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 9, 2008

Nicky Anosike

Alexis Hornbuckle

Candace Parker

Pat Summitt


COACH SUMMITT: If you don't mind, let them take questions first.

Q. Big-time win tonight obviously in front of a nice home crowd. Talk about what it's like headed into the NCAA Tournament right now.
CANDACE PARKER: We're really excited to get this win tonight. We really want to thank our fans because they're the best in America. It was like a home game tonight, playing in front of all that orange. But we know that this is the SEC Championship, and we have bigger fish to fry. We're going to celebrate tonight, but when we go back next week we know we have to play for the NCAA Championship.

Q. Alexis, talk about tonight's game.
ALEXIS HORNBUCKLE: I'm really proud of our team and how we played tonight and stepped it up. Like Candace said, we have bigger fish to fry. We want to win an NCAA Championship so we've got to go back to the gym and get to work.

Q. Nicky, your thoughts on the game and on the crowd?
NICKY ANOSIKE: LSU is a great team. We knew that coming in. But we knew we were better, and we just tried to show it on the court. We played with a lot of confidence. You know, Candace led us throughout the game, and she definitely earned my respect every single time we stepped on the court in this SEC Tournament.

Q. Candace, you were tied at 54 and you hit that big shot with the shot clock going down to zero. Can you talk about that play?
CANDACE PARKER: I remember the shot clock was winding down and they passed to Lex further out towards the three-point line so I called her name an threw my hand up, she made a nice pass. I knew they knew the shot clock was winding down, so I pump-faked and got a nice look.

Q. You promised yesterday you'd be a different team tonight than you were the first game. In what way were you different tonight? You said defense and rebounding. Were there any other things you did tonight you didn't do in the previous game?
CANDACE PARKER: Honestly, I think this team is a completely different team than we were in the regular season. I think we play for postseason, and now that we are here we have all stepped up our games. I feel like, yeah, defense and rebounding was key, but we had each other's backs. Honestly, we just were talking to each other and pulling through tough times. I mean, we really had each other's backs.

Q. Candace, Sylvia beat you out for SEC Player of the Year. Was there any extra motivation going up against her tonight?
CANDACE PARKER: Honestly, postseason is what I play for and what our team plays for. That gives a little bit of motivation and a little bit of incentive to play harder. But I think we just came out and we stepped it up for our postseason. We had something to prove. We lost regular season SEC to them, so I think we came in with a chip on our shoulders.

Q. With this being postseason, does this mean a little bit more, take the edge off of losing that game, or will that one still remain in the craw as you go into the NCAA?
ALEXIS HORNBUCKLE: Well, it was definitely motivation coming into this game as far as a rematch was concerned. But as far as looking further into the postseason, that's the past. It's time to build on it. Actually this is going to be in the past and the postseason is a whole new season. It doesn't matter what you did before. It's all about the six games to get to the championship.

Q. Candace, playing the whole game as you did I would have thought you would have been pretty tired, but then you sort of skipped down the bench and it looked like you were in good shape. How tired were you, and were you able to rest at all when you were in a zone? Were you able to maybe take a few possessions off?
CANDACE PARKER: I got my second wind when we won, skipping down the bench, to answer that. Yeah, I feel like I was a little bit winded playing three games in three days and playing 40 minutes. But honestly, my teammates had my back, Nicky was in my ear, just to play hard on every possession. And I think towards the end I used that and stepped up.

Q. Tournament time is right around the corner. Is LSU a team that you want to face again, or you don't really want to see them anymore seeing as they got the win in Knoxville and they gave you a tough fight tonight?
NICKY ANOSIKE: Honestly, we don't care who's on the list. We'll take whatever opponent that they send to us.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, players.
COACH SUMMITT: Obviously I'm really proud of our basketball team. I thought our defense was about as strong as it's been all season long.
When we had to make stops, they did a nice job. I liked the fact that we were able to change up our defenses. I thought that that worked to our advantage.
The zone was really good to us in the first half, and we had some good zone possessions in the second half. And then when we really needed to make stops, you know, I asked them specifically, what do you want? And they wanted to go with a man-to-man defense.
I thought they did a great job of working in the high-low. Sylvia is so good. She's just got great hands, one of the best inside players that we've seen in the game. I was really pleased that we were able to obviously disrupt at times, some of the high-low action, and also that we made plays down the stretch against one of the best defensive teams in the country.

