Nov. 29, 2012
Coach Burns quotes | Coach Burns presser
SAN DIEGO --
Beth Burns: Good afternoon and happy holidays, everybody.
Really probably going towards our biggest home game opportunity of the year, which is why I wanted to seize the moment to make sure that everybody knew we were playing USC tomorrow night at 7:00 in Viejas.
It is the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts and Girl Scouting San Diego. We have at least a thousand guaranteed to be shrieking Girl Scouts that will be here Friday night, and anyone who wears a Girl Scout shirt, was a Girl Scout, knows the Brownie Pledge or any of the above and comes to the ticket office, we will let you into the game so really want to encourage that.
Also have both alumni and Aztec Club, if you buy a ticket, you get a second one free. (We're) really trying to bring the house.
(We) played pretty well last weekend, had a great win against Auburn on a neutral court in Colorado. It was fun to be altitude advantage for the first time, ever, in our life. Auburn is a running, pressing team and I don't think they had ever experienced it, and I think that was a difference maker in the game.
Fortunately, we couldn't turn it and beat Colorado in the Championship Game the next night. But we have a great opportunity on Friday night.
We have had some bad news. Ahjalee Harvey fractured her hand in practice on Tuesday. And you know, following we have already lost Kiyana Stamps. So we are down a couple ball handers. Chairese Culberson sprained her ankle. She will most likely be out. Malia Nahinu has hurt her back and will be a game time decision.
I might be drafting a few Girl Scouts for the end of our bench. But we are going to strap it up, great opportunity and we have three games in the next seven days, USC on Friday, USD a week from Saturday at USD, and sandwiched in between, go up to Washington and play UW in Seattle.
So, a big week for our team in terms of what direction we are going to go.
Q. How much does that change the game plan?
Beth Burns: Oh, unbelievable. Ahjalee was like a sixth starter and again we have already lost Kiyana.
So now we don't have much ball handling. We are going to have to fake it a little bit, and we are going to have to shift Courtney Clements to the point somewhat, which as our primary scorer you don't necessarily like to do. But you've got to do what you've got to do.
I think short term, you just do what you have to do. Somebody has to step up. Long term it's more concerning because same thing happened to Ahjalee a year ago with a high ankle sprain and she missed four weeks of the season. She's going to be our primary guard a year from now. We are playing some really good teams in the next month and she's going to miss that opportunity.
But that changes things. Chairese was just getting back in the rotation off a knee scope. So she was not quite in it yet, but we are going to have to make something up for Ahjalee.
Q. Besides the injuries, how do you feel like things have gone so far?
Beth Burns: I think it's hard to say besides the injuries, because of injuries, you're kind of always juggling some things around.
But with that said, we are big, we are strong, we are long. I think we can be a better team than we were a year ago. We just have to keep improving. I think that we didn't start the season off very well.
We needed a couple weeks to get a lot better. I think we are a lot better today than we were at UCLA and I would like to, we'll find out tomorrow night.
It is hard to lose Ahjalee, but if there's a blessing, at least it happened Tuesday. We have a couple days in practice where people have to play different roles and do some different things for us to adjust to it.
We knew going in, we have a schedule that could have us at 12 2 or 2 12. We knew that. Our goal is to win the Mountain West Conference and our goal is to get the best seed that we can going into the (NCAA) tournament.
So we took as many high RPI games as we could. As you can see, we just had the ones that we just had and coming up Oklahoma State is 8th in the country and they are in our tournament, obviously on the road at Washington, etc. So they are no gimmies.
Q. What do you see out of USC?
Beth Burns: They unfortunately have been drinking the same water because every lineup they have a different kid, because they have had a lot of injuries.
It's kind of hard to get a beat on them because there has not been a game where they have had the same starting group together. They are experienced and their inside game is what worries me the most. Their center, Cassie Harberts, gets a lot of touches, can get us in foul trouble where we are not very deep and they have got a core group of young guards.
They have the fifth ranked recruiting class in the country, and Jordan Adams and Ariya Crook in the backcourt are a great shooting team and have a great inside game. We can beat them, but it's going to be a ballgame.
Q. Were you a Girl Scout coming up?
Beth Burns: On my honor, I sure was. I was a Brownie and I was a Girl Scout. We give cookies and we get cookies, so it's a great organization.
I love Girl Scout San Diego. So impressed, you would be amazed, 30,000 strong, what they do in and around the community.
I have had just a lot of fun, our team has, with the relationship that we have with the Girl Scouts and it's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow night.
They are going to sink the anthem, do the color guard, play five on five at half time. It's going to be a fun night and yes, I was a Girl Scout, proudly.