March 11, 2005
An Interview With: BYU COUGARS
JIM MILLER: All right. BYU Cougars head coach Jeff Judkins. Coach, if you want to begin with some opening remarks.
COACH JUDKINS: You didn't butcher their names. Good job.
I am real proud of my team. We have had a great year. These young ladies have worked very hard. I think sometimes in life you want things too bad and you just work too hard and try too hard. I just appreciate the wonderful effort these young ladies did for me this year. I can only think of one bad practice in the whole year.
I know we're excited. Hopefully we'll be able to go somewhere. We hope the NCAA will feel sad because they stiffed this conference last year with one. If not, we'll go to the NIT and play hard and do it. I appreciate my seniors. Danielle and Kali and Julie have been with me for four years. Christian came after one year at Boise. I appreciate their leadership and the wonderful job they did for me in these years. It will be tough to see them go. They built a wonderful foundation for this program.
You have to give Utah credit. They have smart players. Those kids play a lot of basketball internationally. They have wonderful opportunities. You can see that on the court. I know we're excited about the rest of the season and our future at BYU.
JIM MILLER: Thank you, Coach.
Questions directed to the student athletes.
Question: Either one of you two, was there any similarities to the other two games with Utah that crept into this game today?
DANIELLE CHEESMAN: The thing that I noticed when we're on defense, the Utah Utes, they do a good job in taking what we give them. You know, if they have a bad match?up, they go to that person. They have done that in all their games. They read the defense really well. That is one thing that hurt us a little.
KRISTEN KOZLOWSKI: I think in each game they were able to hit shots. In each defensive position we give them open shots. That is just how we played it. They were able to hit them. They did a good job with that, finding the open shot.
KRISTEN KOZLOWSKI: I think we got in the second half a lot more movement. We did a good job of finding our big man inside and looking at decking a little bit more.
JIM MILLER: Other questions for the student athletes? Ladies, we'll let you go.
Questions for Coach.
Question: Jeff, if you don't mind, if you do, just say no, could you give a couple of keys for championship games? Who has to do what?
COACH JUDKINS: I think New Mexico matches up with Utah very well. In fact, it is a funny situation in this league. I talked with some of the coaches at New Mexico, and they would rather play Utah in the semifinals. We would rather play Vegas. Part of it is we match up better with Vegas, they match up better with Utah. Somebody can guard Kim Smith and not give her any easy baskets. And they have a very good inside game with Marsh.
To me, that is Utah's weakness defensively is their defensive post presses. And so what they do is they just slap everybody in the paint against us, you can't do that against New Mexico because Letz and Montgomery and Arndt can all hit shots. They can't do that.
The second half of your question was why did you hit the ball inside better?
Part of it is, I had my line?up where I had my best shooters in there. They had to guard Ambrosia and they had to guard Kali and they had to guard Sullivan. That opens it up. It is sad because Johnsen is the best defender in this league. And she brings so much to this team. And so it's hard not to have her on the forward. It will be a great meeting between her and me at the end of the year. Her goal will be to shoot five thousand shots every day. Then hopefully she will come in here and be able to hit those shots. It should be a great game.
I would give the edge to New Mexico and the reason for that is they have beaten them twice. They have a good mental part of it. Secondly, I think we beat Utah. I think we were physical with them, we beat them up. It should be a great game. I think both teams do deserve to go to the NCAA tournament. I hope we don't get stiffed like last year.
Question: Is your team mentally intimidated by Utah?
COACH JUDKINS: It looks on paper that we are. If we start boxing I would put my money on my team. I think sometimes mentally you think you can't do certain things.
I remember the days when I was coaching at Utah we couldn't beat Kentucky. I don't care what we did, it's just they had our number. And I think Utah this year with the players that they have and their situation, I think they know that they can beat us and I think sometimes we look at it maybe we just try a little bit too hard, kind of what I said earlier.
