WCC Basketball Tournament Media Teleconference Quotes

Feb. 26, 2001

We're excited for the tournament. Where we're at, the 20-win plateau, was a goal of ours as was the conference championship. I'm somebody who puts a lot of stock into the regular season championship, which I guess these days is old-fashioned but I prefer the regular season champion and I'm really happy where our kids are. We had a death row trip to the Northwest--as it always I--and we were able to come out of there with two wins, so that was an achievement for us and we're just excited to be going to San Diego.

Everybody seems to think this is a four-and -our tournament, four teams at the top and the other four. I'm wondering if you see it that way and if so if there's a clear favorite out of those four.
Dwight Chapin, San Francisco Chronicle

No, I don't agree at all. I'm not very thoroughly excited about playing Portland. I think they're a good team and a very dangerous team. The reason I use the word dangerous is because they have some very outstanding individual players and any time one of those gets going...I think the other day, Sharon Rissmiller had a 25 or 27-point game as an example. Anytime that type of thing can happen you're going to get in trouble so you have to be ready to play for forty minutes and Jim (Sollars) has been one of the more successful coaches in our league and always has the team prepared and plays extremely hard and so we're expecting nothing less than a really tough game.

I'll agree with Mark (Trakh) that USF is a heck of a team, and so everybody's going to have to be ready to play. San Diego is playing on their home floor. Obviously if you had to pick somebody out of the top four, you'd have to pick Saint Mary's at this point because they swept us and they closed the season hard and had a couple if close games that they were able to extend and win. They're on quite a roll going into the tournament.

If this were next year, you'd be sitting at home with a bye, getting ready to go to Saint Mary's. There would be two teams in the conference, one of them being the team that you're playing that wouldn't be in the conference tournament. What are your thoughts on the format as it would be next year?
Chuck Dybdal, Contra Costa Times

I don't personally like it. I do like the fact that they tried to reward to top seed or the top two seeds with byes or even home games. I don't know if that's the right way to go about it. I haven't really looked at it that closely but logistically, you're going to have problems with flights and hotel rooms. I don't know how things like that will ever pan out. I haven't thought it through that much, but my gut instinct is that I don't like it that much. I like the magic and excitement that is created at the tournament, we've been fortunate to host it for quite a while. We've seen all the men's and women's games. There's just tremendous following when you get all the fans from the same schools down here in one place for all the games. I think that makes it more exciting.

What are your thoughts of the possibility of three going on to the NCAAs from the WCC conference.
Chuck Dybdal, Contra Costa Times

In the past I've been outspoken about that in terms that I think we should definitely have three in the tournament. I heard Mark's comments saying it might be a stretch and all that and I understand completely where he's coming from because I've also said that I don't think our conference quite gets the national recognition that it should. I do think we do deserve to have three teams in the conference and the NCAA Tournament. Whether it be the conference champion and then if a dark horse comes through and wins this tournament or something, I've heard every sort of speculation....Saint Mary's is going to have to win the tournament for you to get three in... there's a thousand different things going around out there. The bottom line is there's teams up there that have really good RPI's that have got big wins. Every team in our conference has had a big win over somebody in another conference or in pre-season play and that states the value of our conference and that there's strong teams on our league and that we deserve to go on to post-season play.

What does Annie Garrison done for you this season and what has she meant to the team?
Ron Bergman, San Jose Mercury News

Annie has meant a lot to our program, period. Not just this season, but for four years. She's just been a tremendous person and player and student. She was just recently named to the CoSIDA District VIII All-Academic first team. I just think the world of Annie. She's been a really good player for us this year. Her role has remained pretty much the same in terms of we only look for her to score, but she's always been a pretty good defender and blocks some shots and gets some rebounds for us. She's also a leader for us. Very diligent, hard working type of kid and when you have a captain like that, generally the others follow. She's been just great for our program.