Stanford-Cal Quotes

Saturday was an unusual afternoon at Maples Pavilion. Stanford welcomed Cal to town in a series where the Cardinal owned an 11-game winning streak. The Bears were without their head coach and their best player but made a game of things late. Stanford and Cal players and coaches talked after the 87-75 Cardinal win about the rivalry revival and the game's dynamics.

Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer

Opening comments:

I thought we had some really big plays from the three people sitting up here [Krista Rappahahn, Brooke Smith, and Candice Wiggins].  I thought Cal played very well. I was especially impressed with [Alexis] Gray-Lawson and Jené [Morris], who has been to our basketball camps.  She looked really good and very aggressive.  They didn't back down and I didn't think they would without having [Devanei] Hampton play.  I thought Candice and Rapp hit big threes for us, and Brooke played well inside for us when we got her the ball.  We were clicking pretty well on three cylinders, but I think we're going to need more contributions from people.

On her decision to start Kristen Newlin:

Kristen has been practicing all week and Krista has not been.  I wasn't even sure that Krista was going to play.  Thank goodness that she was able to play.  In some ways, it is easier to start the game rather than come in.  So I thought it would be easier for [Newlin].  I told her I was only going to play her for a few minutes, just to get the feel of it a bit.  I don't think we played inspired basketball.  I think we looked tired.  This isn't how we have been playing the last couple of games, and this isn't going to help us against Arizona, Arizona State, or going to L..A.  I felt that we need to play with more energy.

On whether or not she was impressed with Cal's performance:

Yes.  And they weren't even playing with their best player.  In some ways, it takes some pressure off of them.  They are playing well, but they are not going to beat USC and UCLA with smoke and mirrors.  They are real players.  For those of you who covered some of these players in high school, especially Alexis Gray-Lawson - I thought she was fabulous.  She did a great job running their team and showed great poise.  I thought Ashley Walker did a great job inside and so did Jené.  But you know what?  [Krista] Foster really got in there and worked hard.  They played real hard and they were aggressive.  They were not intimidated.  This was just like a bus ride to them.

On changing the lopsidedness of the Cal-Stanford rivalry with the arrival of the Golden Bear's freshmen class:

Definitely.  And we knew that when they signed last year.  They are big-time players.  And this was without their best player.  It is not hurting their confidence at this point.  They are very good.  They are playing with a purpose.  I don't remember dominating [Cal] the whole 20 years.  That's a long time!  I like the fact that people can't focus on us.  When Arizona State or Arizona comes, they better look at the Cal scouting report.  They'll look at this tape for them as much as for us.  I think thy are doing a nice job.

On Stanford's cold shooting slump in the second half:

It depends on who is getting the open looks.  What I tell Krista is to keep shooting or she's coming out.  If she is open… I'm trying to think in my mind of any other player… and I've thought of this of her as a freshman.  I don't know of anyone who I've had more confidence in knocking down a shot when open.  That's what I tell her.  I'm surprised that she misses one.  She didn't practice all week and she didn't miss a beat.  She worked really hard on defense too.  Some other people, like // [Gold-Onwude]'s three-point shot, I wasn't quite excited about.  She made it, but it was a clock situation.  It might have been a time and score, but she felt it and made it.  Candice has the total green light.  She wasn't shooting real well early, but she's the kind of player that gets things go.  I love how she never carries it around like, "Oh my gosh, it's going to be a bad shooting night."  She started out and missed a couple of shots, and I thought, "Well, she's just getting the misses out of the way and the ‘makes' are coming."  I was on Brooke at half-time for not finishing and [assistant coach] Karen [Middleton] reminded me that she was 6-of-10.  These people have to keep scoring and taking it at them.  We need some other people do that as well.  I thought Clare [Bodensteiner] had some good open looks and she needs to knock it down.  We'll need some other people stepping up and making plays for us.

