March 22, 2006 Gyor, Hungary
Story || Box
head coach ANNE DONOVAN, Seattle Storm
On tonight's game:
They really showed why they're the Hungarian
All-Star Team in the fourth quarter when they finally settled down and
ran good offense, we didn't play exceptionally well in the fourth quarter,
giving up 22 points. We didn't start the game exceptionally well, we didn't
end the game exceptionally well, so as a coach that frustrates me. But
I remind myself that we've only been together five or six days and with
everyday we're getting better.
I thought that they really showed that they were an all-star team and
they got better as the game wore on.
What did you say between the first and second
We talked about the back cuts and a lot of the off-ball movements
that they were doing and I thought we responded to that in the second
and third quarters and did a nice job. It seemed like we relaxed a little
bit in the first and fourth quarters and they stepped it up. The third
quarter was pretty good for us.
Nicole Ohlde had a nice fourth quarter:
She did. She's been playing very well on this trip. It seems that
she took the lessons from a week ago and really has come back ready and
consistent for us.
You have your final game coming up against a
very tough professional team. How will you prepare for the final game
The first thing is mentally. We have to be very focused not to
let the physical game bother us. I think it took us out of it a little
bit tonight. They were bumping, pushing and shoving and we didn't respond
really well. So first thing, mentally, we have to get right and get prepared
for that. And then defensively to do a better job than we did defending
MELVIN, Washington Mystics
On tonight's game:
It was really physical, they played the European-style tonight with a
lot of back screens, a lot cutting. So we had to stay really, really focused
and it was a good match-up for us, especially going into our game Friday
How do you feel you played tonight?
I was trying to be more aggressive and it was a little easier because
we had to move so much as far as having to keep up with them. So I was
just trying to keep moving and be aggressive on the boards.
What does the team need to work on in order to
close out this three-game tour strong?
We need to play together and stay focused. Pecs is going to play
really well at home, but as long as we stay with it and help each other
we'll be alright.
OHLDE, Minnesota Lynx
On her play tonight:
I got some nice passes from my teammates that let me make some
good layups, people were moving the ball, that kind of stuff, that really
helped me out.
You seem to be playing much better than in the
first tour. Are you gaining confidence?
I'm feeling better. I don't know what was going on in the first
tour, I was kind of out there, I didn't really feel good about myself.
Definitely in the second tour I feel like I'm more in the flow. Like I
said, I'm getting some great passes from my team and getting some nice
layups. Everybody's kind of working together right now.
Did you expect it to be so physical tonight?
I don't think I really expected it, it was a little surprising.
But, luckily for me, I was able to see it from the bench at first so I
was aware of it when I went into the game.
What are you learning from the veterans out here?
I think I'm learning a lot actually. Whether it's in practice or
a game Taj (McWilliams-Franklin) is always talking to me about screens
on the ball, Sheryl (Swoopes) is talking to me, Katie (Smith), Chas (Melvin),
they're all talking to me. I think these trips have definitely been helpful
and it's so nice of them to be concerned about us younger ones and they
want to share the wisdom that they have with us.
SWOOPES, Houston Comets
What did you do defensively to pull away
in the second quarter?
There were some good things we did and a lot of not so good things
we did. The bottom line is that we got a win, regardless of how ugly it
was. This team gave us a small example of what's to come in the next game
and what's to come in the World Championship. You can tell that players
were getting frustrated with how physical it was and they tried to do
what they had to do and that was to be physical and try and take us out
of our game. I thought the first quarter, especially, they did an incredible
job of getting us frustrated, getting us out of our rhythm. Defensively
we kind of let them do what they wanted to do. They penetrated, they kicked,
they got it inside to their post players, set a lot of great screens.
Those are things that you know are going to happen when you play internationally,
they pass and cut. With us not having a lot of days of practice, they're
so many things we have to work on. But, again, I thought after they did
enough of it and Anne (Donovan) probably used every timeout that she had
and said, look, I don't want this to happen again.' After that I
thought we did a good job of buckling down on defense and not letting
them do what they wanted to do.
What do you think about some of the younger players
who are really fighting for a spot on this team?
I think it's going to be tough, it's a battle. But at the same
time I think they know that. Just to look at the expressions, to look
at the faces of some of them, it's kind of a shock to them exactly how
different international basketball is from playing in the States. Whether
that's playing in the WNBA, whether that's on the collegiate level, it's
a complete different game. But at the same time I think they're working
extremely hard, they want to learn and they want to get better. I think
it's great that we have some younger players mixed in with some of the
veteran players. It's going to take a lot of talent and a lot of experience,
hard work and determination, all those things, to make the team. Regardless
of who you are, what you've done or what you haven't done. You have to
come in and work hard and understand what it is that the coach wants.
It might not necessarily be what you're use to be doing on your WNBA team
or your college team, you have to come out here and adjust to whatever
your role is. For the younger players who can understand and can accept
that, they have a great shot at making the team.
WECKER, San Antonio Silver Stars
You haven't really played competitively
since your college season ended last year, you were injured and didn't
play the 2005 WNBA season, tell me how you're feeling after two games
under your belt out here:
Tonight was a lot better than the other night. On Monday I really
struggled with playing with the speed of the game and mentally thinking,
hey, it's okay to cut hard, make a run, play defense.' Tonight I
felt a lot better. I don't want to say that I was satisfied with my performance
by any means, but it was good to get some shots up and feel comfortable
Do you feel like you're getting your confidence
I hope so. I felt better tonight with everything. Mentally, staying
focused. I think the biggest thing for me is to know it's okay to play
hard. It's different playing in a game than it is playing in the rec center,
playing pick-up. There's definitely a lot more nerves out here (laughs).
Have some of the veteran players helped you this
They've been great. That's one of the main reasons I wanted to
come on this trip. I knew I wasn't going to play much, but I knew I wanted
to come and get everything out of it as possible and they've been great
to me, especially on the defensive end. I haven't played this type of
defense in eight or nine months and I didn't get much of that during training
camp, so to come out here and learn from the best, soak everything in
and learn as much as possible has been great. It's building my confidence
and getting me in the right place. Talking through screens and how to
get through them, that's probably my biggest struggle defensively, so
they've been wonderful.