Dec. 21, 2012
California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb
Obviously I want to recognize we're wearing the green ribbons for the memory of the tragic events that happened in Connecticut. We just make sure that people to know that we feel fortunate to be able to play basketball and to be around people that we love and enjoy. We don't take that for granted.
On the atmosphere in Haas Pavilion
I'm so excited about the atmosphere in this building. I talk a lot about trying to build one of the nation's elite programs, and we can't do it without our fans. I thought it was electric in here tonight, which really helped us. Kansas is an excellent team. They're so well-coached. I think Bonnie Henrickson is one of the best coaches around. They came in here and made a lot of shots. They made plays, played well and made it tough on us. Our players responded. This was a quintessential Cal win. Different people stepped up at different moments. We challenged them at different points to do better, and I thought they all responded to that. That shows the growth of our team.
On the victory and Layshia Clarendon
I can't be more proud - I said in the locker that Layshia (Clarendon) missed a few shots early. I said, `Layshia, you're going to have to hit shots,' and then all of a sudden she goes 11-for-19. When the game is on the line and when big-time games are here, there's not a guard better than Layshia at making big shots. I thought our post presence was huge tonight - the triple group of Gen (Brandon), Reshanda (Gray) and Talia (Caldwell) in particular. I'm just excited about this win, our program and our players. Hopefully we'll have a nice rest, get back and have some games after the holiday.
Anytime you have an All-American at two positions makes it tough. I thought their role players stepped up. This team was in the Sweet 16 last year. They know how to win games, and it was a good test for us.
On using athleticism as an advantage
One of the messages they hear me repeat over and over is that we need to embrace who we are. There aren't a lot of teams across the country that can say we are potentially the best at "this". Let's use that and do that. I think we are one of the most athletic teams and let's use that to our advantage. That doesn't mean we don't adjust some scouting reports and try to do different things, but overall we want to match you in waves of speed and a tempo that we don't think other people can keep up with. Between Brittany's inability to be pressed or stopped in transition and our post players' ability to run, I do think that`s an advantage for us.
We are just very fortunate to have post players that have tremendous instincts to the ball. They're relentless and love rebounding. It's really just a great kind of staple of our team. Once its' part of the identity, they really love it and own it. They take pride in it. I can't take any credit other than building them up and saying go get that ball.
On the team staying in the moment
Our players are so good at staying in the moment. There's no difference in how they play or act between when we play Bakersfield on the road or Northwestern on the road and when we play Stanford. There's obviously an energy level around these kinds of games. From my perspective, I was very conscious of this being a big game. Do I think it's season defining? No. We built this schedule and we built this team to hope for these moments. I knew this was a terrific opportunity.
Senior guard Layshia Clarendon
On what she told her teammates as Kansas kept the game close
I think the big difference is I just kept telling the girls to weather the storm. They're not going to go away, and they're a great team. There was a point that I felt like it was four or five minutes left in the game and it was 12. It was going to be a long game. We're a team that stays steady. We played from behind a lot last year.
On how Kansas matches up like Pac-12 teams will
Two huge post players. I think we played Stanford and there are big girls at Utah. There are different styles of basketball, but I feel like we're getting prepared for the Pac-12. There are four teams in the top 25.
Junior forward Gennifer Brandon
On her second half
Trying to be more focused. My teammates were there trying to pick me up. Just their presence and trying to listen to their words. I know that when Layshia (Clarendon) and Talia (Caldwell) speak, it's always words of wisdom, so I just listen to them.