Nov. 2, 2001
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Following are some quotes from Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer from Thursday's Pac-10 Women's Basketball Media Day at the Compaq Center. The Golden Bears open the 2001-02 season with an exhibition game Sunday against a Bay Area Pro Am team.
What lessons did you take from your first year at Cal that will make this season easier?
I hope a number of lessons. The competitiveness and drive of everyone has been awesome. Believe it or not, I think the most important thing is the travel. It's a quick turnaround from the time you play a game at home and then go on the road. That was a big adjustment for me and my staff. That's something where you'll definitely see a change, and we'll be a little more familiar with this year.
How good can Ami Forney be and how good do you need her to be this year?
She's one of two seniors. She's somewhat of a shy kid. When she's out on the court, she does a very good job with her athleticism and her aggressiveness. We're definitely looking for Ami to step up, and Ami has already done that in practice and off the court. A year ago, I don't think she would have thought of herself as the one to step up off the court. She's definitely shown some great leadership skills. With the returning players we have and the new kids, she's a very good example for the new players we have. It's definitely something we need. We'd like to run. Ami runs well. That puts her in a great position.
Talk about the experience of having nine new players this year.
It has been great. They are energetic. They are enthusiastic. They are eager to be there and eager to please. They're very coachable. Those are the real positive things. One of our newcomers after our first intrasquad scrimmage said, 'Coach, this division I game is a little bit quicker, and it's going by really fast.' The second intrasquad scrimmage she said, 'Coach, I just want to let you know that the game is slowing down.' That was a really positive thing. I'm thinking we need to have more intrasquad scrimmages. The majority of the newcomers we have are from winning programs. They're hard-nosed. They're willing to compete. They need to play like they've been here for a couple of years. That's what we're trying to instill in them. It is going to take some time.
Is it nice to have the Pac-10 Tournament on the horizon this year with such a young team?
You don't want to take anything slow. You want to get after it right away. We were somewhat patient last year. Good things came from that. We want to build on the success we had last year doing some things Cal hadn't done in many years. This group is ready to build on that. Everyone wants to move along as quickly as we can, but we're going to take one thing at a time and do the basics we need to do. We need to rebound well and take care of the ball and worry about ourselves.