October 20, 2005
MODERATOR: Coach, introduce your players make a couple of comments.
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Sophia Young and Shameka Scott. My comment this morning is "Go Astros." Drake McLainton (phonetic) is a big Baylor guy, so the better he does the better he will take care of Baylor. That's my opening comment.
MODERATOR: Questions from the floor.
Q. Did things ever slow down, have they yet slowed down for you?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Yeah. They have slowed down but it's by the process of we're starting practice. But it was a great summer, it was a great off-season and we got to experience a lot of things that you don't experience when you don't win championships. When you win a national championship, a lot of good things come your way. It was a very good summer.
Q. Other than get your picture on the cover of the phone book, can you give some examples of how it was different this year? I saw billboards all over town when I came down for baseball and just lots of different things like that.
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Well, as you can imagine it's not every day you get to meet the president, so those kind of things come with winning a Championship. I think we met every politician in Texas and Washington and lots of memories, the parade in Waco was awesome. The welcome back to the Ferrell Center after the game was awesome. I am going to forget all of some of the things. There's been so many. It doesn't last forever. So while it lasts you need to enjoy it. I think all of the players will tell you the same, that we enjoyed every moment and we have got to move on now and prepare for a new season.
Q. Now that you all have done this and you have been as a player and a defending champion, so how -- what is going to be different for your players this year having done it?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: I don't look at it as defending a championship. To me that's sound like somebody is going to take that Championship away from you, and no one will ever take that away from us. We'll hold that trophy for ever and ever. The way we're going to approach it is this is a new season and we would like to do the same thing that we did last year as would every other coach in America and every other team in America. We're not the same basketball team that won the national championship. We lost seven players off of that team. We have a great nucleus of players with three starters returning. We have a group of freshmen that are eager to learn and that are working really hard right now to find their place on their basketball team. It will be a totally different team, and we have got to find our identity and find our strengths and weaknesses and approach this season as if we're not defending anything. It is just a new year.
Q. You bring up the freshmen, wondering if you can comment about not only your team, but the conference in general and how it appears that newcomers into the league may play a bigger role or be a bigger factor in determining how the league race plays out?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: I am not sure I can tell you about the other teams. You become so focused on your team. I am aware of some freshmen that are coming into the league, but speaking for my team, we don't have a lot of depth this year. We only are going to have eleven players dressed out. So injuries are going to be very important to stay away from and the freshmen for us are going to have to contribute. You'd like for the freshmen to learn from the upperclassmen but they are not going to have that opportunity. With eleven players, they are going to have to play.
Q. Concerning the talent here in Texas with women's basketball, I have a question and your thoughts on Miss Wyatt because I really watched her play in the tournament last year and it seemed like she stepped up when she really had to. You had your veterans that were there but she really stepped up. Also your comments on the (inaudible) state of Texas?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Latoya Wyatt, you are talking about?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Being from the state of Texas, we're going to naturally recruit the state of Texas first before we spread our wings. As we continue to build our program, we hope that we can go further out across the country to recruit. Latoya Wyatt I thought was very critical in many of our Playoff games. She has such tremendous speed and quickness. She is very explosive coming off the dribble and getting to the basket. I thought definitely in some games throughout the course of the Playoffs we were able to insert her and she would harass people on the perimeter. Right now she is just picking up where she left off last year and we need her to.
Q. You think she will pick up with Chelsea with it --
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Chelsea played the point for us. Latoya will be off guard. Hopefully she will do the things definitely that Chelsea did. Chelsea was really a catalyst for us definitely. She would harass the ball handler. Then she will help the post players down inside and come up with a lot of loose balls and a lot of steals. I would like for Latoya to have that mentality. But at the same time Latoya is going to have to give us more offense than we were asking Chelsea to do.
Q. Will you tell us a little bit about this year's team, what you all are expecting?
CHAMEKA SCOTT: I think this year's team, it's a lot of fun playing with them because it is a different pace of basketball. Everyone is really quick and I like that because we get to run the floor a lot. More importantly, it helps us out on defense. I think we're going to be a very good defensive team. That will drive our offense, and that to me is a lot more fun than being more of an offensive-minded team. Line coach said we have got the freshmen who we need to contribute. So a lot of the pre-season we spent time getting them to mature a little earlier and get them to realize that we're going to need them this year, that whole process has been fun. I guess for Sophia and I as seniors stepping up to be leaders and be able to show them the ropes, get them used to it. I think we have a really good team that's really eager to play this year.
Q. Did you work on anything specific this summer to try to improve your game?
SOPHIA YOUNG: Yeah, I don't think -- well, I think that there's always room for improvement and I worked on dribbling a little bit, more outside shooting, I would say.
Q. Could you talk about -- I am not sure if you know but you were named pre-season player of the year. We all know your story of how -- how you learned basketball all that stuff. What does it mean now that people have basically picked you out being the being the best player in this league?
