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 31, 2008

Jayne Appel

J.J. Hones

Kayla Pedersen

Tara VanDerveer

Candice Wiggins


THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with the Stanford press conference. Take an opening statement from coach.
COACH VANDERVEER: Well, first of all, I just want to congratulate Maryland on a great season and they're a fantastic team. I'm really proud of our team to be up here and be representing the west at the Final Four and we had to work very hard to beat Maryland. And we did it with I think everyone really contributing, willing to do whatever it takes. We knocked down our high in terms of 3s by knocking down 14 3s we had a great inside presence with Jayne and Kayla, they're defense and their rebounding, you know, you thought Roz worked extremely hard on Kristi Toliver, she's a fabulous player. And even though she did score a lot, I thought Roz worked really hard and that was real important for our team and Candice, what can I say about Candice. She is a great player, steps up in big games and she really stepped up for or our team, knocked down shots. People came off the bench, Jeanette and Jill contributing, and our whole team was ready to go. So I'm really proud of our team, I think that through the whole NCAA tournament so far they have really responded to the challenge and obviously there's going to be a bigger challenge next week and we'll be ready.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Candice, when the 3s started to fall did you kind of have the sense it was going to be a good night?
CANDICE WIGGINS: Yeah. I think that just you could tell from the beginning our team knew, this is just such a special team. And before the game we all huddled up together and we could just see the focus in everyone's eyes and I think on the shooting we were relaxed much because we had confidence in each other and we knew that everyone was going to have each other's back. So I think that we started out shooting really well and I think that when we got our offensively and our defense going it was the whole night it was great.

Q. J.J., what did you have for lunch today? What was that about?
J.J. HONES: I felt like throughout the course of the tournament people have stepped up big, obviously Candice 44 points, 41 points, Roz had a big game. Jayne and Kayla have been solid. I felt like people might have been sleeping on me in terms of that. And so I felt like it was kind of my duty to make shots and whatnot and so -- I don't know.

Q. Candice, were you considering that what this game meant, were you nervous at all before the game and what did you do before the game, anything different you talk to the team?
CANDICE WIGGINS: You know what, we all talked and surprisingly, no, I wasn't nervous. I just thought, I knew this wasn't going to be my last game so I wasn't nervous and our team knew that and I think have you to go into a game thinking that every time. Otherwise you'll put pressure on yourself.
I had just great encouragement from my teammates, Jayne, snatched me, grabbed me and just said some really great words of encouragement before the game. And Tara also said things and everyone just has confidence in me so I wasn't really nervous about that.

Q. Jayne, can you talk about how the night went, I remember last week you said you looked at Candice and you knew she was fine, was that sort of the same sense you had tonight?
JAYNE APPEL: Yeah, I think our team from the very beginning was just extremely well prepared and very confident. You could tell that everyone, we were out there telling like stories from the beginning of the season, with how hard we worked and how hard we had to work this entire game to get this win.
Candice was the best, I told her before the game she's the best player on the floor and there's no one who can stop her out there. She's played all over the world and no one can stop her there, so why tonight.

Q. For Candice, did you feel like a sense of mission to get Stanford back into the Final Four?
CANDICE WIGGINS: Absolutely. I think we all do. Growing up on the west coast, a lot of us, all of us except for Roz grew up on the west coast and we really know that how great of an institution that Stanford is. What a power it is in basketball.
So absolutely, we were aware of that and we wear that with so much pride. So we did have sort of that mission and me especially. Especially being my last year and I knew that this team is a team that can do it.

Q. Candice, obviously this has been the round that tripped you up in the past, did you think at all about that? Did you think back on those other two games you played in the Elite 8 and draw motivation from that or did you try and shut it out?
CANDICE WIGGINS: Absolutely. That, I think that helped me a lot because I just thought about my freshman year even at Michigan State, seeing just I think that what hit me was actually my sophomore year we lost to LSU and they were celebrating and dancing and I was just like, gosh, I just want to dance like that just be excited and go to the Final Four with my team. And I kind of had that image in my head before the game started. And sure enough, we were all out here dancing.

Q. For Kayla, what is somebody six four doing out there past the three foot arc?
KAYLA PEDERSEN: They found me on those on the pick and pops with Candice and I've been practicing my 3 in practice and we have a couple plays for that. But I think it was just my time to step up and hit them.

