home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 5, 2006

Candace Parker

Pat Summitt

Shanna Zolman


THE MODERATOR: From the University of Tennessee, the 2006 SEC tournament champions, Coach Pat Summitt, Sydney Spencer, Candace Parker and Shanna Zolman.
Coach Summitt, if you would.
COACH PAT SUMMITT: Well, obviously, this was a very tough battle for both teams. A great basketball game I'm sure to watch. A challenging one to play in and coach. But when you look at the two teams, I just thought that, you know, possession by possession, both teams played really tough, both offensively and defensively.
For our basketball team, this had to be our best defensive effort of the year. I can only tell you that I'm extremely proud for this team because I've been -- obviously, I'm always talking about we got to play defense. I think defense and boards really helped us win this game. Without question, the two keys to why these young ladies cut down nets.
I'm excited for them.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Candace, Hoston was talking about defending you on that last basket you made. How difficult a shot was that for you? Was it a shot you felt you had nothing left to take other than that one or do you feel real comfortable with that particular move?
CANDACE PARKER: Well, in the closing seconds, coach told me to dribble out a little bit of time, and then run our -- play our isolation play and go one-on-one. They can't help hustle these two people besides me because there's such great shooters. Shanna hit the two before. It was just one or one with me and her. I knew I had the height advantage over here. I just took it and shot over her. Fortunately it went in.
Q. Shanna, at the 55-50 mark, you were on the floor. You looked up at the scoreboard and called your team together and talked to them. If you remember that, can you share what you said at that time?
SHANNA ZOLMAN: What was the time?
Q. 55-50. You looked up at the scoreboard and went into the circle to talk.
SHANNA ZOLMAN: I think I was just talking about -- I was just trying to go on a run. Coach was really trying to emphasize throughout the course of the game, going into the game, how much LSU was a running team, how much they make runs and go in spurts in different parts of the game.
They had just gone on one, so we were trying to come back and counter with that one ourselves. I was just trying to gather the team and try and just emphasize defense at that point, just being able to make defensive stops so we can be able to turn that into offensive points at the other end.
Q. Coach, obviously coming down towards the end, you didn't call timeout, didn't hold for the last shot. Is that a situation where you have the ball in the right person's hands anyway? What's the thought process?
COACH PAT SUMMITT: You know, in most of my coaching years, I've called timeout. But I've found it very difficult at times to get the ball back inbounds, particularly against a great defensive team. I happened to be watching our men play at Florida, and Florida called timeout, never got the ball back.
You know, things like that stand out in my mind. Coach K, which I have tremendous respect for, he never calls a timeout in that situation. You just have to trust your team. I think I've changed my philosophy in probably the last three years about feeling like I've got to call timeout and manage. If you prepared your team and you got good leadership on the floor, let 'em play because a lot of things can happen trying to inbound the ball on the sidelines, which we saw at the end of the game.
So, you know, I trust this team to make those decisions.
Q. Fouls can take away so much of a team's offensive. Could you address the fact that Parker's versatility, her ability to go out, shoot from the corner, what that does for you in that kind of situation?
COACH PAT SUMMITT: Well, first of all, I've said many times that I think Candace Parker, I don't think there's any question who the player of the year, freshman player of the year should be. People are talking about all the names out there. In my opinion, there's only one that can do what she can do. There's some great people that can shoot the basketball on the outside, post up on the low block.
But her versatility, and we ask her to play the point position, we post her up, we let her face up. You know, there's so many dimensions to her game that it's very difficult for teams to say, "We're going to stop her because she's going to be on the low block." Where it is much easier with our inside people, for them to double. But when Candace is in the game, she always gets other people open.
I mean, just like with Shanna and Sid, you know, it's very important for them to all be content on playing well together, not be concerned about who's scoring, because there's nights that Candace has led us in assists, and obviously Shanna and Sid have both benefited from that.
Q. Shanna, company you talk about the three-point shooting for you tonight, how important it was, particularly what Sidney was able to do in the first half?
