Feb. 26, 2002
California women's basketball head coach and freshman forward Leigh Gregory met with the Bay Area media at Blakes on campus to discuss the first-ever Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament. The Bears take a 7-20 overall record (2-16 Pac-10) mark into this Friday's opening game vs. UCLA.
Caren Horstmeyer Quotes
On playing UCLA a third time this year
Both teams know each other very well. They were extremely prepared for us. I anticipate that they will do something different. Neither team played with their normal intensity. They will be very fired up. They are the type of team that just comes at you 100 percent of the time for 40 minutes and you have to be able to whether that storm. I'm excited. I think our team is excited. We view it as a new season. This is the postseason now. We went into the pre-season, then the Pac-10 season, now the post season. I think it's important that we get a good start.
On how the players are responding to having a postseason conference tournament
I think two things. The season is long, and so it's hard to stay motivated that whole season. You know it's one and done when you go to the conference tournament, meaning this is your last chance, your last opportunity and the first year ever for the conference tournament. It's going to be an incredible event with the banquet and everything. I think just naturally that the postseason just generates a lot of excitement. All the excitement is in knowing that it's the first conference tournament, that it's one and done, and that it also gives you another opportunity to show yourself. It gives you an opportunity to show yourself to your opponent, it gives you the opportunity to win another game, giving you an opportunity to say to yourself that we have made some great strides. Now, let's show it. Now the one thing is that everyone in the conference is going to get motivated whether your team gets motivated or not, that other team is going to be motivated because that's what a conference tournament does.
On UCLA's defense
They are a very good defensive team. You have to be very patient against them and at the same time, attack them, work on the inside and outside. We feel our inside game is a strength, so we need to make sure we get the ball inside and go back outside. Inside-outside, penetrate, stay on the offensive board and transition. We feel transition is a key that we didn't take advantage of our last game at all. We didn't get any transition baskets. We need to make easy baskets for ourselves in three ways: off transition, off offensive rebounds, off our defensive. We have not in 8 games been creating things off our defense.
Leigh Gregory Quotes
Gregory's emotions heading into the conference tournament
I'm excited and optimistic, I think we have a good chance to do very well in the tournament. I think we are heading into the tournament strong. It gives us an opportunity to finish off the year with a second chance. I think we have worked out a lot of things that we needed to, and we are ready.
On the tournament being a new beginning
Exactly. I know you get excited after pre-season to know going into the postseason that you can get a second chance, that you are able to get a fresh start. I guess I can say I'm excited, but not as excited as the older player who had just a season and that would have been the end (if not for the tournament).
On the last game vs. UCLA
I am disappointed. I though we came out. I didn't think that we were ready to play. I was disappointed because I knew that we had the potential to win that game or at least play better then we did.
On playing UCLA a week after the last game vs. the Bruins
We can really remember what the game felt like, what your defense felt like and what we did well. When you play teams so far a part, you have to think hard to refresh your memory. Back to back gives us a good chance.