March 1, 2007
BERKELEY - Following are quotes from Cal sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton and head coach Joanne Boyle during a teleconference with local media on Thursday. The Pac-10 Conference announced on Thursday that Hampton won the 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year Award. Also today, the conference office named Boyle the 2007 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
With all the talented players in the conference, what does an award like this mean to you?
"It means a lot to me, how much I've been working, here and in the offseason, after being injured and coming back and starting off real slow. Being nominated with Shay [Murphy of USC], she's a phenomenal player, and [Stanford's] Candace Wiggins, a two-time Player of the Year. Basically, they're all guards and I'm the only real post player. I feel real honored and I'm real happy."
What does your award and Joanne Boyle's award say about where the program is going?
"We're contenders. Everybody knows us as the underdog, we like the underdog. But now, it's like, the preseason polls made us fourth or tied for fourth. That was with Alexis. This show without Alexis we're capable of doing great things. That shows next year we're going to be a real tough team. We're going to be contenders."
Has Coach Boyle been pretty tough on you this year?
"She's been tough on everyone. She knows the game real well. Her strategies and her playmaking, and then having the coaching staff behind her in coach Hairston, coach Mendes, everybody contributes to our success. Coach Boyle just knows the game real well. She's been here before at Duke, with national championships and everything. She just has a great background, and she brings all of that to the table here. With me, Alexis, Tasha, Ashley and the freshman, and Rama and everybody, we're able to comprehend the way she sets the table for us and to achieve accolades like this."
Talk about taking on more of a leadership role with Lexi out.
"I know what my team needs me to do. I know when they need me to score. I know when they need me to play defense. Or if I'm not scoring that, I know I have to play defense or get a rebound."
Are you going to figure out a way to share this with teammate Ashley Walker?
"I pretty much tell Ashley that she should get it next year. Ashley's a tremendous player. We're friends on the court and off the court, and her game's right up with mine. No other post player can touch her."
Talk about playing Oregon, your Pac-10 Tournament opponent on Saturday, which defeated Cal, 62-42, in Eugene, Ore., on Feb. 16.
"We felt that we did a horrible job the last time we played up there. It's tough to play up there against the Ducks. We know what we have to do. We're hungrier than before. We're different. We're a better team than that, when we were playing up there. We're going to be ready."
Cal head coach Joanne Boyle
What can you say about Devanei winning this award?
"It's huge, her being a sophomore, such a young player in this league but being among such great players in the league as well. It could have gone to anyone. It could have gone to Shay, Candice and Noelle [Quinn of UCLA]. They were all out there. But I think for Dev, her stat line really showed it in the Pac-10, when she started getting healthy and really started coming on strong.
"Just for your young player getting confidence, it builds her confidence, builds her team's confidence, gets her name out there, helps in recruiting, all those things. I think she's been pretty humble with it. She's almost embarrassed to talk about it. That's a tribute to her and really her teammates, in particular Ashley, who's worked so well with her this year."
Can you talk about the Devanei and Ashley's play together, how did Ashley help Devanei win this award?
"It's interesting, because Ashley couldn't be more happy for Dev and Dev couldn't be more happy for Ashley when it comes to stuff like this. They have a great rapport. They have a great relationship, and I think I told them right after the UCLA game, the last couple of seconds, I said, 'You guys, and your unselfish play together and your camaraderie together have made us [accomplish] what we're able to do today.'
"They've just formed it on their own, and they have a really strong bond and it's just they really understand what unselfish play can do for a team. And they bought into that and they understand that. Those two in particular have understood that more than probably anybody on our team, in terms of just sharing the basketball when that person's hot. It's amazing to see for two kids that are sophomores, to have no jealousy. It's just a tribute to them"
On Winning Her Pac-10 Coach of the Year Award
"It's a very humbling experience that your peers and your colleagues in this conference really appreciate what you're trying to do in terms of building a program. I look at Charli [Turner-Thorne, head coach at Arizona State], and she's got great players, but they work so well together. And she does what she does at being the eighth team in the country. I just sent her an email this morning. I just think she's doing a great job there. I really think she deserved it.
"For me it's really about the kids. It's a reflection of what the team has done in terms of believing in us and buying to our system. If there's anything that's how I look at it. To have Ashley, Dev, Tasha [Vital, named Pac-10 All-Freshman] and Lauren [Greif, named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman] all named to something and to be so young, it just speaks volumes for a program in terms of what we're trying to do here and the commitment here and it's about these kids who wanted to stay home and wanted to build something at home. For other California kids, they see that. And more than anything it's that."