SHANNA ZOLMAN: Yeah, I told Sid, she's going to give me a triple double today because of helping me in my assists. Sid was able to knock down a lot of open shots from the outside, and they were being very, very aware of myself on the outside, Candace inside, doubling down the post because of the post presence that they have brought the entire tournament as well as the regular season. I mean, we've emphasized and gone inside against Auburn and Georgia, and they've dominated inside.
I knew that that was definitely going to be another focal point for us. When that wasn't going as well as it has in the past, Sid stepped up tremendously from the outside. She had a lot of open looks, was able to knock them down. They carried on into the second half, as well. But she definitely stepped up big from not only three-point area but two-point as well. Myself, just trying to knock down open shots whenever I had 'em, when we needed 'em, as well.
Q. Pat, a week ago you're trying to explain a loss. Here a week later, you get another championship. Can you describe the process that's taken you through this week, how challenging that's been?
COACH PAT SUMMITT: Well, obviously the loss to Florida was probably the one from my standpoint as a coach was the most disappointing. That and obviously losing at Kentucky. I just felt like, you know, for whatever reason, we didn't get motivated to play two unranked teams. That's where you have to be very careful that your team -- that they respect every opponent.
The defense just let us down. It was painful to watch on tape, those two games, the lack of commitment and competitiveness on the defensive end. We talked about it, talked about it. Obviously, Monday and Tuesday we had what I think were productive defensive workouts. We didn't work a lot on our offense before we came here. We worked a little on our press offense.
It was great to see them carry over. They have to take ownership. A basketball team, you can manage practice any way you want to as a coach, you can control everything on the floor. Come game time, they control it. I think that's the thing I was very proud of, is watching them play defense with passion, making things work, sorting out when we were maybe switching when we shouldn't switch, just identifying the big three players we had to guard for LSU.
I'm really pleased. I hope this would be a carry-over into post-season.
Q. Sidney, can you talk about what was going on for you offensively, in the first half, but all night getting the looks you were able to get?
SIDNEY ZOLMAN: I think particularly in the first half, we just broke their presence. I know a couple of my stops came from they were trapping a double team. She kicked out, hit me. Candace was trapped with the ball, came out and hit me.
Other than that, I just think my teammates were finding me in transition. LSU wasn't matching up on me. They weren't as concerned about me as our post players. Our post players have been anchoring us inside and putting up the numbers they needed to do. They weren't matching up with me.
Q. Going into the tournament, you're about seven three-pointers away from the all-time school mark. What are your thoughts on that? How much ask that kind of weigh on your mind? Is it something you think about going into this stretch for you at all?
CANDACE PARKER: Not at all. I don't even think about it. Actually, I just read it right now. It's not something that crossed my mind. The only thing I ever think about going out is how I can lead my team to a victory. Individual accolades has nothing to do with any thought process in my mind.
Q. Pat, what do you think this does for you seeding-wise? Do you think you maybe have a No. 1 here? What do you think?
COACH PAT SUMMITT: I think this team deserves a No. 1. Now, whether we're going to get it or not, that's up to the committee. It's not like we're dodging bullets when we schedule. We play everyone. I think when you look at this conference, you look at what Florida did, Florida beat LSU and Tennessee, so obviously they're a quality basketball team. I really felt like if we could win the tournament, that we should get a No. 1 seed, and in particular just looking at our RPI, I mean, I think we've done all we could do, certainly this weekend in particular to position us for a No. 1 seed.
Q. Pat, I know no game is just one moment, but a game like this seems to come down to a make, a miss, a turnover, and the other team is going to make the other team pay. Is it just maybe you made LSU pay for not making a shot or not coming up with the rebound at the last minute?
COACH PAT SUMMITT: Well, I think in a game like this it's a team that obviously has an opportunity to have the ball last and win the game because of it. You know, we chose to foul. We knew we'd get the ball back more time to score. I guess I trusted our team offensively. I thought we struggled during the second half. Our offense had really not been real efficient.
But it's just a matter of, you know, how the game plays out and which team executes and gets the breaks. You know, LSU is a great, great basketball team. I just think you're looking in this conference at obviously two teams that have played in this game the last two years. It's been games that could have gone either way.
Q. Coach, a secondary concern, but do you think you may have knocked LSU out of a No. 1 seed tonight or do you think you both should be able to get that?
COACH PAT SUMMITT: I think we both should get a No. 1 seed.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297