Q. Can you talk about the work you guys did defensively on Langhorne and Harper inside?
JAYNE APPEL: I think that they were a big focus with those two and Toliver and Marissa, but I think that our main goal when we huddled up before the game was rebound. We said if we rebound we'll win the game. And we actually ended up getting out rebounded, but I think that it was just, we took it kind of to heart. We kept that two seed in mind and it just, there was no way we were going to lose this game.
KAYLA PEDERSEN: The same way. I think that preparing against Pittsburgh and Cal and the doubles really helped us for this game. We had Candice all the time helping us on the post and I think it really took the pressure off of me and Jayne, knowing that Candice was always going to be there.

Q. Candice, you seemed extra eager to take 3s tonight and one time I thought maybe you took a 3 when you should have been killing the clock. You seemed to be pretty confident out there. Do you know you can step right up to that line, you know, you don't have to go three or four feet behind it to shoot.
CANDICE WIGGINS: Yeah, I know. In the timeout I think I hesitated one time to take a shot and Tara looked at me and she said, whenever you get a shot, just take it. So I think that probably came after that talk, but.
But, yeah, you know, I think that's I was just feeling it today and really I tried to attack the basket first and then once you attack the rim you can, it sets up your outside shot. So I just took 3s just in the flow of the game when I felt like it.

Q. Roz, they cut it to six, and Candice hit a 3 and they missed some free throws, but you guys did that sort of unflappable thing again. Where you didn't let it get to you. Did you guys feel like it was pretty well in control when they made a run at you?
ROSALYN GOLD-ONWUDE: In this game we were very aware of the fact that Maryland has been down before and by big numbers even and has come back and won. So it's funny because we were on the court up what was it, 10 or 12, with like 22 seconds and saying, "They can come back. You know, they can still come back." And we were keeping each other so honest, making good plays and coming in like, we don't even congratulate anyone, we're just like everybody has to box out, be fresh. So there's definitely that sense of do not let up.

Q. J.J. when you said that they were sleeping, did you mean that they didn't have you on the radar, they didn't and they were they underrated you or something?
J.J. HONES: You're going to have to ask their coach what they put on their scouting report. But I don't know, I just found myself open and my teammates found me and I mean I hit shots.

Q. You also drove though too.
J.J. HONES: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll let the student-athletes go back to the locker room. Take questions now for coach.

Q. I hate to ask a one person question, in what was such a great team game, but we have all our own angles. For Candice, where does this rank in the games that you've seen her, that she's played for you?
COACH VANDERVEER: In some ways it might be the very best because the most was on the line. We talked a little bit before the game and she just said to me, she says, I'm not nervous and I said, well Candice, we want to play more. We don't want this to be our last game. And I said that you got to just whatever sometimes when I watch her play like when I saw her play at Maples that last game, I just said, I can see when you relax and are having fun. Just do the same thing.
Actually against Pittsburgh I thought she was kind of tight. And actually in the beginning of the second half I thought our team was a little tight. We had a 10 point lead and then we were short on all our shots and I'm like, forget about the lead let's just play the way we played in the first half. Maybe we shouldn't have had a half time.
But Candice just, she hit a real big three for us, she hit a couple of them, I guess, but I think in the second half kind of right at the top and she was just such a great leader for our team. She really, I had no idea she really had 41 points. She had a lot of free throws. But this might be her biggest game. But I hope her bigger, biggest one is ahead.

Q. Can you remember ever being up by 10 points at half when the rebounding totals are even and your opponent shot 64 percent from the field?
COACH VANDERVEER: I really can't. I know that they shot well, but we were shooting really well from 3. And a lot of it for me at half time is kind of a sense of how are they playing us, what kind of shots are we getting and we were getting some good shots. And we were working hard defensively. And Marissa Coleman was I think kind of the one that was really hitting for them. And then Kristi Toliver I think she was maybe the leading scorer at half time. But they were working hard for their shots. We were taking care of the ball, we weren't letting them just play volleyball off the back board, which we have seen them do a million games. And we were hitting our shots.
And we had good flow to our offense. We were running things pretty well, it wasn't like perfect, but we were getting shots we liked. And then Kayla just decided to go off. And I like that plan.