On getting outrebounded by a team without Cal's best rebounder:

Well, our center isn't ready either.  How many minutes did Kristen play?  She was allowed 15 minutes and she's not in the flow of it yet.  We do have to rebound better; there's no two ways about it.  I think that's a strength of theirs.  They were more aggressive.  We played like we got into a fight and once we got a bloody nose, then we started playing.  It's going to be too late.  This is a team you can't do that against.

On having nearly half of Stanford's field goals be three-point attempts:

That's ok with me.  Rapp and Candice… what percentage did they shoot?  I see 14 threes.  So how many points did we get off of them?  So I think that's one thing people have to decide is or we going to leave Rapp and Candice open or double Brooke?  Again, I don't know if it was the charge, but it might have made Jillian [Harmon] less aggressive throughout the game.

Stanford Sophomore Guard Candice Wiggins

On the open looks she and Rappahahn had throughout the game and when Cal cut the lead to six points in the second half:

The open looks, well they were just focusing on the inside and played zone, so it was really easy to get a bunch of looks.  If you are open, you've got to shoot it.  When they cut it to six, they had the momentum, they were playing hard, and they weren't ever going to quit.  You could tell.  Even in the last seconds of the game, they were still going hard.

On nearly losing the 18-point second half lead with the head coach and star player out:

I wasn't surprised at all.  They knew their best player was out and they picked it up.  Gray-Lawson did a really good job of picking up the slack.  They played really hard.  I wasn't really that shocked.

On not having her main role this year be point guard:

Playing the "two" gets you into a rhythm and you don't have to think as much about what offense you are running and stuff like that.

On her play the last five games:

I think our team is finding itself.  I knew that at the beginning of the year, we would only get better with experience, and I think I'm a part of that.  Everyone is finding their rhythm and spot, me included.  As our team gets better, we're finding our identity.

Stanford Redshirt Junior Center Brooke Smith

On whether or not a real rivalry between Cal and Stanford would be a good thing for Bay Area basketball:

Yes, definitely.  I think it is great for the Pac-10 that teams are getting better.  I think it's great for the Pac-10 that Cal is getting better.  They are much more competitive than they were in the past, and I think the rivalry will be good.  We had a good crowd here, and if the games are good, that's definitely going to help that.

On the performance of Rappahahn and Wiggins:

Both of them always shoot really well, and they did it again today.  As Coach said it today, they have to make a decision, whether they are going to double or go out on shooters.  I think we do a pretty good job as a team of figuring out what they are doing.  If they are out on shooters, we'll get the ball inside.  Ros does a really good job finding the open person.  If they leave shooters open, they'll knock them down.

Stanford Senior Guard Krista Rappahahn

On whether or not her foot bothered her at all:

No, it's okay.  But it was just really good to be out there today.  That was my goal.

In practice, you do 20 shots from five spots together, but most of the shots I do before or after practice.  That's where most of the extra practice comes in.  I was here today pretty early shooting before the game….  I was antsy because I had not practiced all week, so I got here around 10:15 or something like that.

California Assistant Coach Lindsay Gottlieb

Opening statement:

You know what?  I am so proud of these kids sitting right here and of the entire team.  We faced a lot of adversity this week and they came out and they competed.  Am I happy about giving up 87 points?  No.  Am I happy about the effort?  Absolutely.

On missing the post presence of Devanei Hampton, who was serving a one-game suspension:

Just size in the paint; that's the obvious one.  They started their two big kids, and automatically we're at mismatches with our six-foot post players.  That's the first and foremost.  All the other things you kind of know are a part of her game – her ability to get easy baskets, easy second chance points, easy touches.  Again, the kids who were in there did a great job and really stepped it up.  We talked about it not being one person able to fill what she does, but collectively and I think Reneé [Wright], Krista [Foster], Shantrell [Sneed]… they all stepped in and did what they needed to do.  And obviously, Ashley [Walker] was unbelievable in terms of being the anchor for us there, playing against bigger kids and really being the backbone of our frontcourt.