Q. Mixing in the zone and particularly in the first half, was that -- would you think fatigue in that strategy at all?
COACH SUMMITT: Absolutely. I mean, that's why we played as much zone defense against Vanderbilt as we did. We felt like that we had to be able to save at least some of our legs, and of course we were going home and they were getting in ice cold whirlpools, and I think that kept our legs a little bit -- probably a little more fresh because of that.
But I still knew we played our starters too many minutes in our second game, which concerned me. I think they just -- tonight they just came in and stayed focused, and they played through fatigue. I thought the mental toughness -- I thought Vicki was really key coming in and playing the way she played. She made a difference in us closing out that game.

Q. I just want to follow up on that. Was your plan all along that Candace was going to play 40 minutes?
COACH SUMMITT: Well, she had talked to Dean, and Dean said that she may need a time-out somewhere around the 15-minute mark, second half. I asked her if she wanted to come out then, and she said, no, she wanted to stay in the game.
She called one time-out herself. I said, if you need more timeouts let me know, but I've only got two, and I may need them.
I think that we had an understanding that she could come out if she wanted to, she just chose not to in the end.

Q. You've talked throughout the year or throughout the season about not really knowing this team. How much better do you know it after this tournament?
COACH SUMMITT: I know the way they played in this tournament they're a team that's got a chance to win the championship. I think for a team coming off a championship, I think they had a hard time being motivated for 40 minutes game in and game out. Fortunately with the schedule we played, that made it very challenging in a lot of games.
But I think right now they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. When you can see something that is doable if you're willing to work for it, and they've been there and they've been down that path, then I think right now they'll have a lot of energy and a lot of passion for how they want to play in the postseason, and certainly I'm going to give them at least the next three days off and let them rest. I mean, I know there's a lot of fatigue that they're going to deal with, so I'm just really proud of them, and we want to make sure that we don't over-train in this time period.

Q. A lot of orange in the audience tonight. Talk about what it was like having everyone on their feet screaming, over 12,000 people?
COACH SUMMITT: A difference-maker for us, to have this crowd. The one thing I never take for granted, you're going to hear me say this a lot, is how wonderful our Tennessee fans are. And when you talk about women's basketball, you know, we have the greatest fans in the country. The numbers speak volumes. We have people come from all over just to watch our team play in Nashville that had never seen us play. It was amazing how many people were just coming up and saying we came here from Montana, we came here from California, we love the Lady Vols and we wanted to watch them play. It touches my heart because when I started out coaching and there was 54 people that came to the first game and then we got over 100, and we weren't even selling tickets, they were getting in free.
And to see where we are today and to see the impact, I feel that our fans have had on women's basketball, and they certainly have been a great source of energy and pride for our team, every team, and for our coaching staff, and they're just tremendous.

Q. I probably should have asked this of Candace, but she played really poorly against LSU in the tournament last year, and she's played great against LSU in both games this year. Do you think that game was a source of motivation to her this year, or was that even a factor?
COACH SUMMITT: I think Candace after that game -- I think she took total responsibility. She had, what, four points in that game, low energy. That's the worst I've ever seen Candace Parker play, and I watched her play in high school and AAUs and obviously had an opportunity to coach her and watch her play these last two years. I just couldn't believe that Candace played the way she played.
I just think she learned from that, and I'm sure, as the team will tell you, she said that won't ever happen again, and it hasn't.

Q. To follow up that question, you talked about the game of women's basketball. Tonight's record crowd, over 12,000 people, what is it like when LSU and Tennessee get together and what kind of impact that has on women's basketball?
COACH SUMMITT: Any time you have the top two teams in your conference meet, it's big. Obviously LSU has got great fans. Because of the match-ups we've had, and they beat us out last year, and we're playing for a championship this year, it was just great. I mean, it was great. I know television loved it and I know the fans loved it. I have to believe there are a lot of eyes on this game tonight and a lot of interest throughout this country because we are two of the top teams in the country, we both are working and worked hard for a No. 1 seed.
Someone suggested last week we might be a 2 seed, and I told our team, "Let's win this tournament." I don't care what people are saying, it's all about what you say through your game and what you do in the SEC. So I feel like both these teams deserve No. 1 seeds.
Thank you all for being here.

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