Oct. 12, 2001
"The leadership part is the key for our team. Our older players need to teach our younger players about what's expected -- not just what's expected in practice, also the commitment of what it means to play here at Arizona and what kind of goals we have for our program."
"Actually, we are older than we were last year and more experienced. We are returning Elizabeth Pickney as a starter, Julie Brase was a starter, Aimee Grzyb was a starter, Candice Allen was a starter, and LaKeisha Taylor started about half of the games. And Krista Warren, who is probably now going to play as a sub until she's 100%, she was a starter almost every game. Even though we have a lot of new players, we have a lot of experience."
"We really missed Julie Brase last year. But, I think you'll see Candice Allen as a better three-point shooter. You'll see Aimee Grzyb better at three-point shooting. I think a couple of our new kids are ready to step up and contribute too."
"Some of the new players are going to contribute right away. I think that you're going to see Dee-Dee Wheeler and Katrina Lindner get a lot of playing time. Both are extremely quick, excellent defenders, smart, and versatile. And you'll see Robin Roberson be able to get some time -- she's a very good three-point shooter. Off the bench, you'll see Danielle Adefeso in a backup role to our post players."
"Dee-Dee Wheeler will either play one or two. She's quicker than a lot of players. She's extremely strong, and she's a very exciting player. She'll get time, I think we'll see how she does is practice. But I think she's going to get a lot of time this year."
"I like their (the new players') enthusiasm. I like the quickness. I like the fact that they feel like they have something to prove with our returning players."
"Being picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 is motivation. We feel that we are a better team than that. Now it's our opportunity to prove it, and that's our motivator."
"Our toughest opponent will be the first game. You can only look to your first game, that's how I am. Right now I am just looking at the first practice, putting in our first two practices, and that's how it has to be."
"I think that, if you want to be good, you have to play good teams. We've got to do it, not only in the conference, but in the non-conference, too. So we've always played a quality schedule, both at home and on the road. I think that's definitely not only going to prepare us for the Pac-10, but it will prepare us for where we want to be...to win the Pac-10 and get back into the NCAA tournament."
On areas where the team needs to improve:
"I think that we can definitely be a better half-court defensive team. We've had our moments, but we need to better overall with the half-court defense. And we need to be a better overall rebounding team. On paper, we still out-rebounded our opponents, but it could be better. In the differential, we out-rebounded by two, but it needs to be more."
"I think that Elizabeth Pickney is a very good scorer and a good rebounder, but we want to improve her numbers. LaKeisha Taylor - we want her numbers to go up, not just her scoring, but we want her rebounding too. All of the guards are going to have to rebound too."
"Liz needs to do two things this year. One is we want her points to go up. We want her to not only be the good jump shooter, but to get it around the basket. But she definitely needs to be a better rebounder. She averaged around six rebounds, but I want her over eight.
"LaKeisha, on the other hand, needs to be consistent. I'm penciling her in as a starter, and as of now, I really think she can be dominating. That's where we need her. We need her at fourteen to fifteen points a game, and we need her rebounding eight, nine, ten boards a game. When we started her, her numbers were huge. We just needed more consistency."
"You know, LaKeisha's a really good kid. But this is her fifth year, she's a fifth-year senior. And when you get a fifth-year senior, you get someone that is really hungry. One thing that is very different about her right now is that she has gained about 12-14 pounds. We've changed our strength and conditioning program, and I think it has made a really big difference."
On player departures and the injury to sophomore guard Jenn Chesney:
"I think that what's important is it's just like a player graduating. If they're not there, you get someone else to pick up the slack. So that's what the other players are going to do."
"We just have to move on with the players that we lost. Jenn Chesney was going to be in a backup role, and she was going to see some time -- she's a hard worker. We're going to miss her. This will give our new freshman the opportunity to step up, though."