California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb
This was a fun game to close out 2013 in Haas Pavilion. It’s been such a great year in so many different ways and neat to have a total team effort in our last one here. I loved our energy in the second half. I thought that our energy kick started the higher shooting percentage; I believe that’s how it works. Brittany Boyd started us off with some really good energy and got us going, and then shots started falling. I loved that everyone contributed. I think that we had a bunch of people score. Obviously Reshanda Gray against really big, formidable post players, put up her usual, or what feels like her usual, 20 points and eight rebounds. I thought that Courtney (Range) was tremendous off of the bench and showed her versatility, and overall I think that it’s something good to build upon and we’re still building. We wanted to use the UConn experience to make us a better team, and we have. I thought that we gave up too many offensive rebounds today, but there’s always stuff to work on. I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum going as we move on to Pac-12 play this week.
On what the team used from the UConn experience
The first thing is our level of intensity at practice the week before. They’re human and they’re playing the best team in the country. They were excited in practice and working at a really high level, and we said that’s how we need to practice from here on out. That’s one of the reasons why we scheduled the game, to see what our peak is in terms of excitement and then carry that over. The second thing is that I thought that we played some good defense against UConn at times, especially the majority of the first half. We wanted to carry that over, but more so of the mentality of how you have to be day in and day out to be as good as you can be as a team. Playing UConn makes you think that way.
On being prepared for Pac-12 play
I think that we have a team that is potentially really capable of great things. I think that we are also a tam that has a lot of room to be much, much better at the end of the Pac-12 season than we are at the beginning. It’s exciting. We have a lot of talent and versatility around the room, and we haven’t put it all together yet, but I think we are at a good point where we can say ‘Step it up a notch.’ There are a ton of great teams in this conference, starting with Oregon State on Friday night. I feel like we are prepared and understand what’s coming, but we also want to be better by the end of it than we are at the beginning. We want to win games obviously.
On using the entire roster Sunday
I think that’s always been the vision for this team. Some of the things we’ve said about this team is that this team has potentially more scorers than we’ve ever had before in every spot; so that’s the way that we want to play. I thought that the team did a really nice job of sharing the ball today, finding the open person, taking what the defense gives us, and people converting on their opportunities.
On Courtney Range being able to play multiple positions
I think that her versatility is actually something special. We actually haven’t been able to use her as much at the three than the four like we want too because of Kyra (Dunn) not being eligible until the second semester and not having some of the other post players available, so she’s played exclusively the four. But all of her makes came from the paint side and when she’s inside outside it doesn’t allow teams to get into rhythms and that’s what she can do.
Freshman Forward/Guard Courtney Range
On finishing her shots in the second half
I’ve had all of my coaches – Lindsay, Kai, Charmin and Katy – on me in the gym and making sure that I get more shots and just being more confident in what I’m doing and saying that it’s okay if I miss, just keep playing and that I will get the next one.
On getting to play on the wing
I liked it a lot. In a way it was actually different because I got to be on the perimeter more and I got to actually handle the ball more. Obviously shots weren’t falling, but it gives me more opportunities to have the outside game and also as well as the inside.
Junior Forward Reshanda Gray
On having an additional post player eligible in Kyra Dunn
It’s pretty good to have backup (at any position). It gives other people the opportunity to score too, and I know that going into conference that I am most likely going to be double teamed, so it’s always good to have another post partner that I can dish it off to or help contribute too.
On what Kyra Dunn brings to the team
That girl can block a shot! She has sent some back down my throat during practice. She’s quick on her feet, she’s light on her feet. She has a really high post jump range and is smooth with her post moves so she can get around bigger players.
On the upcoming Pac-12 season
I feel really good. We still have a lot of work to do. We still have a young team that is progressing. I feel really comfortable. I think that the Pac-12 is going to be really good this year so I’m looking forward to it.