Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Post-Game Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 19, 2006
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Arizona Women’s Basketball

Arizona vs. Stanford

Feb. 18, 2006

Post-Game Quotes



Arizona Head Coach Joan Bonvicini


Remarks from post-game ceremony honoring the Wildcat seniors:

“This has been an incredible day and an incredible season. I want to thank all the fans and everyone has supported us through these tough times. It has been very, very difficult for us. The thing she [Shawntinice Polk] has done is draw so much happiness out of all these players. Everyone of the players has grown on and off the court. They showed that in how they played today.


“I’m proud to have coached these young women and athletes. They are Wildcats forever. You have all grown so much this year.


“I couldn’t be more proud of this team. I’m proud of this staff. Anna (Chappell) and Natalie (Jones), I know this wasn’t the season you wanted it to be. But you represented our program with so much class, pride and integrity. You are everything we could possibly want in our student athletes.”


Post-game remarks to the media:

“We definitely played with a lot of emotion during the game. We played extremely hard. I thought we played good defense. Stanford is a good team. I can’t fault anyone. We always talk about playing for Polkey, but we didn’t say that before the game. We wanted to play for ?'us’ and we played great.”


On how the team has improved since the loss of Shawntinice Polk:

“Time. I think it just took time. We’ve learned how to adjust. The players have grown. When Polkey passed away, everyone’s role changed on the team. We had players playing roles they had never played before. We had guards playing inside and ?'four’ players playing at the center spot. You know, we were talking the other night about how the different roles may have contributed to all the injuries we have had this year. We had a lot of players playing a lot of minutes, and we had a lot of smaller players playing against bigger players.”


“We talked about ?'us’ today. It was a celebration for Polkey, but she always deferred attention to her teammates. We played hard today like everything was on the line for us.”


“I have great respect for Stanford. We did a good job on [Candice] Wiggins in the second half and she didn’t shoot as well. Brooke Smith really took over inside. She’s a very good player. I thought the key was when they went to a zone in the second half. We didn’t adjust very well and didn’t attack it as well as we should have.”


“Height was definitely a factor. Our guards did a nice job going and banging inside with them. We only got out-rebounded by five. It was a good game. I am proud of our team.”


“We came out and played loose and confident. We played smart. We got a lot of our players involved and kept them off balance. When we played at Stanford, we played a lot of zone. They are a tough team to zone, though, because they shoot the three so well. But, we needed to zone them because of our lack of height and out injuries. I thought we did well today in our man-to-man. We played very hard.”



Senior guard Natalie Jones: “The first half, we needed a quick start. We wanted to execute the plays and play smart like Stanford. We are undersized and we needed to take chances with our shots. We definitely came out shooting.”


“The plan for today was to work together as a team; with all five players working at the same time.”


“Candice Wiggins is a great athlete with amazing speed, but I think we did well guarding her. We wanted to get the ball out of her hands. The plan was to double down on both Wiggins and (Brooke) Smith and to get the ball out of their hands so the other players had to do something with it. Then we needed to execute and do what we needed to do on our end.”


“I had the most positive outlook for this game. I thought we were going to upset Stanford because our intensity was so high throughout the game, and that’s what kept us going.”


“We needed to remember that today is a celebration, and don’t think about what’s happened to us. Today was a day of reflection and to celebrate what Anna and I have accomplished in the past four years.”


“When they revealed Polkey’s jersey, it was very overwhelming because I still can’t accept that she is gone. This was an emotional but happy way to remember Polkey and what she has done and what she means to his team.”


“While the team was shooting around I sat in the locker room in the spot where Polkey would be. I quote-unquote “talked to her” and I told her that I was playing this game for her. I was going to play differently and harder than I have ever played in the time I have been here and then I would leave it all on the court. That’s the mentality I had for this game.”


“Without the team, we would struggle even more. Anna and I will have to take the positive from this and grow from everything that has happened.”


“I know that this team is going to come back next year and be a much stronger team, and hopefully Anna and I had something to do with that.”



Senior forward Anna Chappell: “A lot of the pre-game speech was about focusing on us. This is our night and we needed to put our hearts out there and put everything we had on the table for our fans because this was the last time we could do it.”


“I think all season we have learned how to play through adversity and even though it was hard at first, I realized that today we needed to go out and have fun.”



Junior guard Joy Hollingsworth: “In the second half, we didn’t shoot as well. I think that played a huge part in (the loss).”


“These girls (the seniors) mean everything to me and the team. They have been great role models throughout the year because they are really strong. This is not the senior year that they wanted to have, but they never complained once and the whole team looks up to them.”



Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer

On Arizona

“I can’t imagine the mental place that this team is at, what they have gone through this season. Joan is a great coach that dealt with an impossible situation. You could tell they brought it all today, their game was contagious.”


On Stanford

“Our team weathered their storm. I was disappointed how we won. I was not happy with our shooting and defense. I told the girls that I felt very fortunate to still win after the way they played.”

WB Welcome Coach Barnes