Jan. 13, 2012
Head coach Gail Goestenkors
On the team’s momentum after the A&M game: I think this is huge -- beating Texas A&M on their home court is something we have not done in a long time. The players have a lot of confidence right now, which when you are going up against Baylor, the No. 1 team in the country, you have to go in to the game believing and knowing you can win. A lot of it is physical, but a lot of it is mental as well.
On the team’s motivation: We saw the A&M game as a great opportunity and that is the same way we are looking at the Baylor game. Some people see obstacles, and we are seeing opportunities. This is another great opportunity to show people what we are made of. On how the team believes they can win: We have had the motto from day one of “respect all, fear none.” That is who we are. We believe we can beat A&M, and we believe we can beat Baylor.
On the difference in the Texas A&M game: I think you saw more determination and understanding of realization. We prepared to win that game. The way we practiced, and how hard we practiced -- we were relentless, and it spilled over to the game. I think we learned a valuable lesson that the way we practice, with the effort and the energy we use, will move over into the game. If we do not practice well and if we do not practice hard, we are going to see that in the game as well.
On containing Brittney Griner: I think that is huge. She is playing her best basketball, which is amazing, because she was playing great basketball last year. The fact that we have a couple of big bodies, big people (helps). Ashley Gayle is playing better basketball, especially on the defensive end this year. She has always been good, but she is a great defensive player now. Then you add another 6-foot-4 in Cokie Reed, and that is a physical presence for us. We will try a variety of things. We have been watching tape, and that is what everybody is doing. They are trying zones, they are trying to front her, they are trying to double her. We have worked on all of those things in our practices for every team that we play, so we are going to keep looking until we find something that works. She is still going to score a lot of points, she is that good, but we are going to try to disrupt them a little bit.
Senior G Yvonne Anderson
On the momentum from the win against Texas A&M: All we take from that game is momentum. We have to sit back and remember that we are 1-2 in the Big 12. We have a big game coming up so hopefully we take all of that energy that we have and bring it.
On Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims: That is a great inside-outside game. That’s pretty much what every coach wants for his or her team. You have your post player who basically goes 20-20 and gets I do not know how many blocks per game and then you have a guard who complements it and can sit out there and get a three and can also take it in. I know that is pretty much the perfect combination but hopefully we will find a way to attack that.
On containing Griner: I think you have to recognize that Griner is a 6-foot-9 post player. There is not much you can do with that. You just have to make sure that she does not get more than her usual and you have to contain everyone else.
On Cokie Reed’s presence helping with Griner: I think it will help. A lot of the teams last year were sitting off on Ashley Gayle and this year she is hitting some jumpers, so they have to get closer to her. Cokie as well is a threat offensively from 15 feet, so nobody can sit and pack the paint any more if the guard is going to drive. I think she is going be part of those kind of threats.
Senior post Ashley Gayle
On Brittney Griner: She is really good offensive player and is taller and has a height advantage over a lot of players. I think that we have a lot of depth in the post position now, and we have more tools to attack with.
On Reed’s presence helping with Griner: I think it helps a lot, because last year we had to be more tentative, more careful about fouls and staying in the game. I think this year we can take a lot more risks.
On her experience against Griner: If you have another big post in the game, you can double with posts, but if you are the only post in the game, you have to three-quarter front and if your guard is in the right position it can really help.
On momentum after the Texas A&M game: I think so. I think we really showed how we are capable of playing. It was a great win, not just for us, but also for the program, and our school. The fact that this is the last year that we are competing with this team while they are in our conference, to have that win at their place is really rewarding.