Cal Post-Game Quotes

For the first time in 50 Pac-10 games at Maples Pavilion, Stanford sat down Sunday for its post-game press conference explaining a loss. The Cardinal dropped a stunning 72-57 game to Cal, exposing their three-point shooting and also their future without freshman point guard JJ Hones, who was injured in the first minute. Tara VanDerveer, Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins talked afterward.

Head coach Tara VanDerveer

Opening statement:

"First of all, I just want to congratulate Cal.  I thought they played really well.  Their post players stayed in the game; they scored, even when doubled sometimes.  I thought defensively, we needed to do a better job, but their perimeter people stepped up and made some shots that they didn't make the last time we played.  For us, I think the first thing is that it was very upsetting to our team to see JJ [Hones] go down.  But we talked about the fact that that happens.  We have to be able to play through an injury like that.  I'm really proud of how hard Candice [Wiggins] played and how hard Brooke [Smith] played hard.  We just need to give them more help.  There were things we had to do.  We need to knock down some perimeter shots that we didn't knock down.  We need to to make free throws.  Playing Candice at the 'one', which she basically had to do the whole game, is something she hasn't had to do all year.  I think that is what we have to evaluate.  Are we going to play Candice at the 'one' the rest of the way, or look at Mel [Murphy] or Markisha [Coleman]?  That will be something we have to do.  It's a tough situation.  Obviously we hope it's not an ACL with JJ, but we're afraid that it is."

On her vantage of the JJ Hones injury play:

"It looked like she kind of did a jump-stop.  She was coming in - I think it was her right leg actually...  I hate the jump-stop stuff.  When I saw it, I just thought the way she went down and with her reaction, she did it [tore ACL].  But again, it's such a big part of the game, and the ACL is such a big part of the women's game.  It happened.  It happened with Cal.  It happened with ASU.  Our team is not going to give up.  Our team is not going to call it quits.  People are going to work very hard, and we'll put the puzzle together a different way."

On the team being shaken after Hones' injury:

"People are really close to JJ, and it's hard to see a teammate go down like that.  I was disappointed that our team didn't battle more.  I told our team at halftime that we kind of looked glazy.  'Come out, be more aggressive and talk more.'  I think they put people in situations where they had to make shots, and if shots weren't falling, there was a little - I don't want to say 'panic.'  But you have to have people step up and make shots, besides Candice.  Whether that's Jill [Harmon], whether that's Brooke, whether that's [Kristen Newlin], whether that's Clare [Bodensteiner].  We have to hit perimeter shots.  They were begging people to hit perimeter shots."

On the cause of so many Stanford three-point attempts (35) in the game:

"Other teams have played this way.  It looked to me like they were guarding Candice.  They were doubling Brooke every time she got down low, or they were doubling or tripling Jayne [Appel].  We run pretty much a single post, where you have four perimeter options.  We needed to do a better job of knocking down shots.  Or like Brooke did a good job of getting out in transition for easy baskets.  Get some O-boards.  Every time we play in our conference, we know we have a big target on our back.  Cal studies all the other teams we have played.  We play against two things, and this is one of them.  We play against the pressure of ASU, when you have to be able to put it on the floor.  Or the sag.  This is the challenge that our team has to respond to."

On fouling in the final two minutes:

"When we got to the point with about two minutes to go, we got to the free throw line a couple times.  Candice had a nice move-and-finish and got a free throw.  We were trying to lengthen the game, instead of letting them have every possession of 30 seconds.  We had a lot of chances coming down where we had people with open looks who needed to knock down some shots.  But at that point, maybe there wasn't the confidence.  We needed a couple ones to go down early, then we could have stopped fouling.  Honestly, we haven't really been in a lot of close games.  I think that this type of game can be helpful for us.  We need this kind of battle in our conference.  We are just trying to look forward and say, 'This will help us in the [NCAA] Tournament.'  In time-and-score situations, we had some people not understanding maybe to foul quick enough or not letting the ball get in.  That was a good thing for us to be working on, I thought."

Fifth-year senior center Brooke Smith

On the cause of so many Stanford three-point attempts (35) in the game:

"That's what they were giving you.  We probably should have worked for better shots, but that's initially what they were giving you - open perimeter shots."

On what can be taken away from this game:

"Obviously, it's a tough loss, so we have to go back and look at it and evaluate what things we need to work on to prepare ourselves better and adjust."

On the battles with Cal's posts players:

"They have really great post players.  Ashley [Walker] didn't have as great a game as she has, but Devanei [Hampton] played really well and shot the ball well.  They're very tough.  They play hard.  It's a great challenge for us to play against them."

Junior guard Candice Wiggins

On confidence eroding as shots were not falling for the team:

"I can only speak for myself personally, but I don't think so.  I am always the type of player if I miss the first few shots, I know the next shots are going in.  I have confidence in that.  I think that it just was not our day.  Obviously the worst shooting percentage I think we have probably ever shot.  It's just one of those days where the ball didn't - we had good shots; we just couldn't knock them down."

On Cal's ball movement:

"Yeah, I think they were really working on the skip pass, so you had to choose if you were going to double in on the post or the shooter.  When you closed out, they had a pull-up.  I think that was effective for them.  Still, it was ourselves, I feel.  We definitely had control, and it was our game to lose."

On changing responsibilities if she plays more point guard the rest of the season:

"I think it's going to be really important, because the ball is going to be in my hands a lot, to really focus on running the offense and keeping everybody poised and feeling good.  I'm still going to have to score and do what I do, but I'm going to have to look to set up my teammates more and get them the ball."


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