Q. Can you just talk about what it feels like for you to go back to the Final Four. It's been 11 pretty long years.
COACH VANDERVEER: I think that going to the Final Four is something really special. Obviously winning a National Championship is even more special, but sometimes things just have to be right. And I think that we have had some great teams, we have had some great individual players, but I don't know that there's ever been anyone that has done any more for their team than Candice does, in so many ways. Whether it's defensive rebounding, scoring, a team leader, and I'm just at this point I'm just really happy for her and really happy for our team to have this opportunity. And the fact that they really play hard for each other, they really enjoy playing with each other, they're a crack up just sitting back there and they just wanted it for each other. And it's really special.
There's no guarantee, I don't know how many coaches have in women's basketball have gone to the Final Four, there's a couple coaches that monopolize it, but it's a really special opportunity. And we want to go there and just have a great time and just do our best.

Q. I want to know if you were nervous before the game?
COACH VANDERVEER: I really wasn't. I think in some ways for our team and for me the best thing happened, which I think you recognized, the fact that we were a number two seed. I think that in some ways that took some pressure off of people and the fact that we played, I thought Pittsburgh really prepared fours this game. Pittsburgh was extremely aggressive. And that, at half time I said, so which half was harder, this one or last week? Or last night whenever we played. And they were just like, yeah, we can get our shots. And I said, yeah, so let's run our offense now let's play great defense.
So I thought we did. We really -- I think people really worked hard to do what we asked them to do. And then you have very -- they're exceptionally talented, Kristi Toliver, she's fantastic. She's just, we were working as hard as we could to keep her in front and she still went by. Langhorne and Harper, are both great players. Marissa Coleman. And we gambled and Strickland hit a shot, and then we just kept gambling. Before the game I had our manager chart Strickland's shooting and it was scary how she shot and I was really nervous I thought maybe this isn't going to work and then Bobby said yeah, but, you know, I can hit shots in warm up too. So I said all right, we're going to stick with the plan.

Q. That first half was a little fast paced, Maryland thought that favored them. And you were a little concerned yesterday about the pace. How did you feel as that everybody was going up-and-down?
COACH VANDERVEER: I feel like our team's in great sheep. The TV time outs are so long that I wasn't worried about the pace at all. Honestly, I was wanting us to pick it up more. I thought we could have maybe run a little bit more. But one of the things for us I wanted to keep Jayne in there. And so basically I told Jayne I said you can walk down the court, but when you get down there, move. And get good position in the post. They are some big, I mean Maryland has some very big physical bodies. And the toll was not running as much as it was when you got there and you're playing against 55 Perry and she's got her forearm in you or Langhorne or Harper, and they're very physical.

Q. Could I get some thoughts first of all on J.J.'s play and then Kayla.
COACH VANDERVEER: Well, I think that J.J., she had, I teased J.J. before the game and Jill both, and I said, Jill's coming back and sometimes you can get a sense before a game like who is kind of ready and who is doing things. And I said it's Oregon day. I said we need our Oregon players to step up. And J.J. stepped up big. Knocking down big shots, making that steal, I didn't really even see it I turned and I saw her just going in for a lay up.
But our team, I think our team had confidence. And J.J. shot with confidence and played with confidence. And Kayla is outrageous. She just is so she is so, I mean this, you hear this line on ESPN all the time, as cool as the other side of the pillow. Well that's her. She is really poised. And she is talking to Jayne, I'm, they're longer, I'm going to have to lob it a little higher for you, she is really, really a mature player. And she stepped out and hit 3s and we have been working on that. So I am glad to see it come to fruition in this game.
THE MODERATOR: About the pace again and you talked yesterday about it you were kind of okay with whatever the pace was, but could you have imagined that you would have 51 at half time or 98 as a final score. Could you have ever pictured that?
COACH VANDERVEER: We knew we were both really talented offensive teams and I don't think it reflects bad defense necessarily, we worked very hard on defense and so did they. But I think you just, I think it's great for the women's game. I think it's great for hopefully it's a really good TV game. A lot of scoring, clean play, only seven turnovers on our team, not a lot of fouls called. I would think that for the fans that came from Spokane, that they would really enjoy watching and the TV people would watch it too. I sure, I thought it was a fun game. And we just want to keep it going. Our team really enjoyed it, they're having a great time in the locker room right now.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.
COACH VANDERVEER: Thank you very much.

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