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Fordham News Conference Quotes

March 21, 2014

 Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley

On turning the program around from where it was six years ago:
"I was involved with the job at that time, but I'm a mom of three boys and the timing wasn't in the best interest of taking the job, so when it came around three years ago a lot of my colleagues called me crazy, because I was at Monmouth where Erin (Rooney) was with me and on the heels of pursuing championships. We had lost in the championship with all sophomores starting so the next two years were going to be pretty good. When Fordham called and I came up to visit, I always had a great deal of respect for the Atlantic 10 Conference--I think they're the premiere basketball conference, and so for me that was a major draw as well. When I went up and visited the people at Fordham, I just felt that I was walking into a situation where people genuinely cared about taking the program to another level. If you're not committed to getting to another level, you're going to be beating your head against the wall. When I met with Father McShane, he said he was tired of not being relevant. Every time he walked into the A-10 meetings we were always at the bottom. He asked me when I thought we could be somebody that people respect and I told him I thought in year three we could gain respect. Never in my wildest dreams would it have happened so quickly in year two. A lot of times people like to ask me why my teams win because I really enjoy taking programs and turning the corner with them and I really think it starts with treating the kids the right way and being a good person and getting the kids to want to play for you. It's not really a magical offense or defense. It's really how you treat people, and when I took the job over, the first meeting I had with the kids, the kids were kind of in shock because they asked how important faith and family were to me. I told them my faith and family is everything. That's who I am. They asked me if they could eat dessert on the road. I love dessert, so of course dessert will be part of who we are. Just the little things of getting them to believe in the foundation of what we wanted to do and having the commitment from the university, and obviously I'd be foolish not to say that you have to have players."

On the matchup of Erin Rooney and Brittney Boyd:
"It's interesting watching them because Lindsay's (Gottlieb) done a terrific job with the Cal program and they're extremely athletic, but we just played a Dayton team in the A-10 Championship that size-wise was very similar, pretty athletic guards, not as experienced as or maybe as savvy as Britney is. I think Erin is very disciplined. I think she is more of a disciplined guard, and I think Britney can really create her own shot and she does a great job of getting other people shots as well. In so many ways what they both do for their teams is very similar."

On Cal's head coach Lindsay Gottlieb:
"I told the kids I was a big intangible person--I think half the game is chemistry, and I've known Lindsay since she was a young coach, assistant at Richmond, assistant at Cal and then taking the job at UC Santa Barbara. I can just see that she's a player's coach. I can just get a feel that she genuinely cares about those in her program and I think that has a lot to do with her success. We're just in a different generation now and part of having success on the court is part of that. If you look at a Bobby Knight and you look at a (Mike) Krzyzewski, I remember going to their last two-man clinic--and we're going back thirty years--but I was just really enamored by the two completely different philosophies. Bobby Knight went in and used the point-the-finger approach and Krzyzewski went in and at the end of the hour knew every kid on the court's name in that clinic--two completely different approaches. Now we're in a generation where you really have to be a listener as well and I really think that's what Lindsay does a terrific job of. Knowing her from being from the northeast, and I'm the same way, if we weren't playing Cal they would be somebody that I pull for because I respect them a lot."

Senior Guard Erin Rooney

On her matchup with California's Brittany Boyd:
"She's a very good rebounding guard as well. I think a lot of it for me just comes off of me doing my job. A lot of the teams we play have big girls and we do this thing called face box where they don't even see the ball when it's coming out and that's where a lot of my numbers come from. It's going to be a tough matchup but it will be fun."

On the program's turnaround:
"I think it's just nice to be able to put a school on a map. It's a great school and people I think, think of it as more of an academic school and to be a part of the team that can put it out there in the sporting world and get people to recognize it, it's pretty special."

On Fordham's defensive presence:
"I think it's credit to the girls all playing as a team. You know, when we are playing defense and we are trying to shut down one girl, usually one person can't do it everyone else has to be there and it helps that defense to back them up. I think it's just a great team effort."

Senior Guard Abigail Corning

On the program's turnaround:
"It just means a lot to be a part of the historical run that we've put together and really building our program up from obviously winning zero wins six years ago. Even to have come in as a freshman and not really thinking that I'd have the chance to win an A10 championship and here we are sitting here today. That's just something that's really exciting for all of us and for the Fordham community and the program as a whole."

On Fordham's defensive presence:
"I think it's just a big thing being detail-oriented and learning from what coach tells us is our game plan and having whoever's on the court execute it and just stay together on defense. You know shots aren't going to fall, but we know we can be consistent playing defense and getting stops. That's what has really kept us in games this year."



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