March 7, 2007
Kansas Coach and Player Quotes
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: I thought for us offensively to be in such a good rhythm, not many nights we shoot 50 percent in the first half and we’re still down at the half.
But because offensively, we had pretty good rhythm, I thought we did. I thought our zone was effective and there weren’t a lot of uncontested shots for Oklahoma State, and I thought we flew around and defense, we tried to battle and communicated pretty well. I know the zone looked like (indiscernible) but we were trying to pass things off and play next and at times we did a good job, at times we didn’t. But not much in transition really much for either team.
But we’ve got some young kids. When they went into to the triangle for one, and let’s start screaming for Shaq and let her run up for some looks on the baseline. And she’s got great footwork. And Sharita sets a great screen for Danielle hits in the corner, puts up for 6. A lot of kids did a lot of little things to help us win tonight.
Q. Bonnie, how did Taylor’s game, especially after the injury, how much did that help your victory?
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: She should have knocked her on her face a long time ago. That’s what I said to her. And Rashidat didn’t mean to do it. It was on a screen and she was trying to get through the screen. But there was so much room in the middle, the zone, because of how wide the 2-3 was played. But kept saying keep flashing and penetrating. We’ve done such a good job in man offenses, penetrating to either pull up or make the extra pass. We said it’s going to be the same concept in that zone. There’s going to be room in the middle. Let Taylor kind of float around, especially when we played some 4 out with Danielle and the guard pretty much had they got their heads up.
And early in the first half she got herself pinned underneath the rim a little bit. To shoot it, she’s got it on top of her head and then knocking it down in the second half. I said, “Don’t get your cut but stay out from underneath the rim so then you can make a move off one leg and kind of get away from someone who is trailing you. Because there was going to be a lot of one-on-ones from inside. But a lot of that came off of penetration and some great passes by the guards in the lane. And I’ve said all along, when she shoots confidently, she’s very, very good and she’s capable around the rim. She did a great job for us.
Q. Coach, what’s this win mean for this program the way you have struggled this year and coming back late and playing so well?
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: For us, I just had great respect for this group about how resilient they’ve been, and I understand from a media standpoint about when we were struggling to find a way to win, Coach, how has practice been or when we finally won. They’ll say practice will be so much better now. And I say actually it will probably be like it’s been. They’ve not cashed it in. They’ve not called it quits.
Even back when we were struggling and getting close and after we won and finally beat Colorado at home, it was practice as it had been. Great energy, great effort, great enthusiasm for what we were trying to do. Great pride in that we had gotten better and we were working hard.
And our chemistry was really good. They’ve been coachable. They’ve been really resilient and have shown a lot of fortitude, and you need that this time of the year. As I said, only those of us in the locker room really understand how much better we have gotten and how good you’ve been with each other to get to this point.
Because they didn’t get frustrated with each other and they didn’t call it quits on each other. They’ve really grown even stronger and stronger as we’ve struggled. And obviously they’ve had the opportunity and deserve the opportunity to enjoy their success together.
Q. Taylor, can you talk a little bit about — I know offensively you’ve been coming around a lot — just how much you felt comfortable and confident out there, especially you had three right-handed lay-ups. And I know that’s been a little bit of a challenge. Just talk about that.
Taylor McIntosh: Like I said, I feel more confident and it started in practice. Coach said you won’t shoot it in a game unless you start shooting it in practice.
I think ever since, I just got tired of losing, as everyone else did on the team. I just tried to step up offensively, be available. And then when they pass, the guards pass, especially Shaq, just make the shot.
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: I text messaged a long time ago, right about the time we came back from Nebraska and I thought she played really well. I sent her a text that next day because we were off on that Sunday. I said, “Listen, Taylor, you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. I thought your effort was great.” Then she sent me a text saying, “Coach, I’m trying to be the offensive threat you wanted in the post.” She’s taken that and embraced that and tried to do what she’s capable of doing. Played with a lot more confidence in and around the rim.
Q. Coach, what kind of challenges did Andrea Riley pose to you guys coming in? How did you plan to stop her? And for Shaq, how did you stop her? How did you hold her so quiet in the second half?
