Feb. 21, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. - Below are quotes from Cal head coach Joanne Boyle's Feb. 20 press conference previewing the USC and UCLA games.
"We're happy to be back home after a long trip to Oregon. We're getting prepared for this weekend. USC is our main focus for us right now. They start five seniors. They're in a situation where they know that this is the most important game for them. With five seniors, they know they're fighting for tournament spots. For us, we're tied with them for seeding. We're going to talk to the kids today about that being their focus. They have to come in here and win this game. For us, this has to be about this is your home floor. You want to protect it. We want to finish third. We have to take care of business on Thursday, and nothing else matters at that point."
On winning the Oregon State game
"Bev's (Smith, Oregon coach) team is playing great right now. They've won five of their last seven. They've turned the corner and are playing with tons of confidence. Dev (Hampton) was trying to carry us. We didn't do a whole lot other than that. We were out of sorts and didn't fight for anything in that game. Against Oregon State, they understood the importance of not lingering with things that happen in a game like Oregon. We got past it and had a much better practice and shootaround. Oregon State is in every game. So, it wasn't a surprise when people said, `You won in double overtime, what happened?' We won in double overtime just like everyone else is competing with that team. They're playing good basketball for the number of people that they have and the youth that they have. I felt we fought really hard and played smart down the stretch in that game."
On the importance of the preparation of winning a double-overtime game
"We've been working on a lot of game situations, close games down the stretch, one-on-one situations, two-for-one situations. We've been trying to do that in practice. We got to do that a couple of days before Oregon State. The kids were confident and in a rhythm with that. That helped us. We did a lot of that kind of stuff yesterday. All you can do is practice putting the ball in people's hands that you want, and hopefully you get a good shot at things. The goal is to prepare your kids as best you can for moments like that."
On losing the national ranking for the first time this year this week
"It doesn't change who we are, and it doesn't affect us as long as we take care of business on Thursday. It's human nature to be geared on things like that (rankings). It doesn't change our RPI. It doesn't affect us in that way, and those are the things that are most important. If we sit and wonder about (rankings), then we're going to stumble on Thursday. If we take care of business this weekend, then we'll get people noticing the wins after this weekend."
On whether there was a drop in intensity after the Stanford win
"At Oregon State, the team got the message that there are no complacent games that you can have here. The minute you take a night off is the chance for you to go from third to fourth and have to play a team you don't want to play in the Pac-10 Tournament. We have two games left this weekend, the most important one being on Thursday. Coming off the Oregon State game, I thought we had a lot of confidence. I liked what I saw in that game with our toughness. That's what's going to win us these games on Thursday and Saturday."
On being in better NCAA Tournament shape coming into the final week this season compared to last year at this time
"You say that, but it's not really. The (NCAA) committee is going to look at your last 10 games. This is our last weekend. We're at 20 (wins), but 20 doesn't guarantee you anything if you don't finish the season strong. You can work as hard as you want, and your last weekend can blow up in your face. The committee looks for that. The seedings for the Pac-10 Tournament...do you want to be third or do you want to be fourth, and who are you playing at third vs. fourth? Positioning matters. I don't think we're in any way close to Stanford and Arizona State in terms of saying it's a done deal. Nothing is done when you have to finish your season as strong as you possible can."