March 13, 2001
It was essential that our team took care of our business (in Arizona) and the resulting effect was a possibility. With our focus on what we needed to do, rather than what could possibly happen, the result was achieved and rewarding. I believe this past weekend has given the team good momentum going into the tournament and that momentum contributes to positive emotional and physical energy that we will need in order to be successful.
It is always important to come out strong to send an immediate statement to a team. I have mentioned this before - we are a team that is capable of doing that. Not to say that we will not stay with things when we are faced with a challenge, but to come out strong from the beginning is important. I am glad that our Arizona trip went as it did for our team and for Nicole. It was time to make a little bit of a statement and gain some momentum going into the tournament and we did some of that. I believe our team can even play better, which is a good thing, too. Nicole has improved quite a bit over the season - in the areas of taking care of the ball, her rebounding has always been a great strength that has really helped our team along with her ability to push the ball in offense. I am really happy for the weekend she had, especially with the timing (end of Pac-10 play) and the location (her home area). A focus at her position is communication and running the offense which is what we need in a point guard leader.
We were highly focused and determined to win at Arizona State. It was all about getting a stop on defense and making good decisions down the stretch. Our thoughts were on one thing at a time: whatever it took to win in those last few possessions. It was going to happen. I felt the necessary concentration as well as communication on the floor, which is something that will definitely help us be successful.
Our coaches work very hard at scouting the teams we are going to play. We just began review of (George Washington) yesterday and we are getting a feel for their type of play. We will go into the game well informed of their style - strengths and weaknesses and will look to attack them accordingly. It is special to acquire a goal that we set as a team earlier this year. It is not as if there is satisfaction however - as implying being compliant with just that goal being obtained. Rather, I would like to see this momentum aid in our advancement in the tournament. It does feel good to earn the Pac-10 title after all of the physical and emotional investment put into Stanford Basketball over the years, and this is my last chance to play with Cardinal on my back - making it even more meaningful. Again, I am very excited about the energy that surrounded our team last weekend with the good wins and excitement of being Pac-10 champs and would like to see it grow and contribute to movement towards our next goals.
I think that (going back to Oklahoma) is very fitting, being that my fellow classmate Sarah (Dimson) is from Norman - and the fact that we were there earlier this season. I believe it will be a good opportunity for our team to come out with some excitement and competitiveness, which should happen and needs to happen regardless of a familiar or unfamiliar atmosphere. Either way, our positive emotional and physical energy should be manifested from the fact that it is NCAA time - wherever we are and wherever we may go - if it is in our hearts it will show.