Dec. 5, 2000
BERKELEY - Below are a sampling of comments from Cal women's basketball coach Caren Horstmeyer's periodic media lunch.
This week is an exciting week. I think people see it as an exciting week. I take every game as the next game. Again, one at a time. That's how I approach every game. I think for Santa Clara this week there is some emotion that will be brought into the game for both teams. I think it has to be a game with emotion. It's good emotion. It's an exciting week from that perspective.
USF and Santa Clara are both very good teams. They're solid. They're well-rounded and well coached. We will need to be very prepared for both teams.
On How Well USF and Santa Clara Are Playing After Losing Key Players to ACL Injuries
(I'm surprised) More so with USF because Carey Sauer was their leading scorer and a very good player. I think Tammy Annas (Santa Clara) is an outstanding player who was going to have a very good year. The difference is that Santa Clara has more experience so maybe they haven't been as much affected. Santa Clara lost some physicalness and physical strength although they are now playing Jennifer Glysson, who is normally a four player, they're having to play her some at the three. From a size factor, Santa Clara was hurt. I thought USF would be hurt more from a scoring factor than they have been. What I've found with injuries is that other players must step up for teams to be successful. And, I think for both USF and Santa Clara the players around the injured players have stepped up.
On Whether Cal is Where Horstmeyer Thought They'd Be at This Point In the Season
We have come a long way. When I compare the difference between our exhibition games and the way we're playing now, we're truly starting to play the way that I envisioned for our team. And, maybe it's happening a little bit earlier than I would have thought. You always want it to happen right away, but you have to be realistic to the demands you put on players from a learning perspective. Every single player has had to learn something new. Our intensity has increased greatly. Our defensive play has been much more where I've wanted it to be. The one area we maybe haven't emphasized enough is that we need to put more pressure on our shooters during practice because we haven't shot the ball particularly well. That gives us something tangible to work on. We did some good things against Florida International. I'm proud of the way we played in that game. We have certain things we need to work on. There's just a couple of things we need to fix right now. If we do those things, with a little bit more time, we will be a very good team.
On Improving the Team's Shooting Percentage
We've been doing a lot more work on shooting. We did a lot in the spring. With the start of practice this fall, we had a lot of other things to work on. We've gone back to that in the last couple of weeks. So, a lot of open shooting and rhythm shooting. I think it's a mixture of both. What we saw against Florida International was that we were rushing shots. We were in traffic. We were playing against taller players. We needed to finish and not fade away. Go into people when you shoot. We have to simulate those experiences in practice and make it tougher in practice so it's easier in the game.
On How Far Separated Horstmeyer Feels From the Santa Clara Program
I always have time to find out what they're doing. I always know who played well. I am very aware of what they're scores are. It's two fold - one, because we're going to play them and two because I know that team. I also think it's important to know that that was my team. I'll always love them, but I have my new team. And, I'm a Bear. Of course, outside of our game with them, I want them to be successful. I'd like to see them do really well.