Nov. 19, 2008
Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
• Opening Statement:
"Middle Tennessee State is a good basketball team. They're very well coached, they obviously shoot extremely well and their girls are about as good as the girls we'll face anywhere. Some of you guys might be old enough to remember a girl named Phylesha Whaley, that's who that post girl reminded me of -- the way she uses her body, gets fouled, great from the free-throw line. She's just a handful to guard. I thought we battled well. They made three or four to start the game and we responded with mostly Ashley (Paris) making baskets early. Then we got the lead and kept the lead, which is not any easy thing to do and it evaporates pretty easily against a team like that. So I thought we answered well and played a pretty solid second half."
• On the number of assists tonight:
"Danielle's (Robinson) speed is hard to trap. She can get by that front line and we had a numerical advantage. Getting A.T. (Amanda Thompson) in the middle of the floor was great because her vision is so good and we share the basketball well. Sometimes we're a little bit too unselfish and over-pass a little bit and that could have created some of those 3s that weren't in the rhythm that we're accustomed to. But I like that number [21 assists].
• On Amanda Thompson's performance tonight:
"At halftime I knew she was really solid. But midway through the second half, I felt like she was controlling the game. You kind of get that feeling sometimes that there's some glue making it all stick together, and I got that feeling. I didn't know what her numbers were. But regardless of how tired I knew she was, I didn't want to take her out. It was about the eight-minute mark. I thought she looked a little winded, but she was doing everything. We decided to put her on 22 (Alysha Clark) and front her a little bit."
Oklahoma Senior Center Courtney Paris
• On being forced to play perimeter defense:
"I think it is good for me. It is good for our team because we never know who we are going to have to face, especially come tournament time. Personally, in my future, there are going to be times when I am having to guard post players who play inside-out. It is just something you have to learn."
Oklahoma Senior Forward Ashley Paris
• On her team-high 21 points:
"I just think that we have a lot of good players and Danielle Robinson handles the ball very well. I just think think there are so many great players that I guess the defense forgot about me. The other players on this team have to be guarded."
• On defending Middle Tennessee, which shot 30 3-pointers in the game:
"We play teams like Iowa State. In the Big 12, there are going to be teams with speed and teams that press. Texas A&M presses, and we are not going to see a better press than that. It wasn't too weird. It is not fun playing a team that can shoot it like that but it was nothing out of the norm."
Oklahoma Junior Forward Amanda Thompson
• On the improvement of her jump shot and taking what the defense gives her:
"I worked a lot of my jump shot. I feel like that is my best improvement. I am just going out there and if they aren't guarding me I am going to shoot it."
In the first half I noticed they weren't guarding me and I recognized that. Once I recognized it and I saw the basket, that is my opportunity. If I am not in rythym then I have my teammates to pass it to. Then it will come back around and I will be ready."
• On how she feels after playing a great game:
"It is a weird feeling. It was hard for us to get going. We would have a good tempo in the game and then we would get flat for a little bit. I felt I was just playing and I wanted to play hard the whole time and it showed. Everybody was just getting together and I made sure my teammates were going and it all worked out."
Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Insell
• On the game:
“They have a good team. The intangible is that the team stepped up Amanda Thompson. We knew she had potential and I think that is the difference in the team this year and last year. Thompson has stepped her game up and they are going to be tough to handle down the stretch. Their conference is going to get them ready. I looked at their schedule and they have some out of conference games that will make them tough.”
“We have a pretty good basketball team ourselves. They took us out of our game with the pressure. I was proud of our kids, they didn’t quit, we stayed in there. We are underdogs just about everywhere we go because we play just about everyone in the country. We’ve beaten some of them and some of them we haven’t. This was a good trip for us to play and we know what we need to do now to get better.”
• On the turnovers:
“We average about 13 to 14 turnovers a game. At halftime we had 13 turnovers. We ended up with 18, so we only had five in the second half. We pretty much take care of the basketball but we didn’t in the first half. I think a lot of those were unforced turnovers. They have a good basketball team and are well coached, they did a good job.”
Middle Tennessee Junior Forward Alysha Clark
• On playing Oklahoma:
“It’s different because of the caliber of players that they have but it’s just like any other night, they lace up just like we lace up. You can’t go in there intimidated just because they’re an Oklahoma team. You have to go in there and get ready to play basketball they are Division I and we are Division I. You can’t back down from anybody you have to go in there playing your game and be confident in yourself..“
• On playing after transfering :
“It’s different but Coach Insell worked with me all last year and really pushed me to get past my comfort level. I’m out on the floor more than I was and he’s making me reach that next level. I have some ways to go but I’ve made some progress. It’s all from working hard last year. Everybody working hard helps make me better.”
• On playing Courtney Paris :
“We had to keep our position on Courtney (Paris) because she has such great hands and they look for her everytime. She has such great hands that they can just throw it up anywhere and she’ll go get. I think we did a good job at being conscious of where she was and keeping our position. We played hard and put the pressure on them so passing to her wasn’t so easy. “