Additional Quotes >> USA 97, Stanford 62
November 15, 2007 ï¿½ Stanford, California
USA head coach Anne Donovan:
On today's game:
We have played some great teams on this tour and in our minds we haven't played a 40-minute game. We came out knowing we were facing a great test in Stanford. They are very experienced with (Candice) Wiggins on the perimeter, so we really had to come out, and if we were going to accomplish the task of a 40-minute game, then we had to start off strong. That's exactly what we did and I was very pleased about that tonight.
On ending the tour on a strong note:
The college tour was really good for us. We had goals with every game and it wasn't until this eighth game that everything came together, from the first minute to the 40th minute. Everybody played well in this last game against Stanford. We had great competition on this college tour. I don't think we could have asked for anything more from these eight games.
On Stanford's Candice Wiggins:
Candice is someone who came very close to making our team early on. All of our players know who she is, what she is capable of, and how special a basketball player she is. It was great to see Candice out there again.
On Stanford's inside game:
That combination of Pedersen and Appel is going to give other teams a shock.
Was your first-half shooting indicative of the starts you've had or was this one better?
We have shot the ball pretty well in most of our games. The bigger stat for us is looking at the assist-to-field goal ratio. This team shares the ball so well. It's the most enjoyable part of watching this team play, how well we share the ball and make the next pass. We haven't really struggled with our shooting percentages a whole lot, we've just struggled taking care of the ball. We've turned the ball over a lot in our other games and today we had three turnovers at halftime. Our focus was there. Mentally the girls came out of the locker room ready to play.
What kind of influence has Tara VanDerveer had on this program?
The era of greatness for USA Basketball was really '95-96 when we took our National Team and were together for a year. You think about that kind of commitment for somebody to step away from their college program and take over a National Team for an entire year after what she had built here at Stanford, that's where a lot of things started for our women's program in terms of our reemergence. Certainly she's a role model for me, someone I like to talk with. She's always so gracious to give up her time, share dinner or conversation with me about different things that we're experiencing that she's experienced with her program here and with the National Team before. It's invaluable to me and invaluable to USA Basketball what she's given.
How have you seen the USA National Team improve over the course of the year?
I feel so good about the state of where this program is. We've had a lot of good players come in and out through the year. We've had a lot of good opportunities to work with different people and teach them the system and see where they fit or don't fit. I think it's been really valuable, the whole training period. As many players as we've had, it's developed some really good team chemistry and the ability to really look at our system and see who will fit into that for Beijing.
How important is it to develop team chemistry?
Chemistry is such a huge part of the game. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don't have chemistry on the floor, you're not going to win. This has been big for our perimeter players to be together for such a long stretch and to develop their own chemistry, their own confidence. And then you add Lisa to that mix, it's proven to be very valuable.
Sue Bird, Seattle Storm
On finishing the College Tour with an 8-0 record:
Coach stated what our goals were and those were to finish strong and have a complete game. We kind of struggled at times, but I'm really glad that we can finish this tour with a good taste in our mouth.
As a whole, it's been a lot of fun. We all got to play, a lot of us got to visit, see our old college teams, like Jamie, or even our hometown teams like Diana and Lisa getting to play in L.A. It was really a good experience.
On the game:
We played against a very good Stanford team tonight, and we just came in wanting to put a whole 40 minutes together.
When you haven't been playing those full 40-minute games, what have you been doing wrong?
I think it can be a lot of things. We're a very talented team and when we're focused we can put those 40 minutes together. At times we didn't always approach every game with that focus that we needed. I know they're college teams, but they get very excited to play us. I want to say in almost all of the eight games these teams took early leads on us. They're very excited, they come out with their engines roaring. For us, it's a matter of feeling them out. We don't know what they're going to run, we don't really know their personnel very well so it's more of a feeling out situation for us in the first five, 10 minutes. Once we get a grasp of what they're doing we're able to take it from there. At the same time, it hurts me to say this, but I don't think we've always had our focus.
On Stanford's team:
They're really good. Tonight they were moving in and out and I know that's not the normal subbing pattern. I know Candice. I got to play with her all throughout training camp leading up to Chile. She's a very special player. She's obviously someone who can score, defend, fill up the stat sheet, but more than that she's a really good teammate. Someone that's enjoyable to have around both on and off the court. Coach Donovan talked about their inside game, but I definitely think it's Candice who is going to have to lead this team and I really think she can do it.
What's it like playing for Anne Donovan on the USA National Team as compared to her as a coach with the Seattle Storm?
At the core of it she's the same, has the principles, the same game plan. For me it's very valuable, especially as a point guard. People might not always understand a play or why we're doing what we're doing and I can be a voice during the game. That's very helpful. She's pretty much the same. If anything I think she probably has to coach a little less here because we're so good. At the core of it, it's the same.
Jamie Carey, Connecticut Sun
On returning to Stanford:
Obviously, its great to be back, my heart was here first so it's an honor to come back to Stanford. Even more so, just to be a part of this team for five games has been awesome. Everybody's been very welcoming and it was an honor for me to be a part of that.
Is this always a happy feeling coming back here?
Yes, it is. Stanford was always absolutely wonderful to me. Obviously there were some ups and downs here, but I'm very appreciative of the time I spent here. I rented a car when I got here just so I could go to all my old hangouts, see some old friends ï¿½ it was a great three years of my life, even as hard as it was. It's great to be here. It's great to be back. I'll forever be grateful to Tara and Amy and everything they did for me here.