BIG 12 CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT
March 9, 2013Eastern Indiana Sports
Baylor – 79 Kansas State – 47
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Baylor. We'll go directly to questions for our student?athletes.
Q. Brittney, you're one assist away from a triple?double. You're a great scorer, rebounder. Is there some attribute that we don't know about? BRITTNEY GRINER: They tell me I'm a point guard at heart. I guess I kind of developed it over the years, just finding my teammates. Personally, I had a lot of turnovers. My assists weren't really too good. But now they're better and my teammates do a great job of cutting and letting me find them.
Q. Odyssey, obviously you came back in, but went out for a little bit with the ankle. How is it now? ODYSSEY SIMS: I twisted it when I was playing defense. Kind of went the wrong way. I'm okay. It's nothing major to worry about.
Q. Is that easy as it looked? DESTINY WILLIAMS: No. I thought we played with a lot of energy. I thought we knocked down the shots that were given to us. I thought we played smart on offense and defense, looked for the open person. Only so many players that Kansas State can guard. If they put three on Brittney, Brittney does a great job of passing it out. BRITTNEY GRINER: I'm going to jump on Destiny's answer and agree with everything she said. ODYSSEY SIMS: I'm just going to say, we came out with more intensity. When they came to our house, they hit a lot of threes. We tried to cut back on that. We communicated more, buckled down and really focused on our defense tonight.
Q. Brittney, were you aware you were that close to the triple?double? BRITTNEY GRINER: They kind of put it in my ear at the end, that I was close. But, I mean, I didn't just try to get those two assists or anything. They told me about it, though.
Q. Odyssey, you mentioned the three?point shooting in the last game. Defensively you forced them to take mostly three?pointers. Was that a focus for you guys? ODYSSEY SIMS: Well, K State is a very good three?point shooting team. We know they shoot a lot of threes. We just tried to do the best we could defending them. Like coach told us in the locker room, she said, They're going to hit threes, but we just got to cut down and not let them make as many as we did last time when we played them Senior Night.
Q. Destiny, 20 points for you. You started off 16?18 from the floor. Talk about the early start for you guys, getting off on a good foot. DESTINY WILLIAMS: They didn't play Brittney one?on?one like they did at home. So they triple teamed her, double?teamed her. I thought we did a great job by feeding off her. She did a great job of passing us the ball when we were open. I thought that gave us energy in defending the three. We had great intensity on defense which let the offense to be good.
Q. For all three of you, do you like playing in American Airlines as opposed to Kansas City? DESTINY WILLIAMS: I like them both, as long as we play and win. BRITTNEY GRINER: Yeah, I mean, as long as we win, it really doesn't matter. It's close to a lot of our fans to get here easier. It really doesn't matter. ODYSSEY SIMS: It really doesn't matter. If it was in Kansas City, the fans would still be there. As long as we get to play, no matter what gym, location, as long as we get to play.
Q. Odyssey, how important was it to get off to a fast start and basically never look back? ODYSSEY SIMS: Very important. When we played them Senior Night, we didn't start off like we should have. Didn't have no intensity. We were just kind of out there. Coach got on us, we buckled down in practice. We focused, came out, knew what we had to do. We had a game plan from the jump. I think everybody was more focused on what they needed to do individually and understood their roles. Everyone did that tonight. THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much. Congratulations on the win. We'll see you tomorrow. Coach, we'll continue with questions for you.
Q. I thought I heard you tell Brittney pretty early, Score first, pass second. Were you telling her that? Was there a reason for that? COACH MULKEY: When you go past the foul line, I just have a philosophy you can't be down in that paint area looking to pass first, because if you do, you're going to turn it over. Look to score first, then the pass will present itself. I just thought she was catching the ball and looking to be passive more than aggressive. The pass will come. You saw that tonight with nine assists. No different than if it's Odyssey and those guys cross the foul line, you go to score first, pass second.
Q. Do you prefer the 50?point Griner night or do you like that she can do either? COACH MULKEY: It only matters to me if you win. Kids are happy. They played better defensively. The difference from a week ago is that we communicated better on the defensive end of the floor. We switched. We never allowed them to dribble penetrate and us get sucked in, they kick out and hit all the three?pointers. I thought that every position on the floor we guarded. We had post players guarding point guards. We tried to do that in Waco last week and we weren't very good. I thought our defense actually was bad. I thought today we set the tone with switching, communicating on the defensive end of the floor.
Q. You didn't know you were playing K State till Friday night. Seemed like in the first half you had their number defensively. How pleasing was that to see? COACH MULKEY: It was rewarding because sometimes late in the year when you have this many seniors, they hear you but they don't listen. Kind of like your own children at home. I hear you, mama, but I'm going to do it anyway. From last week until today, it was put in their head, Switch at the point of attack on all positions. I just thought it was good to have them all on the same page. When they did that the first five minutes of the game, I knew that they had listened and I knew that they realized giving up 14 threes at our place last week, yeah, you won by 22, and Griner got 50 and she dunked. It was a sold?out arena. But truly, if you want to really be good, you got to be better defensively. And I just didn't think we were very good. Part of that was because we didn't practice the day before when we played K State at our place because we just needed a day off. We had just gotten back from West Virginia. I thought today they listened to the scout report. They listened in the film. It was fun to see that today.
Q. Your team has a lot of star power, Brittney, Odyssey, Destiny, Brooklyn Pope. Seems they play unselfish, which is rare when you have that much star power on a team. Is that something that is being taught? COACH MULKEY: I appreciate you asking that question. My starting five and six may not be the top 15 players in this league, but once again, they weren't voted. I had two players voted in the top 15 in the league. C'mon, guys. C'mon, now. You got teams that had three in the top 15, and we went 40?0 last year, back?to?back undefeated. I appreciate you congratulating me on Coach of the Year, but take that and give these kids their due. How can Jordan Madden not be voted one of the top defensive players in the league. Why? Because she played on a team with Griner and Simms? Give her her dues. They came to Baylor four years ago to win a championship. Every one of them knew who was coming. They didn't go somewhere else because they were afraid of minutes being taken away. They're going to leave Baylor with the best record, wins and losses, of any team I ever coached. They're going to leave with a 40?0 record. They're going to have a possibility to win another championship. So those individual honors, while I don't ever understand them, they don't mean a lot to these kids. Brittney would give all her trophies to them, look at the players, Do you want one of these? You didn't come to Baylor so you're not getting one. It's about the rings, it's about championship. It's what I appreciate most about Brooklyn Pope and Destiny Williams, they share time at the 4, yet they make us successful. When you look at Niya, Jordan Madden. They all accept their role, they play their role, and they know their value to this basketball team. I won't ever forget it. I won't ever forget what they accomplished and their unselfishness.
Q. Sticking to the side of the defense, holding K State to 29% field goal range, 33% three?pointers. I noticed during the game you had Brittney Griner playing outside the paint. Can you talk about your defensive schemes. Was this prepared for Kansas State or is this ongoing? COACH MULKEY: We don't switch a lot on defense. I'm a man?to?man coach. I don't switch a lot. But when you play a Kansas State type of offense, they require you to make adjustments. Because they spread the floor at all positions, there are five guards basically out there and they all can shoot the three. We had to make changes. Our change was switch at every position, even away from the ball. A lot of times you'll switch on ball. But away from the ball, keep your digs as close to the rim as possible. We just switched at every position. I thought it was very effective today. THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations on the win. We'll see you tomorrow. COACH MULKEY: Thank you.