That is where I will take this tape and I'm going to take my younger kids that come back next year and try to tell them, you have got to be smart. Utah is not going to beat themselves. You have got to take it and you have got to execute to really beat them. And that is one of the times that we have beat them in the tournament or whatever I have coached against Coach Elliott, so many of the teams played well. Erika Ford, Jennifer Lightner, Melanie Pearson, she's going to give you shots. She's got the depth. And that is how she plays defense. We just have to take advantage of that better than we did today.
Question: Your best player Julie plays twenty minutes of that game. Was that because of mostly fouls or other things?
COACH JUDKINS: Mostly fouls. She got two fouls. I wanted to try to save her. This is Julie's hardest part of her career. She got a foul ?? or she got a cheap foul, that she thought, and the next play down when I pull her out, she gets another foul and so now she's got three fouls. Now I try to get her out quick enough and that really put her in a bad situation. Then she gets her fourth on the moving screen which she shouldn't have done anyway. Then she gets her fifth. For some reason, I think she wants it so bad she just can't let the game come to her sometimes.
Question: Just real quick, on the three?point shooting, they got 11 of them, you get two. And they have all the open shots there. And that was the kind of difference in the game; they have 11 out of 24. Just talk about the three?point shooting and how key that was.
COACH JUDKINS: First of all, Kim Smith was on a roll the first half. I think some of the shots she hit, they were ?? I mean, a hand in the face and she made it, a couple of the other ones they had. It was just a good job of them spreading it out. They had a difficult time attacking our triangle too. They hit some shots and that's what we gave up. When we cut it down to I think eight or seven, you know, they had a hard time hitting it.
Carlsen hit some big shots tonight. You've got to give her a lot of credit to come off the bench not to play that many minutes. Kim Smith is a good player. She knows how to do things to get her team open. Sitterud is a very confident lady. She's either going to shoot you in the game or shoot you out of the game. When you have got Camie Allen hitting three pointers and number twelve hitting three pointers, her first three?pointer of the year.
I am surprised Hanchett didn't bank one in for a 3?pointer. You watch tomorrow, they won't be able to hit nothing probably. They are a good team. They will be smart enough. They will get the ball inside. They are very well coached. They really execute well. One turnover in the first half. We didn't put a lot of pressure on, they just let it come very, you know, very easy for their team.
Question: Considering the difference between this year and last year, are you satisfied with the progress this group has made? Do you feel like you are an element away from competing with Utah or is this the group that can get it done for you?
COACH JUDKINS: I think we have as good as players in this league. Johnsen is a sophomore. Brosia is a Junior. I probably lost my second best player to a injury this year. I have got two young freshmen just learning this game. I think it will be good in Riley and Mary Martha. I mean, I am excited about the future.
I've got another girl that is red?shirting, sitting out, six?foot?three, a physical type of player. Then we had a great recruiting class. So I signed a very good point guard and a very athletic girl who can defend and get it to the basket. We are excited about our future. I can't wait until those two graduate at Utah. It will be a nice feeling some day. But I think we will be more competitive. I think there are some players that have talent that can really blossom for us.
Question: Do you already have a gift in mind for Shauna (inaudible) when they are gone?
COACH JUDKINS: No. They are very good. They are just so seasoned. I mean, they played some games internationally. They are way ahead of the United States. Way ahead of us. I mean, just look at us right now. No matter what, I can't send Ambrosia to play international ball. She could not make the United States national team because there are so many players here. Canadians can do that. Those guys can play all these different teams. That is something hopefully the United States will see that and do better. What is wrong with having five, six teams for these ladies to have opportunities?
JIM MILLER: Any other questions? Thanks very much.
An Interview With: UTAH UTES
JIM MILLER: We're joined by University of Utah head coach, Elaine Elliott; No. 4, Kim Smith; and No. 32, Lana Sitterud. Coach, if you want to begin with some opening comments, then we'll open it up for questions.
