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2005 NCAA Women?s Basketball Press Conference Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 19, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Saturday, March 19, 2005 

Head Coach Joan Bonvicini

“We’re very excited to be back in the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma is an excellent team. They’re well-coached and have great guard play. I’m impressed with their point guard (Dionnah) Jackson. Their perimeter game has a combination of excellent shooters and penetrators. Their post game ?- they’re not the tallest, but they play bigger than they are. We know it will be a good game. We’re excited to be back.”


(On bouncing back from their last couple of games) “We’ve been inconsistent our last couple of games. Part of that has been our injury situation. Now, we’re as healthy as we have been at any time in a long time. The two weeks off has been helpful. The big thing is that we have to play hard for 40 minutes. Rebounding will be a huge indicator of who will win this game.”


(On post match-up of Arizona’s Shawntinice Polk and Oklahoma’s Leah Rush) “This will be a real key. We have a big size advantage, but I’m sure they will make adjustments. They may double down, play zone, whatever. Teams do all kinds of things to defend Polkey. They (Oklahoma) start four guards. We will have to show a quality inside game and also a quality outside game. We’re at our best when we are balanced.”


(On Shawntinice Polk) “She’s a very good passer. She sees her teammates. She has the passing skills of a guard.”


“We have had a number of big games this year. We’ve been good at times and struggled at other times. We’re very excited to be playing in this tournament. We’ve had two good weeks of practice. Dionnah Jackson is a very good player. I haven’t seen as good of a rebounding point guard in a long time. She does whatever her team needs ?- rebounding, scoring, making an assist. They also have good players coming off the bench.”


(On coming from Connecticut and coaching in the West) “I didn’t go to UConn. I went to Southern Connecticut State. I played in the first four AIAW Championships. After my senior year, I played in a summer league in Los Angeles. When you’re from Connecticut and get a free trip to Los Angeles ... I liked it. I was offered some good jobs and had an opportunity to move up. When you come to the West Coast, you get used to that lifestyle. I was at Long Beach as head coach for 12 years. I started at 25 years old. Then I had the opportunity to coach at Arizona for the past 14 years.”


(On Oklahoma’s rebounding prowess) “They’ll send someone back. We like to run, too. They’re not tall, but they can board. I have been real impressed with them (on tape).”



Dee Dee Wheeler

(On playing Dionnah Jackson) “I did not know much about her until I started studying film on her and the guard play this week. She is a quick guard and is good in transition. You never really can stop a great player like that, you can only slow them down a little. The only thing I can do is try and slow her down and alter her decisions.”


(Is this team coming in here struggling having lost two straight, or are they even focused on that) “The great thing is we are coming in here with a clean slate as is everyone else in the tournament. We don’t dwell on the past and we are ready to move on. We are going use this as a turning point for our season. We are focusing on the thing that we struggled on and work on that to improve and get better.”


(On playing here in Knoxville when it is considered one of the women’s basketball capitals) “I watched Pat Summitt and Tennessee ever since I was a little girl and it is a dream to play for a team like Tennessee. I think every girl dreams of playing for a team like Tennessee when they are growing up. She is a great coach. It is a great place to play and a great atmosphere. It is a dream come true to play in a place like this and should be a fun atmosphere.”


Shawntinice Polk

(On playing in big games and where does this rank) “It means a lot to us to be playing at this time, especially after the loss to USC in the Pac-10 Tournament. Mentally we have to keep it an up tempo game and keep it going for 40 minutes.”


(On rebounding and her role that will play in her team’s success) “It is big for me, as I need to be able get to the boards and get our team in transition. We are at our best when we are rebounding, getting it to the outlet and running. I need to get every rebound I can and set things up. But our team has to do the same thing, because if everyone is not doing there job we won’t be successful.”


(On playing against Rush) “She is a very smart post player. She has good moves for her size, and although she isn’t very big size doesn’t matter, it is your determination. It is a good match-up for me. I am sure there are things I can show her that she has not seen before, but I know there are things she will show me that I have not seen before either.”


(On playing here at Tennessee in this atmosphere) “I think they have the best colors in the country. I love orange. It is a really nice atmosphere and I am excited about playing in an arena where they sell it out and support their team. It also gives you that little extra umph to play at your best.”

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