her to just nine points and nine shots. We had some really good box outs, and I think we affected her a little bit. We knew that Kim (Mulkey) would make sure she got more touches in the second half, and she went eight-for-10."

On Vicki Baugh:
"I was so proud of how Vicki played today. She was solid and a big difference maker for us. Her paint presence was great, and it was so exciting to see her so mobile. Vicki is a great leader for us, and she is an inspiration to her teammates."

On the fans:
I'd like to thank our fans for coming out and supporting us today. What a great crowd. Wish we could have given them a `W,' but we'll go back and try to get better."

On Tennessee's rebounding:
"I felt like if we could control the boards that we'd have a shot at winning. We did outrebound them by a large margin (14 rebounds) and did get 28 second-chance points. We just didn't convert on our initial shots."

  Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick

Opening Statement:
"It was a great women's basketball game. You had two teams competing. We asked our team today, `All we want you to do is have a lot of heart, play with a lot of emotion and compete.' I think we did that tonight. But when your back is against the wall, as Baylor, you go to your money player. They went to Brittney Griner, and we didn't have an answer the last four minutes. She made plays, and big-time players make plays. That's what Brittney Griner did, and I thought Odyssey Sims made big plays as well."

"They're a great basketball team. I think we've got a chance, and we're a great basketball team. We competed. We probably didn't shoot the ball as well as we would have liked to. But I thought our defense was right on point. We rebounded the basketball, offensively and defensively. Just when we needed to make a play, make a shot, down the stretch, we didn't. We'll get better at that as a team, but I loved how we competed and I loved how we were in the game and I'm just proud of our young ladies. I know we're disappointed. I'm disappointed. The Tennessee fans are disappointed. But this is early for us, and as long as it's a learning experience for us, we can learn from a loss. As long as we do that, we'll be in business. We didn't play like this and compete like this against Virginia. If we compete like this every game, we're going to make a difference in our basketball team and get some great wins."

On atmosphere & "We Back Pat" support:
"It's a tribute to Pat Summitt and what she stands for. Obviously, it took a lot of courage coming out and saying that she has early-onset dementia, but it's also a tribute to what Pat's built here with this team, this program. We have the best fans in the world and everywhere we go, home and away, they support us, and tonight they were supporting our team and they were also supporting Pat Summitt. With all the orange shirts with `We Back Pat,' it was an awesome sight to see, and it's just a great tribute to a legend who is continuing coaching with a health issue."

On shot selection & Baylor's defense:
"I thought for the most part we took good shots. I thought maybe we went inside too much against Griner. At times when we did go against her and make a play, we scored. I thought we had good shots. I thought we had good shot selection for the most part. We just didn't make plays when we needed to down the stretch."

On lack of ofensive rebounding in second half:
"I'm sure coach (Kim) Mulkey chewed their butts out at halftime about offensive rebounds. That's what we would do as a staff. I think they just tightened up on the defensive end. Defensive rebounding is a Tennessee staple, and I thought we did that for the most part, except maybe the last four minutes. We couldn't close the deal. And when you have a Brittney Griner hit three shots in a row before we can even get a timeout, it's a tribute to her. We didn't make stops at the end. You have to make stops. You can lead the whole game, but the most important segment of the game is the last four minutes, and we didn't finish the deal."

  Senior Guard/Forward Shekinna Stricklen

On challenging herself after the loss to Virginia:
"It wasn't just after that last game. I tried to challenge myself in the past three games and come out with energy, and that's something that I think I can bring for the team. We just came out strong, and we just had a good first half."

On perimeter shooters:
"I feel like we had a lot of good, open shots on jumpers. [Brittney] was there, but most of the time she didn't even actually come up. Holly just told us to shoot our shot and stick with it."

On any change in Baylor since last year:
"I think they're the same. They did have some other players who stepped up, and they're quick guards. We knew that, and I think we really did a good job of controlling the ball. We had a lot of turnovers, and I think we held them under pressure really well, and we just couldn't knock down our shots."

  Senior Forward Glory Johnson

On the effort Tennessee gave in this game:
"We just had a lot more energy. We'd been playing with low energy and not really picking each other up. That brings a negative atmosphere, and we're just trying to stay positive, no matter if Brittney blocks a shot, and keep talking to each other and stay as positive as possible."

On playing Brittney for a third time:
"We worked different ways on how we want to guard her, and every once in a while we double down. We worked out a few different strategies. She's a big girl, so being able to finish in the paint very well, and just trying to block as much as possible."

On difficulty of getting shots:
"Just trying to make sure that you don't alter your shot when you play against a team like this. Brittney is a shot blocker. We all know that. We've all seen her block shots, and we've experienced it. Just trying to make sure you're not changing your shot against her because she might block it. We want to keep on going into her and keep shooting our shots like we do every day in practice and at every game. We started off - I know I personally started changing my shot in the second half - trying to go into her and get some fouls and get to the free throw line."

On the change in Baylor since last year:
"I think they definitely develop a little bit more, every year. Every team gets a little better every year. When they realize that Brittney Griner isn't going to make all her shots, the guards have to go to work and knock down open shots, and I think they did a good job of that tonight."



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