COACH ELLIOTT: Obviously, it is a good win for us, you know, a rivalry game. They are usually wild affairs. And you know, I am happy. I am pleased with our effort, pleased with the game.
You know, just in general, it was probably pretty big for us to get that game.
JIM MILLER: Questions for either Kim or Lana?
Question: Kim, what do you guys need to do better to beat these guys? They have beaten you twice. What do you need to do better?
Kim Smith: I don't think we have had a game against them this year where our whole team has put in a good team performance. And that is all we are looking for: to play hard and rebound hard against them.
Question: Do you think playing hard and rebounding hard is going to be the difference?
Kim Smith: Well, we haven't done it yet, so I guess we'll find out.
Question: What about the three points in the first half?
Lana Sitterud: Yes, it did.
Question: You were hitting a lot of them, Kim.
Kim Smith: I was feeling it in the first half. They were sitting screens for me. Everybody was feeling it in the first half. Of course that's a great way to open up the came. And then in the second half, you know, we got it inside, too. We didn't take too many, I don't think, which we tend to do when we feel a little hot, so it was good.
Question: Do you feel like the edge you have on BYU is similar to the edge New Mexico has on you in any way right now?
Kim Smith: I wouldn't say anybody has an edge on anybody before the game starts, unless it is mental. Our team is strong mentally. New Mexico doesn't have an edge on us. I don't see any reason why they would have one. What happened in the past is in the past. It is not something you carry with you in the next game.
JIM MILLER: Any other questions for the student athletes?
Question: Elaine, I'll ask you the same question I asked them. What do you guys need to do better as a team to beat these guys this time?
COACH ELLIOTT: Fairly similar to Kim in terms of, you know, we don't have a lot of room for error. We don't have great depth, and so we need the kids that we have all to pitch in. We can't get it done with a few contributions. If we can't feel like when the game is over we sort of ?? you know, if we said, boy, our post had a good game, or, you know, Lana had a good game, you know, then we were not going to get the W and that is why we didn't get the W the first two. We can't beat them without all operating cylinders.
Question: Does that mean that you need the freshman and forwards to play better?
COACH ELLIOTT: That is correct.
Question: Just talk about the three?point shooting. They actually had more field goals than you did. You had nine more three?point shots. They were early on the clock. Is that your game plan, to shoot when you are open on those?
COACH ELLIOTT: If you are open you usually have a better chance. We are not concerned about taking early or late shots. We are hoping to take shots we can make. If we are shooting three points at any point in time, I hope they are good looks and we are happy about that.
JIM MILLER: Anything else?
Question: They kind of shut down Kim the second half and Shona the whole game. Just talk about the contributions of some of your players like Heidi and Perry and some of those people that come through with some big shots?
COACH ELLIOTT: That is one of the things that has been consistent in our three games against BYU. We had good overall performances in those games. Tonight was the same. We got contributions off the bench. Camie and Shauna Brouillard came off the bench and made a very good impact on the game. That is why we have been successful in those terms. Those ?? we had good team performance, I think, in our match?ups against the Y.
Question: What are you going to say to get your team motivated to beat New Mexico?
COACH ELLIOTT: We want a good performance. That is what we go towards. That is what we talk about. Those are the things that win games, not the kind of things you like to write about. We just don't go there. We just try to prepare.
Question: Congratulations. Do you think this year there is no doubt you are an NCAA team?
COACH ELLIOTT: That is what I think, Mike. I just told somebody, I think I am out of coaching if it doesn't work this year. I don't know what else you can do.
JIM MILLER: Any questions for the coach?
Question: Do you feel like New Mexico and Utah deserve to get in?
COACH ELLIOTT: I absolutely do. New Mexico, that is the best depth in our league. And that means they are the best team. Our kids have performed and come away with a co?championship and are in the championship. They had just as a successful a season. I see us as deserving as well.
JIM MILLER: Okay. Thanks, Coach.