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: Well, the plan wasn’t to stop her, certainly to contain her. I made the analogy I think to – it might have been on a TV interview yesterday for the media here that her growth has kind of mirrored our growth as a team. We’ve gotten a lot better but she’s gotten a lot better. Because their place, she exceeded her speed limit a little bit.
She’s very, very quick, but got, you know, got herself where she made plays fast and she didn’t make good decisions, and I think she might have had five or six turnovers. She doesn’t do that anymore.
She’s got a lot more poise as she grown in her freshman year. Done a great job with this team and certainly a big reason why they had so much success. It wasn’t to stop her but we had to contain her. We had eight and ones, and I think she had four of them. We just fouled her and I thought we made her take some tough shots. We still fouled her a little too much. We tried to get Shaq in. Shaq didn’t have the match up a whole lot. Tried to get underneath her, flatten her out, don’t play into her hand. Some sets are designed for her to penetrate at a shooter, and we tried to take that away and bring some help from all the way across the floor.
But Shaq, I said, “Use your athleticism but be on balance with her and don’t gamble and be on balance with her. We’re not going to try to pick the kid’s pocket. Not going to happen. But stay underneath, stay underneath, and then make her take a tough shot.
Shaquina Mosley: Well, Bonnie just told me in the locker room that I don’t need to jump back as much because she had to step back. So she stepped in and stepped back and take a pull-up jumper. So I tried just tried to not jump back as much so I could contain her and I could contest her shot if she went up.
Q. What does this game do for Oklahoma State’s chances to make it to the NCAA tournament?
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: I think they should still be in there. They had a great run. They had a successful lead. This is a tough league to win games in. I agree with Kurt. I thought before coming in they didn’t need a win to make their case. I think they should be in.
Q. Now you look forward to facing Baylor again. Two-part question here. Number one, your early thoughts about facing Baylor again and how different is this team now than when you faced them earlier this season?
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: How different are we or how different is Baylor? Well, I think we’re different in that we’re offensively certainly playing with a lot more confidence. Our rhythm is better. Our game, again, we’re similar. I think we play Baylor and then go to Oklahoma. I think they’re back-to-back games. I believe at our place we play them at home then go to Stillwater.
Obviously they have got tremendously talented players and we’ll have our hands full defensively and we’ll have a game plan in place similar for our kids tomorrow night. But they’re better. Wilson’s better. (Indiscernible) is better. (Indiscernible) has always been good. Mosley has always been good.
Kim’s not upset about the talent she has on the team, I promise you. So we have got to play well and play well for 40 minutes tomorrow night.
Q. Shaq, I’m not sure I did my homework right, but looks like you and Danielle Green are both part of the national championship team at Central Arizona. If that’s true, there was a part that was back and forth between you two. And what’s that like with an ex-teammate who you probably know well?
Shaquina Mosley: Well, Brisa is on that team (indiscernible) and Cordero, No. 24. Danielle is a talented kid. And she’s great, like, on and off the court. So I mean I know it’s going to be a tough matchup with her because I knew in practices it was hard to guard her.
I mean, we did our best. She hit some tough shots. And I mean people are going to hit it all year. I mean, there’s nothing much that you can really do about that. She’s a really talented kid.
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: Great respect, and I’m probably the luckiest one in the room because I got to watch them do that and then watch them compete against each other and great respect for each other.
Q. Coach, what did you say to them when it came to the ball movement in the last five minutes because they were executing and passing and then they hit the free throws at the end, 85 percent?
COACH Bonnie Henrickson: We talked about when we get to the free throw line, go up there and shoot with confidence and focus on making it because a lot of people that make free throws are focusing but they’re focusing on missing it, not making it. So we said focus on making a free throw.
But offensively we really tried to get to the short corners. We put Danielle. We went to 4 out one in, put Shaq at the free throw line and let her find a gap. Then we put Danielle at the short corner, when the bottom of the zone came out, we cut her to the short.
It’s a busted play that Sharita just, as a senior, just has the sense about her to step in and set a screen. And Danielle is screaming for the ball in the corner opposite of our bench, and Shaq has the vision to see it, skips it, Rita gets a piece of Catic on the bottom. It’s an uncontested 3. So share the basketball, which I don’t have to lecture them about. They let go of it. They’re unselfish. They don’t care. They don’t look at stat sheets. They want to win. That’s all these kids have wanted to do all year.
