Gail Goestenkors game preview press conference: Oklahoma State
Feb. 4, 2009
On if the win against Baylor was a surprise: I do not know that I was surprised, I was pleased. We have been working hard in practice and we have had good practices, but we have not played that well in a game for a while. I think it was good for the players to see their hard work paying off in a game.
On if the loss against A&M gave the team motivation: I think so. We talked about last year when we played A&M, it was one of our worse games as well and we bounced back from that game. We learned a lot about ourselves and got tougher. So, we really worked on being physical in practice and becoming mentally and physically tougher. This league is grueling and a lot of times it is survival of the fittest, so I think we went in there with a tougher mindset than in past games.
On the change with the starting lineup: I had been talking to the team about being tougher, rebounding the ball, and having a physical presence. I told them if things did not change, then I was going to make a change in the lineup. I felt like I needed to stand by my words and after the last game I decided that Ashleigh Fontenette had been playing really well for us defensively, rebounding, and really setting a tone. Ashley Gayle has a physical presence inside and even though she is not scoring for us, she helps us set a tone. So, we made that decision. And like I said, I was proud of the seniors for the way they handled that decision. I told them that their attitude could either bring us down or lift us up and I thought they did a great job giving those freshmen confidence, which they needed.
On keeping the change to the starting lineup: We will probably stay with the same line up. It is not set in stone, but I feel good about the production that we got from our starters and our bench as well. I think we still need to work on rebounding, so it could change in the future depending on who steps up and rebounds for us. I do not want anybody to ever feel comfortable.
On if the changes with the starting lineup motivate the older players: We wanted our practices to be more competitive. And this makes practices more competitive when they know that starting lineups are dependent on practice and in games, it’s exciting for them and keeps them on their toes and nobody can relax, which I think that’s a good way to be because you can’t relax during a game, so you might as well not relax in practice.
On what the freshmen brought to the team: I think they brought great energy to the team. The way we started that game, we needed that energy to start the game with. It also made us a lot more athletic. When we moved Ashleigh Fontenette in, it made our perimeter defense really good, really athletic and allowed us to pick up full court.
On how Texas will build on this win: I think in this conference you do not have time to really feel sorry for yourself when you lose, but you also do not have time to celebrate when you win. We want to use this game to give us confidence. We’ve seen that we can beat anybody on the road, now what are we going to do with it, we’ve got to get back to business here in practice and be ready to play. That game showed our team what they are capable of and we have got to build upon that.
On advice for the freshmen: I have told them that we do not have time for them to play or act like freshmen. They have all said it does not matter to them if they start if they end; they just want to help the team. They have a great attitude about them. You can see that starting did not affect them at all. The players really do keep the big picture in mind and keep the team first and foremost in their hearts.
On if it is good to have a deep bench with the way Texas plays defense: I think it really is. Toward the end of the Baylor game, they looked like they were fatiguing. They only play seven players and we knew that so we talked before the game and said we have got to wear them down, but to do that everyone is going to have to pick up full court and play and rebound hard. I think if we do that it can be towards our advantage
On this year’s roster: I think we are much deeper this year; we have more talent coming off the bench. The freshmen have each impacted our team in a variety of ways.
On if she expects the guards to keep rebounding: I hope so. We talk about rebounding everyday, and we’ve been challenging our posts players to do a better job on the boards, in the meantime, the guards have been doing their job with the board, but now we have to work on getting help on the inside.