Oct. 24, 2008
JUNIOR GUARD Brittainey Raven
On the upcoming season: I'm really excited. We worked really hard all through the pre-season and the summer. The freshmen came in and right away jumped on the train with this. We worked hard and we're prepared to get out there and show everybody how hard we've been working.
On Coach G's high expectations for her: We talked about that a little bit. She told me that she knows my offense is going to be there, and she needs me to work on my defense and rebounding. I don't know what it is about rebounding, because in high school I rebounded. I guess during my freshman year, I got intimidated and kind of went away from rebounding a little bit. But this year, I'm definitely going to work on crashing the boards and I'm going to try to average seven rebounds a game. I need to pick it up on defense, because I have a habit of getting tired and letting down, but this year I'm going to try to fight through fatigue and lock down, and try to be one of the best defensive players in the country.
On how much it helps to have Erika Arriaran back: It's great, and it takes a lot of pressure off of the guards. Last year, a lot of teams liked to play a 2-3 zone against us, but having Erika back allows us to have an extra outside threat, so they will have to play us with more man defense.
On if it was tough to see Erika go through her injuries: Yeah it was, because we know Erika is a great shooter and a great player. She's smart and we need her out there. When we didn't have her out there, it felt like we were missing something, but it was good that Kat [Nash] stepped up big for us. But, Erika has the experience and that's what we need from her.
On what the team is capable of this year: Winning the Big 12 conference championship and getting farther in the NCAA tournament. I think last year, we proved to ourselves how good we can be and how good we were. This year, we're just ready to get out there and show everybody else what we know we can do.
On how different it has been this year in comparison to last year at this point in time: I think it's a lot better. We know what to expect, and we're just really excited to get out there and start playing. The NCAA tournament gave us a big boost last year, so we're ready to get out there and let all of the hard work pay off. We're not settling for anything but a championship. The first thing coach did when she got back, was to write on the board that we're going to be Big 12 champions. So, it's been on our minds since day one, and that's what we're going to do. We're ready.
On how this year has been different for her: Since Coach G has been here, I got a lot of my confidence back. I've just been in the gym working hard and preparing for the season. I think the team's confidence is up now from last year, because we made it to the NCAA tournament last year, and that showed how good we are.
SOPHOMORE GUARD Kathleen Nash
On having a year under her belt with Coach G: It's really nice because we kind of know what to expect this coming year. So, we're just really excited about the upcoming season.
On the expectations being different this year: Last year we were just building and this year we know what we want. We've put in the work over the summer, and so we're ready to go and try to win a championship this year. Last year, Coach G just got here and she was just showing us what we needed to do. This year, we're all focused on winning. This is our year and it's exciting.
On finally having the opportunity to play with Erika Arriaran: We've known each other for a long time, and we actually met at another camp when I was younger. Back then, I used to look at her and think, "Oh, wow," but now, I get to play with her, which is really cool. It'll be fun this year. She's also a three point shooter, so having the two of us out there will be really helpful.
On how having another outside shooter changes the dynamic of the offense: It definitely opens up the inside a lot more. Also, if I'm not hitting my shots one game, there will be another person out there shooting. Now, there's always that other threat, because three pointers can always go either way. We saw a lot of zone last year, so having another three point shooter in Erika will force opposing teams out of their zone more, which will open up things inside.
On being chosen to finish second in the Big 12: I think it's a great thing. In the Big 12, I think they have high expectations of us, but we have higher expectations for ourselves. We've put in the work and hopefully we can end up number one.
On how the NCAA tournament experience helps their team: I think with the loss to Connecticut last year, we saw where we needed to go. We saw how hard we needed to work and how much improvement we needed. Since that game, we've worked really hard.
On the freshmen: They all fit in really well. They have great personalities and they really fit in with the dynamic of our team. They are great players as well. I think having Ashley Gayle inside will really help us. Both Yvonne (Anderson) and Ashleigh Fontenette are really fast and they are all really helpful.
On how much more comfortable she is this year: It's a lot easier just fitting in and things like that. You come in as a freshman, and there are a lot more people and it's kind of scary. But now I've had a year of experience and everything is a lot easier.
SENIOR POST Aubry Cook
On looking forward to the season: I just want to have a good season and leave everything on the court. This is my last season and I can't turn back time, so I hope to have fun and getting far into the season. I don't want it to end too early.
On building upon last year's NCAA tournament experience: We've been getting prepared for how in shape we need to be. I think we're going to be really prepared this year-we're not a young team anymore as that may have been the excuse in the past. We're very mature and we know Coach G's style now and what she wants. There are no excuses for anything-we know what to expect and Coach G knows what to expect from us, so we have to go all out every day in practice.
On using last year's loss to Connecticut as a catalyst: We were pretty shocked with ourselves. Before the game, we were really excited and ready to play, but we didn't think we played to our standards. That made us hungry in the off season and preseason to never experience that feeling ever again.
On helping the freshmen adapt: Well, Ashley [Lindsay] and I are especially working with Ashley Gayle because we want to make sure she gets experience so that next year she can help out the incoming freshmen. We've mainly been helping become more vocal on the court and being better leaders.