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Aztec Women's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Aztec head coach Beth Burns spoke at the school's weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Aztec head coach Beth Burns spoke at the school's weekly press conference on Tuesday.

Dec. 1, 2009

SDSU Weekly Press Conference
Aztec Athletics Center

Coach Burns' opening statement:
"We haven't seen anybody [on the team] since we've returned (from the Virigin Islands). It was about a 14-hour travel trip and we got back late Sunday night. I'm still not quite sure whether to have breakfast, dinner, or go to bed. We can only hope (the tournament) will be a positive learning experience. We played three really good teams. We did not perform well beyond (our) backcourt. I think our backcourt played and consistently showed what they are capable of doing, but we are a work in progress and we have a few more days to get on the practice floor and get ready for [UC] Riverside on Friday afternoon."

On the team earning a top 25 ranking and then going 0-3 in the Virgin Islands:
"I think in November, Top 25 (teams) are usually more about scheduling. If we'd have played those three teams as our first three games, then we might not have ever been in the Top 25. I think anything that happens preseason through almost December is just a reflection of how you finished the year before. Our game isn't as televised as men's basketball, so (the voters) really don't have as much to go on.

"I was more disappointed with how we performed, period, whether we were in the Top 25 or whatever we were in. I would have thought that (because) we've played enough big games that we would have handled the environment better than we did. At one point against Notre Dame, I think it was 30-9 and it didn't feel that close. We had good backcourt play, but our front line struggled mightily in all three games. You're in a situation where you're playing every 24 hours so there's no practices to be had. You've just got to lace it up and get out there. I think probably the best thing was [that] there [were] eight teams there; there [were] two different divisions. We saw a lot of great basketball. We saw a lot of great programs - how they were run both from a bench standpoint to a court standpoint, and that's what I hope we came away with and what we saw, as to where we need to go to be able to compete at that level. Was it disappointing? Of course, it was."

On if playing Notre Dame tough should have given the team confidence going into the next games:
"No, because what made the Notre Dame (game) Notre Dame was [Quenese Davis] and Jené [Morris]. Q had 25; Jené had 34 (points). They also guarded their best players in the backcourt, turned them over, and if the shuttle driver had allowed them, they probably would have driven us home to the hotel afterwards. We have those two kids expend that much energy ... if there was one thing I could have changed about the tournament, I would have changed the order with who we played when. We had two knee injuries in 13 days going into the tournament so all of our speed is now on crutches. They have no backups now. Until we get home ... you have to deal with it, but we had no practice opportunity after losing those two kids.

"I thought that Oklahoma would probably be eventually a throw-away game. I didn't know if Q and Jené could, 14 hours later, come back and play against one of the best backcourts in the county, and incredibly and unfortunately, their All-American Whitney Hand tore her ACL in our game. I wasn't surprised ... I knew [in the] first minute of the Oklahoma game, I knew to try to get ready for South Carolina, because I didn't think Jené and Q had enough in the tank and unfortunately Paris [Johnson], [Jessika Bradley], Allison [Duffy], no one brought their A game or their B game or really even their C game. It was tough. We bounced a little bit against South Carolina. I think again our guards played well. Allison Duffy played pretty well in the South Carolina game to give us a little bit of confidence.

"We just need to practice. Those are great teams. We could have done the same things and won three games ... we could have performed the same way and won three games over 150 other teams, but we wouldn't be where we're at today and with the goals that we've set. If I could do it again, I'd cry at the thought of getting on the plane, but if we could it again, I'd do it again tomorrow, because you find out what you're made of. We know, so now we're going to roll up our sleeves, and how we perform Friday is going to tell us a lot because we're going to get after it this week in practice."

On if the weekend will affect the team's confidence:
"Because we didn't perform to our best. If you perform to your best and get crushed, that's tough, because then it's like, gosh no matter what you do, they're just so much better than you. San Diego State is toughest opponent on our schedule; I've said it to this group from the beginning and I haven't changed, I haven't changed my thought process. Confidence isn't our issue; it's not confidence. It's hard to be good. You have to work really hard at it and some people ... things are coming a little bit easy so they got their head handed to them a little but they're capable of a lot more. I don't think it's a confidence crusher. That's always a risk; especially with the way we performed, we know we can do a lot better."