On Stanford's barrage of three-pointers and what adjustments Cal tried to make:

I didn't expect them to cool off.  They are too good to let them do it on their own.  We talked about making sure we were out more on shooters; we felt a little bit better that Ashley was going to be back in the game and we could go more man.  We protected her in the first half after she picked up two fouls and to switch it back and forth.  Not doubling off the shooters at all.  And we also talked about taking care of the ball.  I think a lot of their open looks, the threes, were from turnovers.

On not having head coach Joanne Boyle at the game, who was away tending to a family situation:

Joanne and I have worked together for a long time and we're very good friends.  My concerns are first and foremost with her and her family.  I felt like my role this week was to not make her worry about what was going on over here and to keep things going in her mold.  She keeps things at such a high standard, I felt like I owed it to her to keep it at that level when she wasn't here.  So it was more about that than it was about me.  Getting here and the crowd, just joking that I'm standing across the sidelines from Tara VanDerveer and I'll be looking in a few days and say, "Oh my goodness!"  I feel like if we were able to come in here and compete and represent the university well, then I felt like it would represent my boss really well.

On talking with head coach Joanne Boyle:

I haven't talked to her yet.  I talked to her right before the game and all week.  She has been so supportive and so helpful to me.  Before I call her, I have to figure out a way to explain the 87 points.  We lead the conference in defensive field goal percentage and points, so I have to come up with a good story, and then maybe burn the tape after she sees all the threes!  But no, I look forward to talking with her and telling her that her kids, her team competed so hard in her absence.

California Freshman Guard Alexis Gray-Lawson

On Cal defending Candice Wiggins:

I think Jené did a really good job on [Wiggins] today.  Even though she ended up with 33 points, I think Jené did a good job on her.

On not having Devanei Hampton on the floor:

I think we also learned that with Devanei not on the floor, it showed us how to be leaders without her and how to step up.  I think even though it hurt us a bit, it made us better basketball players and we'll be ready next time.

On Cal's 29 turnovers:

This is part of our growth as a young team.  Everyone always talks about the "Fabulous Five" at Cal, but they don't understand that it's the "Fabulous Twelve."  We try not too focus on, you know, this is a freshmen game, or a sophomore game, you guys are a young team.  Our coaches are always telling us not to use that as an excuse.  We did have 29 turnovers and hopefully we can cut it down next time.

On her 30-point performance:

I wasn't [looking to score so many points].  Coming into the game, I just wanted to lead the team as a whole.  I just ended up with 30 points, but I didn't come in thinking I was going to hit 30 points.

On Cal whittling the 18-point second-half deficit to just six points:

When we were down six, it was kind of hard for me because I had been playing the whole game.  My coaches are always telling me to stay focused, don't get caught up in the crowd, and especially as a freshman it's hard not to get caught up in the crowd.  I think my mindset was to take over the game because I had hit some shots.

California Guard Jené Morris

On Cal's defensive strategy throughout the game:

I think we were focusing on doubling in the post, and they are shooters.  We just didn't get out quick enough.  It wasn't necessarily what we planned on defense, but just lapses in communication.  Yeah, we were focused on guarding the post more than the outside shot.  They were just hitting the open shots.

California Forward Ashley Walker

On her first experience of the Cal-Stanford rivalry:

My teammates help me out a lot.  Me, Jené, and Alexis are all freshmen.  We just want to come in and show what we've got and play our hearts out for everyone wearing a Cal uniform.  We couldn't come in here scared today.  We came in here knowing we had to play hard, and I think we did today.

On what Cal showed Stanford today:

I think just that we are a young team, and we are going to prepare for them next time, and hopefully they'll prepare for us next time as well.  I think we showed them that we're going to leave everything on the floor.  We're going to coming out offensively hard and defensively hard.

On how hard it was to play without Hampton:

It was.  It was hard for me because she's my post partner.  She's my partner in crime, so I had to take on a lot more.  I think it helped me and some of the other players to work without Devanei.  Even though she's such a big part of our team, I think it helped us to be better players.

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