<< Back to Postseason Central
Stanford Press Conference Quotes
March 21, 2008
Head Coach Tara VanDerveer
(Opening Statement) "It’s been a fast year. My memory of this specific spot is not a good one, so we are going to try to change that and really have a great tournament. Our team has worked really hard this year. Jayne (Appel), Kayla (Pedersen), Candice (Wiggins), and all of our players are very excited and we all want to have a great tournament here at Maples and the NCAA and we are very excited about playing Cleveland State.
(On Cleveland State) "They’re a team that what they do, they do really well. For people that haven’t been able to see them play, they play a real exciting brand of basketball. I would liken it to watching the Phoenix Suns or the Golden State Warriors. They play small ball and do it very well. They pass the ball well, shoot the ball well. They’re a high energy team. They take a lot of pride in the pressure defense. They try to turn you over a lot. They have a lot of talented players and are a well coached team. I think Jayne said it exactly right. We have to play Stanford basketball and do the things we are good at.
(On if it gets tiring hearing about Harvard) "It’s something that happened. Sometimes where we are at with women’s basketball, if they are writing about it, it’s all good. It was kind of a situation that I learned a lot from and our team might be tired of, but we work really hard in practice to keep everyone healthy. The health of our team has been a sacrifice for us for the past couple of days in that we aren’t doing a lot of contact drills. We never do them the day of a game or the day before a game. The Harvard lesson was not wasted on me. It kind of helped me acclimate to the Olympic team. You have to keep people healthy. With that, we work really hard on the things that happen with injuries. The loss wasn’t what was sad, it was the injuries that we had and just the attitude of things. It’s amazing to me that is has already been 10 years. Kayla was eight years old and doesn’t even remember. It’s part of history and a fact. The tough part wasn’t that game, by far it was the week before. It just kind of points to how much is invested emotionally into a team and how much people truly care for their teammates. We’re really thankful and everyday we are working hard to improve without putting people at risk."
Center Jayne Appel
(On the match up and keys to beating Cleveland State) "I think understanding their offense and doing what Stanford does and really staying on top of what we are going to control in the game. Coming out with the attitude that anything can happen in any game. So we need to bring it every game.
(On last year’s loss being fresh in her mind) "We were reminded of it yesterday and it never really goes away. It’s something we will fight to the death not to feel again. We’re here to do great things this year and we intend to."
(On how important it is to get off to a fast start in the game and tournament) "We’ve kind of set the level of play that we’re going to play at in the Pac-10 tournament going into NCAA’s. In terms of carrying momentum over, it’s very necessary and it starts at the beginning of every game. You can’t expect to have a great win and have the next game to be handed to you. It starts right at the beginning."
(On not getting over confident playing against smaller players) "There’s no way I can be overconfident. I have to guard someone who is smaller. People who are smaller than me tend to be quicker than me. That will be the biggest challenge for me, probably not Kayla. We definitely need to get some work done in the paint.
(On how important it is to send Candice out in style) "You always want to send out your seniors, last year’s class, we wanted to send the seniors out on top. Candice is a very exceptional player. She has led this program for four years and took us on her back. I think she deserves, for how much work she has put in not only at Stanford but all over the world for basketball, to go out on top."
Forward Kayla Pedersen
(On playing in her first tournament game) "I’m very excited. It’s been a dream of mine to just play in the tournament. So I’m just really glad to get to this point with this team and we just look to play our game and take it all the way."
Guard Candice Wiggins
(On if this is the year Stanford and Cal have to make a statement for the west coast) "Absolutely. I think we are highly under represented in the first place. You don’t see a lot of west coast teams in the tournament. When you do have them, it is important that we are all successful. When I look back to my freshman or sophomore, we had five or six Pac-10 teams advance to the second round. Things like that show it is a great environment for basketball. We’re all rooting for Cal and the other west coast teams."
(On feelings of being in her last tournament) "It’s amazing. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s my last one. It’s just one of those things where I’m so happy with the team I’m on and the coach I’m playing for, so you’re not thinking about the end yet, you’re just thinking about how much you love the people around you and how much you are going to cherish every moment, every practice as mundane as they can get over a long season, every moment is exciting for me."