Stanford-Washington Quotes

Thursday night was shaping up to be a big game at Maples Pavilion. First place Stanford was facing a third place Washington team that beat them two months ago, with the Cardinal coaches and players eager for the rematch and chance to clinch a Pac-10 title. Then sophomore superstar Candice Wiggins became terribly ill Wednesday and needed IV's. She and Stanford responded with a dominating 100-69 win.

Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer

Opening Statement:

I hope we play like this every game.  I thought our team came out really focused, and we worked really hard on defense.  We got out and got good shots.  I haven't seen the stat sheet yet, but I thought we did a good job taking care of the ball.  It was a great team win.  It was at the right time against a team that beat us earlier, and I thought it was one of our better games of the season.

On where her team's performance came from:

I don't know.  I know personally, I worked hard and watched a lot of tape.  Our team really worked hard.  I wasn't particularly pleased with our game at Arizona.  I don't think we played badly against Arizona State, but I knew we could play better, and Arizona to me - we weren't focused.  There were some parts of that game that I think I carried around with me all week and into practice.  I thought we worked really hard Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, getting ready for Washington.  Honestly, I think it's our team leadership with these two right here, Candice [Wiggins] and Brooke [Smith].  These two work hard and get the job done.  They really encourage other people.  I thought Candice had a great game, and she opens it up.  [Krista Rappahahn] opens it up; Brooke can't be stopped one-on-one.  I also thought Brooke did a great job getting the ball to Kristen Newlin – her high-end passes were exceptional.

On the increased playing time of Cissy Pierce:

I think she is playing a different position.  I think Ros [Gold-Onwude] has done a good job at the "one" and Candice can play there if we need her to.  But I think Cissy has done a great job there for us, and it builds her confidence.  She's playing more confidently and working hard in practice.  Her teammates are really encouraging her.  I thought she had a good game tonight.  There were a couple of shots where she was right there.  We had a lot of people who had shots that were right there: Clare [Bodensteiner], Ezi [Okafor], Cissy…  And you hope that they will go down.  This is the type of play that we need in the [Pac-10] Tournament, when you play three games in three games.  If you look at the minutes, then it's great that they can do that.

On having three capable point guards:

We actually play four point guards. Ros, Cissy, [Markisha Coleman] and Candice.  You can never have too many good point guards.

The reaction on clinching at least a tie for the regular-season Pac-10 Championship:

We don't like to share.

On limiting Cameo Hicks on offense, who scored 23 the previous meeting:

She did have a really good game up there.  I thought Ros did an excellent job defensively on her.  We were switching a lot.  I think a lot of her shots are offensive boards, and I think we worked hard to keep her off the offensive boards.  And a lot of her shots came from transition baskets.  And I thought we worked really hard not to allow them to get into a running game.

On the differences she notices from the team that lost up in Seattle and today's team:

We had a 14-point lead there, and we didn't take care of the ball well.  Candice was in foul trouble, and we didn't have Kristen Newlin – and she was a huge advantage today.  We rebounded better today.  I think we've really improved a lot since then, and it showed.  They also had a player up there, Kayla Burt, who is a nice shooter for them.  I think our defense has improved; our rebounding has improved; our offensive execution has improved.  We are playing here and playing with confidence and showing great enthusiasm.  It was whole different feel to the game.  I thought we were the aggressors in the game.

Guard Candice Wiggins

On how she felt, given that she was sick the day before:

A lot better.  I had a sickness yesterday, and I was kind of worried.  I got some medication yesterday and slept all day.  I felt pretty good this morning.  I got a little dizzy right before the game, but by that time it was too late.

On whether she was surprised by her performance given her illness:

Yeah a little bit.  I was really nervous before the game because I didn't know how I was going to be once I got on the court, but I think competitive nature and adrenaline outweighs any type of sickness or fatigue you feel.  You just have that second wind in you.  I had more energy because of the team.  We had the loss earlier, and I didn't want to let my team down.

On her improved three-point shooting:

"I think this summer I really concentrated on that.  The coaches really helped me with my shooting.  The part of my game that I really wanted to develop the most was my perimeter shooting.  Karen [Middleton] is the shooting coach, and she's done a great job.  She's really taught me about my shooting mechanics and being more consistent.  I've also learned to be more patient on offense with my shot.  Last year, I tended to rush a lot."