Just good movement and spacing and then let Taylor run around in the middle a little bit, see if she can get a catch.
Oklahoma State Coach and Players
COACH BUDKE: Obviously we’re very disappointed. We’ve been playing much better basketball than that. But I want to, first of all, congratulate Bonnie and her team.
I think they did an excellent job tonight. They came in knowing that they, you know, that they have to win this tournament to move on. And they played with a little more desperation than we did tonight.
And they did a great job. I give them all the credit in the world. We’re not going to win very many games when you shoot 19% in the second half. And we haven’t done that — we haven’t done that since we started this whole thing at Texas Tech a long time ago.
But these kids always give their all and we just came up a little short in these conference tournaments things like this happen. And it happened to us tonight.
Q. You said all along you had done enough to get into the NCAA tournament no matter. We’re going to find out. State your case on why you’re confident you’re still going to get in.
COACH BUDKE: First, you look at the RPI at the league at 2, you look at the strength 1 through 12 in this conference. 6 of our 9 losses before tonight were to the top 15 teams. Three of the losses came at the buzzer.
So this is a team that it was very close to not even being 8 and 8. We could have been 11-5 very easily. I just think our league actually deserves seven. We’re sitting here talking about six. I don’t know how you could keep Texas out of here.
I think Texas is a very good team also that deserves to be in the tournament. So you know it was one bad night. It was one bad night. Hopefully they look at your body of work and where you’ve come as an inexperienced team at the beginning of the year to where you’re at right now.
And I’m still confident that we’re in, because of the strength of our league and you saw that with Kansas tonight. Very good team.
Q. Coach, do you think this is going to take your team to the next level that they’ll use this like a situation like A&M was a few years ago, and it will help them be better? Because this is her first year in going to the next level, coach?
COACH BUDKE: It’s both their first years in playing in this type of setting. You know, we ran into this again when we started this whole thing at Texas Tech. This is the first time in the Big 12 tournament. It’s tough on these kids.
It’s tough playing an 8:30 game. I’d rather play the noon game than waiting around all day long, watching the scores come across. Seeing games on TV.
And it’s an adjustment for my team. And no doubt we’ll learn from this. And I don’t think it will happen again.
Q. We’ll have both Andrea and Kurt address this. But you’ve been shooting the ball well behind the arc recently, but tonight looked like you settled for working the ball, go one of 16 in the second half. Were you trying to work the inside a little more especially when it wasn’t going in early in the second half?
COACH BUDKE: We just didn’t have very much continuity tonight. I didn’t think we flowed any time tonight. You have to credit KU with that. They did a great job defensively. Shots that we normally hit, there was a time it was like 42-41 that we missed three or four free throws in a row and they threw three or four out of bounds, that that’s where I thought the separation could have came right in that area right there.
And we didn’t take advantage of it. I knew when we didn’t take advantage of it it was going to be a tough night for us.
Q. Andrea, like you said, you played so well the last seven, eight, nine games. You learned from some of your mistakes, but then in the second half looked like some of the stuff you went through in January. Talk about the second half compared to the first half and some of your recent games why it didn’t click as well for you.
ANDREA RILEY: Well, the first half we started off a little bad, and then we, like, we started coming together. But then like the second half we started trying to do individual things. That’s not what we’re about.
We should play as a team. And I mean it just seemed like we all wasn’t on the same page tonight.
COACH BUDKE: I think you saw a nervous team tonight. A nervous team tonight.
Q. Andrea and Danielle, either one of you, what do you all take away from this and work on as you await finding out if you’re in the NCAA tournament or possibly an NIT bid?
DANIELLE GREEN: I think we’ll work on tossing the ball in the zone, getting into our stuff early and just hitting shots and playing D, really. That’s about it.
Q. Danielle, Andrea, he said you got nervous sitting around watching scores come in, and now you have to wait five, six days to watch scores around the country come through. What are your emotions going to be before you hear your fate, how will you try to handle that?
DANIELLE GREEN: It’s going to be hard. You just want to get out there and play. That’s when I know the team is going to be ready. We do make it, we’re going to be ready this time.