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Stanford University Pre-Game Quotes
March 23, 2008
Head Coach Tara Vanderveer
(Opening Statement) We had a chance to watch UTEP in person, and they’re very impressive. They scored really well, a lot of people played for them. We expect it to be a great matchup and we’re very excited to be playing in the 2nd round and I think our team is very focused and very excited about the opportunity to advance.
(On UTEP) They have bigger post players (than Cleveland State) that have the size to guard you better but also they’re who (we’re) used to playing against. And I think both Jayne and Kayla and Jill or Morgan have to work really hard defensively. But it’s more what they’re used to playing against than playing against a six foot guard.
(On UTEP’s defense) We know we have to take care of the basketball and (make) good decisions. Whatever we have identified as keys to games, (our team has) really taken those to heart. Our team watched UTEP play last night, they saw a lot of the turnovers. We will work really hard to take care of the ball and make good decisions and make them play defense, not just upchuck the ball and give it to them and let them do what they like to do. They’re very good at doing what they like and they do force a lot of turnovers.
(On UTEP’s offense) They run really well, they get out in transition. They have a lot of weapons with perimeter scoring, really four positions and actually their five will step out and shoot threes. They run a variety of quick hit things offensively that take advantage of their individual talent and strengths. Defensively they turn the ball over a lot, they get on the glass. I think they do all the things that teams at this level do. In order to be here, to play in this game and advance you have to execute offensively, you have to rebound, you have to play defense and they do all those things and the key will be for us to do those things better than them.
(On parity in women’s basketball) I don’t think we’ve ever overlooked anyone, we have to prepare for every opponent and our team understands that. (College basketball) is truly widening out. I think it’s because there are more really talented players and UTEP has gone a traditional and untraditional route in terms of having some international players and I think that adds a lot to their game. But I think it’s great for women’s basketball to have different teams in the mix and getting our fans an opportunity to see (teams like) UTEP in person. In women’s basketball, a lot of our fans don’t get a chance to watch them on television like they do in men’s basketball so I think it’s all good for women’s basketball that there’s more and better players and good that the games are so competitive.
(On Cal and Stanford fans) I expect our fans will be cheering for Cal as I was and I know our team was yesterday. We’re excited for Cal’s success, we want them represent the Pac 10 as I’m sure they want us to do. I think that’s it’s going to be a great atmosphere tomorrow and I’m hoping we have a great crowd. I hope our Stanford fans buy the tickets before the Cal people do. Our fans might just cheer more enthusiastically for us, but we’ll be cheering for Cal and they’ll be cheering for us.
Stanford Guard Candice Wiggins
(On offensive strategy for Monday) (Tomorrow’s game is) going to be about playing Stanford basketball, and the whole season we’ve been a team that likes to go inside and that’s never going to change. It was just emphasized yesterday because it was such a mismatch. Tomorrow we’re not going to stray away from that. Jayne is the key to our offense. We know that the guards are ready to take perimeter shots and do what we need to do in the tournament but it will always start with Jayne inside.
(On matching up with UTEP’s Natasha Lacy) I’m excited for the challenge. All of us guards take a lot of pride in our defense. I’m really excited about that matchup. I watched her play yesterday and she’s a very talented player. But like I said, I’m ready.
(On her last game at Maples Pavilion) I’m excited. I don’t think it’s hit me yet and maybe it won’t hit me until tomorrow when I’m actually playing but it’s so crazy to think about four years. It’s been fantastic. Maples is such a special place so I’m just really grateful for the opportunity to play there one last time. I’m going to give everything I have and leave it on the court.
Stanford Guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude
(On UTEP’s guards) We’ve seen teams with an offense that relies heavily on guards in the Pac 10, and with other games that we’ve played during the pre-season, and we’ve been successful against those lineups. I have a lot of faith in whatever strategy our coaches come up with for this game. They’ve created great strategies in the past and of course we’ll be looking to our posts first. For them to give the attention they need to our posts, we feel like there’s going to be room for guards to get some points. I put a lot on it that Candice will step up, and that J.J. will step up and that Jillian will step up and I put a little bit on it that I’ll step up