Nov. 24, 2012
Georgetown Head Coach Keith Brown Opening Statement:
"First of all, on the behalf of Georgetown administration and athletic department, I do want to thank Cal for putting on a great tournament and having us out here. It was a great experience for our young ladies to come out to California and play the eleventh ranked team in the country. We just wanted to say thank-you, we really enjoyed ourselves."
California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb Opening Statement: "This is just a really exciting win for our program. I am very happy for these players who work extremely hard all of the time and I think they were excited to get their shot against a team as good as Georgetown and prove that we can compete at that level. Georgetown brought it tonight. Sugar Rogers, one of the best players in the country, the rest of the team is athletic and aggressive, but they are never going to make anything easy and I thought our players responded to that challenge. I think the best thing about our team is how many players we have and the weapons that we have, and six averaging double figures. But tonight I feel like, as every night, these two right here, Talia (Caldwell) and Layshia (Clarendon), are two of our backbone players and I'd include Eliza (Pierre) in that as well. Layshia is so incredibly steady and does the job defensively and offensively. And Talia with our amazing post group, that's very heralded, she's almost the unsung one, just does the dirty work and I thought tonight was the difference in the game when she got a couple big offensive rebounds. Overall I am just really proud of our team, excited to get the win and I am just happy for these players to have a championship for themselves at the beginning of the season."
How did you adjust your game based upon their physicality and their pushing and shoving?
Gottlieb: "What Georgetown does, and I credit them for this, is play this style. They make it kind of a slower paced, very physical game. I've watched a lot of games over the last couple of years, and in some ways they are what Rutgers used to be in the Big East, that team that noting's going to be easy and it's going to be low scoring. So we knew that coming in and we knew that possessions were going to be tough to score. We wanted to try and beat them up and down the floor in transition and get plays at our pace, but we also knew that we were going to have to execute and I though our players were very patient and to say the easy thing is going to be there we need to keep working and working. Inside the paint in the first half was a little bit of a problem for us that we weren't getting good looks, we weren't getting calls, but the second half I think we wore them down and our guards Boyd (Brittany) and Layshia, in particular, broke down the defense and gave them the postal looks that got finished."
Defensively, what was your approach to Rogers (Sugar) based upon what you had scouted through video and such?
Gottlieb: "Our game plan was to make her take tough shots. So we wanted no points from the free-throw line, she went to the line four times there, and we wanted no easy looks in transition, and then we wanted to make e very shot a tough, contested shot. She's a really high volume scorer, but the games where the team is not as good is when she's not as much of an efficient scorer and she takes a lot of shots to get the points. But credit to her, she can get a shot off at any time so we wanted them to be contested all of the time. We were going to switch guard to guard to keep people tight on her, and then when it was a post to guard screen, our guards were going to have to do what we call lock and trail, and I think we did a pretty darn good job. The couple of open looks that she got were off the press, so I'll take those on myself. We knew we were going to let her loose a bit, kinda gamble and get the steal, but our players, Afure (Jemerigbe), Layshia, and Eliza spent the most time on her, Boyd (Brittany) did some and I think they did a really good job. Layshia scored the same amount of points on six less shots so we'll take that."
Layshia, you guys held her to two and twelve in the second half, did you change anything at the half or was it just sticking to the game plan?
Clarendon: "I think it was just sticking to the game plan. I heard her exasperated after a couple of times and getting tired and I think that we are the type of team that can wear you down. We knew how good of a player she was and coach was like don't worry, if she's going to get the shot off it's okay. I know that as a player when someone is constantly bumping you or constantly lock and trailing you, it wears you down and you get tired, you have to work for you shots and it's really hard. I think we just made her work hard every single possession, and that was our game plan, and it's harder to hit shots when you're getting bumped all game."
Layshia, you have been more of a team player, deferring to others and this was a big breakout game for you and you took our early, was that part of the game plan, for you to shoot those threes early? Clarendon: "No, I think I always have the green light to stay aggressive and take good shots. Sometimes I think it's better to get others going, better to just hold it and settle us down a little bit. I think twenty points can come from anyone any night, we've seen Gennifer (Brandon), Gray (Reshanda), Talia (Caldwell), and Boyd (Brittany), so you never know."
Layshia, a few of the assists you had late in the game were off Brittany breaking down the press and you were open down low, how do you think Brittany's game is evolving as a point-guard? What are you seeing from her this year?
Layshia: "I see a lot more poise from Boyd. I didn't know that she had fourteen assists to her six turnovers, so I was amazed. She's just a lot more levelheaded and I think we depend on her a lot more. When you are a freshman, there is so much for you to learn, I played point my freshman year and it's a lot. I think she has done a great job of settling down, rhythm dribbling more, and just making better decisions overall and being poised, and very coachable. I think she is maturing a lot."
Talia, you had the challenge of facing a really big post player, you always seem to relish that kind of challenge. Can you talk about your play today?
Caldwell: "It was fun. Every game is fun, but whenever it's a challenge, if someone has an advantage, it's really fun for me because it really makes you work hard and focus the entire game and just keep grinding it out. I had fun playing all of their posts, they were all solid."
Coach, did you do anything different in the second half because they caught up to within one point and then you guys pulled away?
Gottlieb: Not really, and I really trust our group and that's a good feeling. We know that we have depth; we know that we are in great shape, so I think we are going to wear people down. If anything, we recommitted to the game plan. We said that the only way that they are scoring are when we kind of make a mistake or deviate and then they make you pay because they are that good. So it was more of recommitting to how we wanted to play and what we wanted to do and letting the players go with that a little bit. I thought that we wore them down. And with the zone, you mentioned the shots, we were going to take the shots they gave us and early on it was threes. Because we hit some threes early it allowed Boyd to get some seams and then drive and dish, the same with Layshia and that gave our posts some touches."
These tough games against tough opponents, how do you feel, how important is this year going undefeated and barging through a roadblock like Georgetown?
Caldwell: "It's important because it's as growing step and it gives us a great feeling and the feeling that we can move on. We can get excited for every game. Whether someone is ranked or not ranked, any conference, we really respect every team and want to play well and beat every team. So this does feel good, just as a growing step, but every team really feels good and we prepare hard for every single person we play."
Clarendon: "I think it just speaks to how much we have grown and how we are shooting to an elite team. These are the kinds of games that separate us. Last year with the Ohio State and Stanford games that we lost, the big games that we could have won and would have put us over the edge, but now I think these are the kinds of games that are going to separate us and make you elite."
Coach, you guys are going on the road, so after five games at home are there going to be any different preparation for the team?
Gottlieb: "The five game home stand has been great. We love Haas, it feels comfortable, but I think this team loves traveling, it's fun. They are a good group to be around. I think that I have been so pleased with how we've handled games that quote unquote we're supposed to win, and I think we've rally handled them. But I think this team really relishes the big game and I think being able to go in to Old Dominion, who is one of the mot storied programs in women's college basketball, I told them that we're going to have Charmin (Smith) tell them some stories because that Stanford vs. Old Dominion game, her senior year, just to get them about the history and how that team is undefeated. And obviously, we did the schedule on purpose, to be able to play a top five opponent early in the year. And so to be able to got to Old Dominion and then Duke, who is right now number four in the country, I think these players are going to be focused and ready to go and see what we can do on the road and against some great competition."