SOPHIA YOUNG: I would say that's really tremendous honor to be recognized by so many people. It feels pretty good to know that from start so young. I think it also encourages other people other young girls that want to play, and don't think they can make it even if they are 15 they can actually start. So it's just a real honor, hopefully I will just work harder to get more recognition and bring more recognition to Baylor.
Q. You had such amazing post tandem with Steffanie last year. I know the year before will you to play without letter in the post seen so you are used to. That can you talk about a whole season without her as well as you worked together how you guys think you can make up for that and Kim, if you can then talk about that too.
SOPHIA YOUNG: Since I got to Baylor I have always played with Steffanie and she is just been like my backbone pretty much all three years, and now that she has left, now that she is gone, it's going to be a challenge. But I think that Abiola Wabara, she is going to step up a lot for us. We're not very worried about it.
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Anytime you lose seniors, I always tell the people you don't realize what you have until it's gone and we lost a valuable class of seniors. Abiola Wabara will replace her. Abi probably of all the players since we started, her practice has really impressed me. I think that Abi had a great Playoff run playing the three, the majority of the minutes last year at the three. She will now move inside and she and Sophia will work well together. The biggest thing that you will miss from Steffanie is stability. You knew what you got from her every night. Even when she may have been having a bad game you knew what you got from her as far as just having a body in there and a presence in there. Sophia and Abi will do just fine.
Q. Talk about your newcomers and maybe which ones you expect to make an impact immediately?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: With the few that we have, with eleven players dressed out, they will all make an impact. I will just start from the guard, you have got Jhasmin Player from Bay City, she is a 5-8 perimeter player, we will play her at the one and two some. Jessica Morrow is a big three player, she is 6 foot, she is from Humble High School in Houston. Rachel Allison is a 6 foot, 6-1 post player from Jonesboro, Arkansas. And Tricia Abbott is a 6-3 post player from Memorial in Houston. The thing that impresses me the most about them right now, sometimes we have a tendency to forget that they are freshmen and we move on and we teach and we move quickly and we leave them behind. They have been able to grasp things and catch on very quickly. Obviously their defense is much better than their offense right now because they are so focused on thinking about not messing up a play that they are not just relaxing and playing the game and that's to be expected. Definitely, those two post players, if you had to guard Sophia and Abi and Bernice Mosby, who is sitting out for us, every day, you better mix it up or you are going to get hurt down there. They are mixing it up quite well.
Q. We all got a sense when -- how excite the everybody was when you guys came back and talk to go Kim at the end of the summer she said a lot of that excitement hadn't abated, she was still getting emails and phone calls from people. Can the two of you talk about whether it's on campus in the community what it's been like the last few months being national champions?
CHAMEKA SCOTT: I think the biggest difference is just the amount of pride that the Waco community has felt for Baylor. A lot of times I felt like Baylor wasn't just it was either Baylor or Waco and now you go around anywhere in the community you will see Lady Bear basketball T-shirts, everybody will come up and recognize you and give their support and let you know they are coming out to the games. That, I think, has been the biggest change that I have noticed. On campus it's completely different as well. When you get support from your peers it means a lot more, I think. Just randomly in class you will have somebody come up and tell them you are their hero something like. That's a cool feeling. That's motivating and encouraging. It hasn't died down since the championships. It's continuous and something that I don't think will ever go away.
SOPHIA YOUNG: Like Chameka said, it's just been (inaudible) bring Baylor and Waco together. So many in the community people come to us and talked to us. They recognize us more and we pretty much are role models to them now. Like she said, on campus our peers come up to us and congratulate us. And even now, people still are saying congratulations. I think it was a tremendous opportunity to just bring a few people together and the community back involved in Baylor.
Q. Tell us the status of Jordan Davis's health situation and how she is doing now?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Jordan Davis is healthy. She is good to go. We're going to play better at the point. She and Angela Tisdale will both handle the basketball and of course with Jordan's shooting ability, I have to play her at the off guard as well. But she is healthy. She is good to go and they are really battling.
Q. One of things you did last year, Kim, you had to push a lot of buttons at different times, and it could be a different kid, you had your consistent people like Sophia and Steffanie and Chameka but you had different role players come forward. I guess with a smaller team this year how do you think that's going to work out? Are you still going to be in that position of having to come up with different moves at different times?
COACH KIM MULKEY-ROBERTSON: Well, I may not have as many to choose from with only 11 on the roster. I always look at it this way: when we were at Louisiana Tech, we made it to a Final 4 one year with 8 players. I think Duke has done it before. Actually, that makes it easier on the coach, you don't have many decisions to make. With 11 players I may not have to push those buttons as much. I may know what my rotation is and we were very fortunate in the decision that's we made through the course of the year that we pushed the majority of the buttons correct. But we'll just figure it out and go with the top eight or nine players and hey I hope it's 11 players. But if you are playing 11 players in a basketball game, that's tough sometimes.
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