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March 7, 2006

Kurt Budke

Whitney Pegram


COACH BUDKE: First of all, obviously losing is never easy. It's not anything I want to get used to. But if you have to lose and your season had to end, why not to a Hall of Famer, why not to the classiest coach I've ever met in my life. I hope Texas Tech can make that NCAA Tournament. I think they deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament already. I don't think they need to win another game. I think they have done enough with their schedule and their RPI to make it. Coach Sharp has done more for women's basketball than most. Coach Sharp is going to be one of those persons that 50 years from now when you look back and you name the ten greatest names in women's basketball, her name will be among them. It might be among the top five names in women's basketball.
So I wish them all the luck in the world. They did to us today what they have done to people all year. They played great defense, they great interior defense, and they don't beat themselves.
Our problem today has been our problem all year long. We have trouble scoring. We just flat have trouble scoring. We're last in the league in scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and you're just not going to win in college basketball putting those kind of numbers up, and you're especially not going to win in the Big 12. But congratulations to Coach Sharp and her team.
Q. Whitney, you said earlier that you wanted this season to be longer, there was stuff you still could accomplish, are you still excited for next season with the way this ended?
WHITNEY PEGRAM: I felt looking at the clock, just thinking about playing harder because there's about six months before we're going to get to put this uniform on again and play.
I think we still have a lot left to give, and we're going to do that in the off-season. We're going to work hard. We're not going to look back at this season and say it was okay. We're going to work out harder and get stronger and faster. I mean, we all look forward to next year. I think we're really excited about next year, and now that our season is over, it's time to start thinking about next year.
Q. Can you talk about what you see as what you could do next year, you've lost 17 in a row now, I know you probably hate that number, but what's possible for you guys next year?
WHITNEY PEGRAM: I think anything is possible. We have a lot of really great players coming in, and, you know, we have a great coaching staff that has been leading us all year. Coach Budke put in players that they would work if we would hit some shots. If you look at our shot selection, I think we have good shot select, we get shots within two feet of the basket all night, and, you know, we've just got to get stronger and put those in. Kind of disappointing sometimes when we run a play and we run all the way through and we get a shot that we're supposed to get and it doesn't go in. That's the reason for a lot of our disappointment this year.
Q. Marsha has suggested that you guys could get a lot better in a hurry. Can you talk about what you guys think you can do in the off-season? We talked a little bit about it the other day, just in terms of what's coming in, what comes back, that kind of thing?
COACH BUDKE: Well, I think if we look back at this year, you know, it's tough when you don't win a game and say that you can make a significant turnaround and it shouldn't go together, but we feel we can. We feel like besides maybe the Top 3 teams in the league, we played pretty well with everybody.
We have a lot of kids that have gone through this league for the first time. We've signed two in the fall. We signed two transfers sitting out. We have a couple scholarships open in the spring. You honestly could look up next year and there could be a whole new starting five out there. So we have some kids with some experience, but we have some talent coming in.
Obviously this is not an easy league to go from last to first in. I mean, it just doesn't happen very often. But we're not the first team to go through this. I think, Coach Sherry (ph), what did he go, 1-15 his first year; Coach Blair won maybe two or three his first year. So you have to pay your dues. I feel like I've paid a lot of dues this year.
So I honestly don't want to sit through this again. We have as a coaching staff a great understanding of now what we need to get talent-wise to compete in this league. If you look at the top couple of teams, you're looking at the top couple of teams having Kodak All-Americans on their team. You have to get that kind of talent if you want to win the Big 12. I have a great staff, and we'll find it.
Q. I know you talked before about how the offense has struggled here and there, but what does a defense like Tech has do to teams to take shots they don't always take?
COACH BUDKE: First thing Tech does a great job of, they don't foul you. They don't foul you and put you in the throwing circle. They do a great job of containing defense. They do a great job of getting you off the block, and again they don't put you to the free throw line. I think honestly on the half-court, they are as good defensively as anybody in this Conference.
So, I thought we played decent defense today to start but if you go back and look at it, the last five seconds of the shot clock or second-chance points is where they got us. I thought our initial defense, first-shot defense was decent, but that's a team that's a little more experienced and a little tougher that's had success that got us in those areas.
Q. You may it clearly early on that you would get a technical if you thought it would fire up your players, was that intentional today?
COACH BUDKE: Well, a little bit. It was a little bit. I thought there was a foul discrepancy, so I wanted to get my point across on that. But also, I thought maybe we were just letting it slip away. You know, just letting it slip away and maybe weren't fighting as well as we could in that little time period right there.
So we responded this year to get us going a little bit, and it worked a little bit, it pulled us back within 14 or 15 after they shot the technical and all that stuff. I just wanted to make sure our girls understood that the coaching staff is going to fight the whole game, and we want them to fight the whole way, too.

End of FastScripts...

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