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October 16, 2007

Kristy Curry


PETER IRWIN: Coach Kristy Curry from Texas Tech University. Coach, welcome. How about a comment or two.
KRISTY CURRY: We're just really excited. I think obviously there's not another team in America where there's more curiosity surrounding us. We have a lot of new faces and with that comes a lot of curiosity about what the future holds. I'm kind of curious myself. So we'll see where it takes us.

Q. With nine new faces, most of them from junior college or transfers from other colleges, are you wearing name tags? How long does it take to blend in?
KRISTY CURRY: I certainly don't have to have them wear any name tags, since I recruited them and spent a lot of time chasing them all over this country. I think our fans will probably need some name tags. But they'll become acclimated with who they are and how they play. I think the biggest challenge we have, obviously, is can we as a staff mold them together and make them play together. We rebuilt and reestablished and found that we needed to get experience. We are putting the pieces of the puzzle back slowly but surely.

Q. Of all the transfers do you think it's possible that you might have four or five of them in the starting lineup at some point?
KRISTY CURRY: There's no question we can have a lineup. But there could be five new ones. But I think with Erin returning and her experience factor she certainly has a leg up on the system. So at least we have four new starters, because we have to, possibly five. You don't know, by January it might be total.

Q. Can you talk about what are the things you learned the most your first year at Texas Tech?
KRISTY CURRY: I think the first thing -- there are two things. I think first and foremost what a special place Lubbock and Texas Tech is when it comes to women's basketball. I've been blessed in West Lafayette, Louisiana, where women's basketball is big. But nothing like the fan support. It's a great place. Everyone talks about Lubbock. When you look at it it's the second largest town in the Big 12. It's a great place to raise a family. It's a great place to live and go to work every day. That's been -- you hear about it. I understood it when I was assistant at A&M, we played at Louisiana Tech and got the right to go to the Final Four at the Municipal Coliseum, but it's an amazing place to work and live and coach women's basketball. There are very few places in the country that could be better.

Q. One of your recruits is from Kansas City, Keisha walker?
KRISTY CURRY: She is from Hickman Mills High School, and I know she's excited that the Big 12 tournament will be in Kansas City for her family to have a chance to watch us. Keisha has a chance to come in and play a lot of minutes this year and certainly will be a name you become familiar with. She's a talented young lady and probably even a better person. We're excited that she's part of basketball now, she has a chance to be a difference maker.

Q. You obviously have historically good support with Bob Knight there?
KRISTY CURRY: We've got to give it to Coach Knight. I'm not going to say anything -- I'm smart enough to know the right answer to that question.

Q. The Texas Tech/Texas rivalry, there's so much tradition with that. But for the first time in a long time, you have one this year, Gail, it's her first year, talk about that and you guys growing into that rivalry.
KRISTY CURRY: She walked into a very similar situation. She left a very successful program. I left a successful program. And we tried to replace two legends. I know that Gail is going to be good enough. She needs to be her and that will be plenty good. I know that she is very proud, as I am, to follow in the footsteps of a legend. She and I both want to continue to have the game grow the way Coach Sharp and Coach Conrad has. I want to get Texas Tech back to where we both expect it to be. I don't think there's any question that Texas and Texas Tech is what the conference and the Big 12 as far as women's basketball, those legends put this program on the map. We both want to get back in the upper echelon and help the game grow at the same time.

Q. With all these new faces, in some ways is that good in a lot of ways, because a new coach needs a few years to cycle in a lot of new players, and this case it's really a lot your team already?
KRISTY CURRY: Well, it's not exactly -- I don't want to have to assemble eight faces in one recruiting class. We had a transfer in with Maddy Brown that I think will be a good player, one is a walk-on, I'll say 7 or 8 including Maddy and the 9th is a walk-on. It's not something I'd prefer. I'd prefer to come in and sign three, four or five. But it is what it is. We went out and got some experience and we're not -- I think Texas Tech has had a lot of success in past years of junior college players being very successful. So I think that it's a very easy transition for our players.
But again, we signed three freshmen in November, high school-wise, and we're just going to do what we have to do to put the pieces of the puzzle together. But it will be nice. The simple fact that it is just about my team now. But I don't have a problem saying that it's Coach Sharp's team, still. But we're going to try to take care of things for her.

Q. What about Seals? There is a long history with Dominic Seals and players that have been successful playing two years, Sheryl Swoopes?
KRISTY CURRY: There's tons of them, exactly.

Q. Can you see her fitting into that role of things where you can take a lot of responsibility very quickly?
KRISTY CURRY: I do, but I think that she's going to have a lot of help around her. I think Dominic has been on very successful teams at Lincoln High School, at South Plains, and she's not just been the only player on the team. She's had a lot of help. What we've tried to do is not just put it all on her shoulders. I think it's going to have to come back, but she has a chance to be a special player on the league. And she's a really special kid. She's had to earn everything that she's ever gotten. And she has a work ethic and passion for winning and being successful. That's the thing I've been most surprised with about her, is that just because she's talented and athletically talented, she just works so hard. And so that will set her apart. She has a chance to be a special player because of her work ethic.
PETER IRWIN: Coach, best of luck, have a great season.

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