Dec. 10, 2013
SAN DIEGO -
Head coach Stacie Terry
"I am so excited to be back home and have some home games. We have five home games in a row. November was a pretty tough month for us, so we're excited to get back to play in front of our own fans on our own floor and really make a good run in December. We've been working really hard in practice to improve on some of the things that have slipped us up a little bit, most importantly our turnovers and our rebounding have been two things we need to improve on. We've had quite a bit of a break, so that's been nice to pinpoint those issues and fix that stuff, and we're looking forward to a good December."
On the team's main issues defensively:
"The No. 1 problem is our schedule, we have a top-five schedule. We've played two ranked teams, and even the teams we've played that aren't ranked are senior-laden, very experienced teams. So we've had a tough go at it thus far. But I do think we need to key in some things and tighten some things up. It's funny because you ask that, because I tell (the players) our turnovers are hurting us defensively. We're turning the ball over and allowing transition buckets. When we play defense in the half court, our first-shot defense is very, very good. So it's the offensive rebounds we're giving up that they're scoring on, and it's when we turn the ball over that leads to transition points for the opposing team. So once we clean up those two areas, I think you'll notice a significant drop in that area."
On how much of the schedule this season was inherited:
"I inherited 100 percent of it. I had no input on the schedule at all. I definitely think in theory it was made to get some significant wins, which is what the (NCAA selection) committee told San Diego State last year why we didn't get in (the NCAA Tournament). So we scheduled kind of tough to get a significant win. But with us losing so much of our offense, and Erimma Amarikwa, our biggest contributor, being injured, we just haven't had the firepower yet. The good part about it is we're definitely prepared for conference play because we've seen everything. We've seen great shooting teams, we've seen teams that can bang inside with great post players. So I do think it's preparing us. My task as a head coach and my staff's task is to make sure (players) stay positive despite our record, and our goal is to get to 5-5 by the end of the month."
On what aspects the team has done well in this season:
"Our post play has been phenomenal. When we get the ball inside, we're shooting a high percentage. So our post play is doing a really good job. Our guards are doing a good job getting them the ball in the halfcourt. And like I talked about earlier, our initial defense in our zone is really, really good. If we charted that, we'd be leading the country probably. It's just the offensive boards that are hurting us. So we've got to learn to block out and finish plays, and we're going to be a really good defensive team."
On playing host to UCLA on Sunday:
"It's going to be a great game. For one, I'm excited because I recruited a lot of those kids, but (UCLA) is a good team. They can play extremely well and when they're hot, they're hot. They've had some great wins and some great games. We're going to match up well with them because they have post players that are really good. So I'm a little torn. I'm proud of the progress that they're making, but I'm also excited to play them and I think it's going to be a great game."