March 27, 2011
COACH LANDERS: It just wasn't pretty. And if you're Georgia, it wasn't any fun.
But you have to give Texas A&M just a lot of credit. They did what they do. They come out, they get in your face defensively. And they did that very well tonight, disrupted very well, created early turnovers, I think four in the first four minutes. Same kind of pressure probably mentally affected a couple of layups in the first four minutes. And that's that piece. Defensively they were excellent.
Offensively, the 3s, they were just really, really good. I mean, this is a team that hits five, six, really doesn't really shoot a lot of 3s, and tonight knocked down ten, and did it early and separated themselves early, which I think affected us mentally and led to even more breakdowns on the defensive end.
But very, very good Texas A&M team that played just great tonight, and you have to give them all the credit in the world for doing that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. Questions for the student athletes.
Q. Jasmine, like Coach mentioned, just what were they doing to swarm and take away the passing lanes so effectively on defense?
Jasmine James: They just did a really good job of pressuring the ball, and because of that was able to slow down some of the passes that we were trying to make that we typically have no problem making.
They did a pretty good job scouting us. It seemed like they had a pretty good handle on everything that it was that we were doing, so they had no problem cheating the passing lanes and being able to get up there.
Q. Porsha, could you talk about that first few minutes, did you feel there was quickness, the defense you're unable to match up, and did you feel you were really ready to play today?
Porsha Phillips: I think we came to play today. Like Jasmine said, Texas A&M is a great team. They pressured the ball. They defended us pretty well.
We just didn't execute our offense tonight.
Q. What was it with their defense that caused so much problems for you shooting wise? Because it started out and it was a 22 2 lead that they had.
Jasmine James: Pretty much no shot went up that wasn't contested. They did a good job, really good job of even when you get past one person there was somebody else there always for help. I guess when you know that's there, you kind of are aware when you're going up for the shot thinking about when somebody else is going to come for help or something.
I think they did a really good job of pressuring us and disrupting us on the defensive end and not letting us knock down or be able to get the shots we're typically able to get.
Q. Porsha, could you talk about your defensive effort early? Were you trying to take away Adams, was that your number one deal, possibly give them the 3, or could you talk a little bit about your defense early?
Porsha Phillips: Danielle Adams, who is the key to their team, and of course we tried to stop her from the inside, but it's hard to stop her from the inside. And they've got great 3 point shooters. So I was trying to do both.
Q. Jasmine and Porsha, obviously you play a very tough schedule. You see some of the best basketball in the country in the Southeastern Conference. Any teams you can compare Texas A&M to that you might have faced this year?
Porsha Phillips: Probably similar to Kentucky, you know, the outside game, the 3 point shooters, the guards, and the inside game.
Jasmine James: I would say they're definitely a lot like Kentucky as far as the defense went. Like they did a really good job, like I said, of pressuring the ball the whole game, and that's a lot like Kentucky.
Q. Porsha, despite the loss, you had a really great season rebounding wise. Just what are a few things you've done just to become such a great rebounder at UGA?
Porsha Phillips: I think rebounding is very important. Rebounding wins ball games, and I just enjoy rebounding. If you really enjoy it, you'll do it well. So I just like to rebound.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies. Questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, just wanted to ask you, A&M has had three pretty lopsided victories in this tournament. They were a 2 seed coming in. How do you think or should we put them in the championship conversation right now? Are they that good? Can you assess?
COACH LANDERS: Well, certainly they're good enough to play for a national championship. I felt that before we played them. And I feel it now.
They have terrific athleticism. They're very well coached. There's quick teams in the country. There's other quick teams in the country, but there may not be another quick team in the country that applies their quickness and athleticism as A&M does, which is constant. Quickness is no good if you don't use it. And they keep theirs they keep that faucet or spigot open all the time.
There's no wasted ability with those guys using their quickness and athleticism, whether it's transitioning and running the floor offensively, whether it's sprinting to the basket after a missed shot. And that's especially true when they defend you.
They violate just about every rule defensively, you know, every principle. Bobby Knight would not like their principles. Man to man defense; they turn their back on the ball. But they're so quick that they can do it. It's the right thing for them to do.
Their coaches have really done a nice job with them. You don't see a lot of flat triangles floating around out there, which is textbook man to man defense. You just see people facing up with their man, daring them to breathe.
And then when they do, they're so quick. They're out of position, but they're so quick that once they identify the need to help, they can still get there from out of position.
But to answer your question I'm sorry I rambled. But I really do like the way they play. I mean, they play hard. That's a coach's dream. They play hard. But they're talented. They're talented inside. They're talented outside.
The last thing I expected today was 10 of 20 from 3. Now, that's the last thing I expected today was Colson, the very last thing I expected, was Colson going 3 for 4. That really put us on our heels early in the game.
So I told our kids as we prepared for this, I think they're one of the five best teams in the country. I've seen Tennessee play in games where I don't think anybody can beat them. But then I watched them yesterday and they can.
I've seen Connecticut play on nights when I didn't think anybody could beat them. I watched them today and people can.
So I think the challenge for Texas A&M is bring your A game every time you line up, and you got a shot at it.
Q. Coach, Adams did not score in their 13 0 run. Did you feel you did a good job on her possibly and opened up other avenues on that zone defense?
COACH LANDERS: You know, defensively they did a better job. I mean, I'm not passing the buck here. Our zone defense has been really good to us all year long. They did a nice job of skipping the ball and finding the shooter and getting it up quick.
And then you just sense that once they hit a couple that their confidence was good and they're probably going to you know, and then the question becomes for me: Get out of it? Stay in it? Once we got out of it, Hassell gets two fouls like that. So it was a tough call. You choose your poison with these guys.
Q. You talked about Colson. Carter seemed to really set the tone defensively on the flip side of that. Could you talk about what Carter did defensively?
COACH LANDERS: Honestly, no. Because they were all so good. I mean, you may have seen something. I'm trying to watch everything, and you may have seen something that drew you to her. She may have been outstanding. I don't know. But I thought their entire team defensively I don't think they had a star. I think they're all stars.
Q. Since you have such a young team, just how optimistic are you of the future of your team despite tonight's loss?
COACH LANDERS: We have work to do. I like the players that we have. I think we need more. I think we need more help. We need more depth. We need to be a little bit quicker. We've got to get more aggressive.
You develop that. And one of the things that I think Gary would probably tell you I'm just taking a guess at this, he's got a full bench down through there. And I just got a feeling that those kids on that bench are pretty good competitors for those top six or seven players to compete as hard as they do.
They've got good teammates to go against. And that's probably what we lack. We're not as deep, and so consequently our starters don't get pushed the way they need to get pushed.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.