Women's Basketball game preview press conference: Tennessee
Dec. 4, 2009
Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors
On how Tennessee is different from last year: They have improved. They were really young, they're still young and I think similar to us in many ways in that they were really learning how to hard you have to work to be a great team. I know Pat was frustrated with her team at times throughout the year. We had some frustrations as well about playing consistently at an elite level. I think we're both programs that are turning the corner with this group of young players.
On how Brittainey Raven's done against Tennessee in the past: Brittainey's done a great job at using her athleticism and her quickness. She gets out on the break and we've been able to find her. I think last year against them was one of her best games of the year. I think she scored about 20 points, so we're hoping for that same type of consistency. We're going to need great play from her and the others.
On Erika Arriaran's value to the team: Erika's got a quiet confidence and a calmness about her and sometimes we get going to so fast, especially Brittainey who only knows one speed and that's all out all the time, and there are times when you need more comfort, calmness and poise. Erika has always provided that for us. So whether she's hitting her shot or not, she's so valuable for so many reason. She does a lot of the little things that sometimes go unnoticed.
On whether she expected Erika [Arriaran] to have a big game against Oral Roberts: We felt like she was due for a big game. She's been hitting her shots in practice and usually how you practice is the way you play. I know it was very frustrating for her because she'd do so well in practice and then in games she hadn't been hitting her shots. I know for her, she said she that she was fatigued because we had played four games in five days, so she didn't really have time to stress about making her shot or not. So we're hoping that she plays fatigued for the rest of the season (laughing).
On the adversity Erika's been through: It just shows just how tough she is. She's been through a lot, physically, emotionally, you know being away from home, she doesn't have that comfort of crying on her parent's shoulders if things don't go her way. She's very independent and probably the most independent player we have on our team. She just takes care of business and she's shown so much resiliency both with her surgeries, and losing her confidence and not hitting her shots. But she's always stayed positive.
Senior Guard Erika Arriaran
On what the team will need to bring against Tennessee: I think a huge thing that happens in the games, is that my teammates get me open. I think their penetration has been great all season and if they continue to do so it's my job to make sure that I can get those shots off and be in the right spot to get the ball.
Senior Guard Brittainey Raven
On changing focus when playing a ranked team: Actually the coaches what they've been talking is about is not necessarily worrying about who we're playing but about playing Texas basketball. When we go out there, we're going to have to play at our tempo, at our level and keep the intensity level at what we've been playing.
On the toughness of playing in Knoxville: My sophomore year, we played in Knoxville and I would have to say it was probably one of the toughest places that I've ever played in my four years of college. They have great fan support and its going to be loud so we have to be focused and ready to play and just go out there and do what we need to do. We can't worry about how loud the crowd is.