On whether she tried practicing at all yesterday:

I couldn't even move.  I just kind of laid there.  I had to get hydrated, and I had I.V.'s and everything.  I slept all day.

Center Brooke Smith

On the earlier loss to Washington as a motivating factor:

I definitely think it was a motivating factor.  Losing is never fun, and it was right before Christmas break, so we all remembered that loss a lot.  We were excited to get another shot at Washington.  More importantly, we just wanted to gain some momentum going into the Tournament and play up to our potential.  I think tonight was a good start for that.

On Stanford's high shooting percentage:

I think it is fun to look for your shooters out there on doubles, and I have so much confidence in Rapp and Candice's three-point shot.  They started hitting, and I thought Candice didn't miss any all night.  7-of-10 is unbelievable from three.  They are such great shooters.  We just build off of each other, and the energy just builds when people are shooting so well.

Washington Head Coach June Daugherty

Opening statement:

I just want to congratulate Stanford on a great regular season.  I believe it makes them champions tonight.  Great job to them.  They played an incredible ball game tonight.  They were so good offensively and defensively.  It was tough for us to find answers.  Their inside game with Smith and Newlin was exceptional.  Just when you get caught watching them, here comes Wiggins.  She is that good.  She's very special and an All-American.  I thought they played with a lot of emotion and took us out of a lot of things that we typically like to do, but weren't able to accomplish.

On how motivated Stanford was by their loss to Washington earlier this season:

You'll have to ask Tara that.  I really don't know.  It was a couple of months ago, and I really don't have an answer to that.  I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I just don't know.

On Candice Wiggins among all the great players of the past:

I am not going to go down that road.  I'm just going to go with the present.  We had the opportunity to play Baylor and see Sophia Young and other different players.  I just think that Wiggins is so unique in the fact that she can take you off the dribble; she's extremely, extremely quick.  She wants to play defense.  She's not one of those "superstars" that wants to score, but not play on the other end.  I just think that she can share the basketball with her tremendous front-line, or she can just break you down on the dribble or take the long three.  Watching her tonight compared to two months ago, she's much quicker.  I don't know if she was coming off of an injury - I think she was coming off of a minor one - but her quickness was way better than it was in Seattle.

On whether she knew Wiggins was hooked up to an I.V. the day before the game:

No.  We tried to hook [Cameo Hicks] up to an I.V. too.  I'm laughing because we had this whole bout with the flu at home last week.  We had an assistant coach and five players out with it.  The same thing.  It's tough to see kids go through that, but I guess she put on the Superman cape today.  But no, we didn't have any idea.

Comments on the 2006 edition of the Stanford Cardinal:

They have a great inside-outside game.  With the frontline and the way they played tonight, they are really big and strong kids who create a lot of mismatches.  The triangle offense - they ran to a T tonight.  They space you out on the floor so much that defensively, it's very hard to help your posts.  They get you up high in the key, and they are just so strong that they establish great position.  Obviously, their perimeter does a great job of finding them.  Any of their guards can get going.  What makes them real, real special is Wiggins.  She can play so many positions, and she can create so much for herself.  And it looks to me like she's not afraid to create for her teammates as well.  I'd like to know what was in her I.V.  I'd like a shot of that.

On Tara VanDerveer and the Stanford coaching staff:

Lastly, I know they gave Tara a ball for 5,000 wins - I don't even know how many.  Tara and I go way back.  We're big competitors, and Stanford and Washington have had numerous rivalry games.  Tara and her staff do a great job.  The improvements that I saw in Stanford from two months ago to now really speaks volumes of how hard their staff works.  I think sometimes it is easy to take that for granted.  But they've gotten way better.

Guard Cameo Hicks

On whether or not the flu affected her game:

No, it didn't.  It was just a 24-hour thing.  I was fine after I got some rest and got hydrated.  I can't blame it on the sickness at all.

On the differences between this year and last year:

We have tremendous leadership this year.  It's been a great season so far.  The differences so far have been we've created an identity of just continuing to play hard.  That's the major difference from last year - playing hard for 40 minutes and the leadership we have.

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