Stanford-Arizona Quotes

Stanford races out to leads of more than 40 points and finishes Thursday night with an 82-51 blowout win over Arizona, yet Candice Wiggins has an "off" night. Who knew? The theme of the evening was instead contributions from other places. Afterward, Tara VanDerveer and players talked about the team's post presence and finding an effective rotation.

Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer

Opening statement:

I think we had some different people contribute for us.  Jill [Harmon] stepped up her game, Brooke [Smith] played really well.  It was great having New [Kristen Newlin] out there. I was really excited about how Ros [Gold-Onwude] played.  Candice [Wiggins] had an off-night.  When I was playing, my high would have been 11!  This was one of her off-nights, so I know she'll be ready to go against Arizona State.  It's always good to play our bench and get valuable minutes for people.  We had some really good opportunities and I think people will really benefit from the playing time that they got.

On having other people besides Wiggins and Smith stepping up:

I really thought Ezi [Eziamaka Okafor] helped us in the first half.  It's really different.  When Ezi plays with Brooke or New or Jill and plays with Candice and Ros.  It's different than playing with people who don't have that much experience, like say Markisha [Coleman] or Clare [Bodensteiner] or Titch [Christy Titchenal].  I thought Ezi did a really good job in the first half, so I was happy with how she contributed.  We're confident on a seven-player rotation, with our starting line-up and New.  We can start big or small and I think Ezi is really our seventh.  We're really looking for one perimeter player to step in and get in that rotation so that's coming along.

On Stanford's intensity, compared to last week against California:

I thought we did much better and came out and got a pretty big lead.  We were able to play some different people.  There's always things that we could be doing better.  I was not excited about our rebounding in the first half.  We talked about that.  We talked about getting the ball inside better in the second half.  If you have a big lead, I don't want to risk having Brooke get hurt or New or Jill, so you are playing some people who are excited about playing, but they make some mistakes.

On resting her players in preparation for Saturday's game against Arizona State:

I don't think it is just now and when we play Saturday, but more so for throughout the whole year.  Brooke has been logging major, major minutes, so for her, it doesn't add that extra tread off her tire.  I think she'll be fresher in a month when we're in the tournament.  We want to have at least a seven-player, but looking for more of an eight-player rotation to really keep people fresh.  As Jill said, with Kristen being back, it gives us a whole different ability to go inside and be bigger and more physical.  We have a lot of options with that.  I thought the first game back, she was pressing a bit, but this game, she looked relaxed and was finishing really well inside.

On Stanford's defense:

I think we can be more aggressive defensively, but our team also doesn't want to foul.  We didn't have anyone in any kind of foul trouble at halftime, and I think Candice has worked really hard at making sure she doesn't pick up quick fouls in the first half.  Brooke knew she couldn't [play aggressive defense] when New was out, but now she can a bit more aggressive and we can rotate people more.  I think we can be more aggressive defensively.

On Arizona's struggling confidence:

For them to go into the season and go through what they've gone through, I think they are doing really well.  Not to have the post players, Shawntinice makes such a huge difference for everyone; it's just like what Brooke or New does for us.  Also, [forward Shannon Hobson is out.  So they don't have any size in there.  I thought they played really hard and seemed to really enjoy playing with each other.  They were physical, but they don't have the experience or the bodies.

On Brooke Smith:

I liked her answer.  She goes in when she's told to go in and plays when she's supposed to play.  I think she's very productive.  The bigger the game, to me, the better she plays.  Sometimes when we have a lead, I think she kind of - I don't want to say gets bored or anything - but isn't as aggressive or focused.  She gets the ball on the block, and we started getting it to her in the second half.  I thought she is extremely efficient.  She can score and does a nice job on the low block.  Both her and Kristen shot a great percentage, and we'll need that on Saturday.

On how Wiggins will play on Saturday given her 3-of-12 shooting performance tonight:

First of all, I think she's very excited that our team won.  That's our main focus, and that's her main focus too.  She's extremely competitive, so I think this might be motivating for her.  I wouldn't want to guard her on Saturday; I wouldn't want to guard her anyway.  I think she will compete on a higher level and she likes to score.  She likes to make things happen.  She won't get down on herself or second guess herself.  She'll just go out there and play.  That will be my prediction.

Junior forward Kristen Newlin

On being back out on the floor after being sidelined for much of December and early January:

It feels really good.  It gets better each day in practice, and with each game, it feels more comfortable to play.  The coaches and players have been really supportive of me coming back and helping me out a lot.

On whether she is playing without pain:

Yes.

Freshman wing Jillian Harmon

On other people stepping up:

It's so nice having New back.  We have so many options.  We can go big, or we can go small.  It's great having New back.

Junior center Brooke Smith

On her 20-point, 11-rebound performance:

I just went out and played when I'm supposed to play and do whatever I can do to help the team win.  If I get the ball inside, I'll try to score or whatever, so I'm not too worried about points in a certain amount of minutes or productivity.

Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini

Opening statement:

This was a tough game for us.  [Krista] Rappahahn, Brooke Smith, and the point guard [Rosalyn Gold-Onwude] did a really nice job in the first half.  I thought the thing that really hurt us was our turnovers, and we had a poor shooting percentage.  In the second half, they really lit us up.  I thought we were playing with our heads down a little bit.  Finally, we rallied a little bit in the second half, but this was a very disappointing game for us.  Stanford is a really good team, and they play with a lot of confidence.  They are physical, and they have a lot of different weapons.

On Arizona's confidence after last week's win over Oregon:

I thought so, but it is tougher on the road.  Everything is tougher on the road.  We didn't really get much from our post, and we were in foul trouble.  We missed a lot of shots.  You aren't going to win a lot of games shooting 30 percent.  We've got to get better here in a hurry.  We were outrebounding Stanford at halftime by about three or four, and they really dominated the boards in the second half.

On Candice Wiggins' off-night:

You know, she's a great player.  She has an off scoring night, but then everyone else picks it up.  That's the mark of a good team.

On The Fast Break Club's donation to the various causes in the name of former Wildcat Shawntinice Polk, who passed away earlier this year:

We received individual checks from numerous members of The Fast Break Club, in addition to Tara and her staff.  The total was over $3,500.  It was overwhelming, for their heartfelt generosity, for the scholarship fund for Polkie.  I think it shows the kind of class Tara has and the class of the Fast Break Club.


Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up) and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!


The Bootleg Top Stories