Coach Stockton's Comments Heading Into Thursday's WNIT Opener



March 20, 2013

On her seniors playing in the postseason for the fourth-consecutive season
"I certainly think that's your goal when you start the season. You have a lot of goals along the way, but you want to be playing longer than everybody else. Our seniors have done a great job with their leadership this year. There is some disappointment with not being in the NCAAs, but being in a position to play in the postseason is always a goal. Being there four years in a row for them says a lot about their leadership along the way."

On the mistakes the team made in the C-USA Championship and how that can help with a potential WNIT run
"I think Tulsa proved they were playing really well. We lost to a team in the last four or five minutes that hit a hot streak. When they played us, they played very well. They came in the next game and beat East Carolina pretty handily and they kind of ran away with the finals. I think we hit a team that was hot. When a team can win four games in a row like that, sometimes it's just not your night."

On Thursday's opponent, Sam Houston State
"They've got some seniors that have played very well for them. Right now, they've got their all-time leading 3-point shooter, their all-time leading rebounder and their all-time leader in blocks. They've got three 1,000-point scorers and I don't know if I've ever coached three 1,000-point scorers at the same time. This is a year that they're very senior laden. They've played very well and they're going to come in here ready to play. They're certainly a very good opponent."

On how Tulane matches up with Sam Houston State
"At this time of the year, you're going to play good teams and you've got to be able to adjust to who you play. We feel good about the way we play. We feel good about our defense. We've rebounded pretty well, which is something they do well, too. They're going to come in here ready to prove a point and we've got to be ready to respond."



On wearing her NWIT Championship ring which she won while at Georgia Tech in 1993 to practice
"I brought it out the other day when we were talking about what we can get from the WNIT. It's a shift of focus. One is trying to get some momentum for our younger players going into next year and to get some national respect. I think the other is for the seniors to go out on a good note and feel good about the way they finished their careers. I also talked about years ago when I was at Georgia Tech and we really played well at the end of the year. We got a chance to go to the NIT and we won it. That's the closest I've been to a national championship, so I wore my ring today to show them that there is something else to still shoot for. It was an eight-team field then. It's a 64-team field now, so it's a challenge for our team."

On opening the 2013 WNIT at home
"I think you love to play at home. Those seniors, especially, love to be in front of the home crowd. For us, if we want to make a run in this tournament with 64 teams, it's a long tournament if you're on the road the whole time. It is nice to start at home and get in a position to stay at home a little bit."

On the talent level in the WNIT
"I think the WNIT over the last few years has been really impressive. Some of the teams in there have had great seasons. The way they select it now, it's pretty competitive to get in. There are some great teams that didn't get into the (NCAA) Tournament. Now days in women's basketball, there are a lot of good teams out there. The one thing we challenged our team with now is that there are no `gimmes'. All of these teams are playing well, or they wouldn't be in it. We've got to be ready to see what we've got."

On Conference USA having five teams make the 2013 WNIT
"I'm not surprised, and I think UTEP could have been in, too. I think our league is in kind of a strange position. We're right out of the NCAA and getting multiple bids, but we're in a situation where we can get a lot of bids to the WNIT because we're in that next level. This year was tremendously competitive. I think anybody in our league can be competitive enough to play in this tournament. I love to see that many teams in for us, but I hate that we're all kind of in the same bracket. I'd love to make it a Conference USA deal where we could play to get to each other. It is what it is and we just have to go out there and play."