Coach Pat Summitt Talks About The Week In Women's Basketball

Pat Summitt Teleconference Transcript

January 16, 2008--

On the 2-0 start in the Southeastern Conference…

“We were excited to get the SEC going and have a chance to open up at home. In our game against Auburn we played pretty well on the defensive end. At South Carolina, that was maybe one of our better defensive games, but we did not shoot the ball particularly well from a lot of positions, but anytime you can get a road win, you have to take it and move on.”

On facing Kentucky on Thursday…

“We’ve had some good preparation getting ready to go to Kentucky. We are looking forward to seeing how our team will respond. Unfortunately, we are not as healthy as I’d like for us to be. Alex (Fuller) has been out and that is a concern we have in terms of our inside depth. Hopefully everyone else will be good to go.”

On Vanderbilt’s lineup with three new starters…

“Melanie (Balcomb) does a great job. She does have a little bit of a different look. I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of them. I know Liz Sherwood is doing a good job in shooting the ball extremely well. If you talk about players that we will have to defend, she is one of the most efficient in terms of field goal percentage. That will be a challenge for our inside game. She and Christina Wirth are the two putting up the biggest numbers, but it looks to me like they are playing a little bit deeper, at least six, seven or eight deep at times. I told my staff I need to get familiar with their personnel because it is a different look for them. They are always very competitive and well-prepared when we meet. We’ve had some hard-fought, tough games with Vanderbilt and I don’t expect anything differently this time.”

On Balcomb bringing Liz Sherwood of the bench…

“I think that our depth is a big concern for me right now, but if we can get healthy, then I think we are deep enough that we can match their depth. Liz may come off the bench, but I expect her to play a big role and a lot of minutes. That is a challenge for Candace (Parker) and Nicky (Anosike) because she is so efficient. They do have quality depth, but for us, if we go eight deep, we’ve been successful with that because we’ve tried to rotate and keep people fresh in the game.”

On your friendship with Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell…

“I first got to know Matthew when he came and worked our basketball camps. He did a great job. He’s got great enthusiasm and loves the game. He is excited with this opportunity. He’s been able to get his team really focused for SEC play. I am proud for him. I know that he works really, really hard and I think with him taking over this team, coming back to Kentucky, they are comfortable and very familiar with him and his coaching style. They are coming together and playing their best basketball of late.”

On your advice to young coaches…

“We’ve talked a little bit. I’ve just encouraged him. Obviously, he is very knowledgeable. The piece of advice I give every coach that is going into the profession and sitting in the head coach’s chair is that recruiting is the name of the game. You’ve got to get players. We’ve had a lot of success at Tennessee and it is not by accident. We’ve put together a staff and been relentless in the recruiting. That is what separates teams. The teams that have the best players have the best record and generally the best success. I advised him and everyone to focus on getting players.”

On the role of Vicki Baugh…

“We have to have Vicki Baugh at a different level come post season to make a run at a championship. I feel strongly about what she can bring to our team. If you look at her athleticism, speed, quickness and her ability to defend and board, there is such a great upside to her game. What I‘m looking for now is some consistency on the offensive end in terms of being able to make good decisions and not rush. She is so athletic and so fast and has the quickness, but sometimes she doesn’t have the composure. (Tennessee Assistant Coach) Dean (Lockwood) is working with her daily to try and tighten up her offensive skills and package and I think that will be key for us.”

On matching up with Kentucky…

“When we head that way, we’ll definitely remember what happened the last time we played at Kentucky. That was a game where they played terrific; they found a way to win. We haven’t talked about it, because we take it one game at a time. But now, as we prepare to play tomorrow, there is no doubt in my mind it is something the team will talk about and we will talk about.”


The V Foundation for Cancer Research is proud to announce that the two winningest coaches in collegiate basketball history, Tennessee’s Pat Summitt and Texas Tech’s Bob Knight will be the honored guests at the 2008 Dick Vitale Gala for Cancer Research on May 16 in Sarasota, Florida. The Gala is proudly presented by second-year Presenting Sponsor, The Hartford.

“Once again, Dick has lined up the best of the best to help us raise money for cancer research,” said V Foundation CEO Nick Valvano. “We are thrilled Coach Summitt and Coach Knight are going to join us for this very special evening. Dick’s efforts on behalf of The V Foundation are becoming legendary, and we’re so honored that he has such passion and commitment for our cause.”

The Gala, to be held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Sarasota, will also feature ESPN’s John Saunders as the evening’s host. Last year’s Gala raised $1.3 million in event proceeds and pledges for cancer research. The largest grant funded by the 2007 Vitale Gala was a $1 million melanoma research grant at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. The 2008 Gala will fund pediatric cancer research in memory of Payton Wright, a five-year old who lost her valiant battle against cancer this past summer.

Vitale, as many know, is currently under doctor’s orders to rest his voice, but it did not silence his enthusiasm for his special guests.

“Bob Knight and Pat Summitt are genuine Solid Gold Hall of Famers who also are willing to give their time generously to help Jimmy V's dream of beating cancer,” Vitale said. “Bob and Pat are AWESOME BABY with a capital ‘A’.”

“The Jimmy V Foundation is the most prolific organization that ties sports and cancer research together, said Summitt. “It is humbling to be included in this gala event that was founded for an individual who exemplified excellence on so many levels. Dick Vitale has been instrumental in its success over the years. Dick’s leadership, influence and passion for this cause is unwavering, and I am honored to be a part of this fight against cancer,” she concluded.

“I would like to congratulate and thank Dick Vitale for his tireless efforts in raising awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research,” Knight added. “I can’t think of anyone who has so freely given of himself to help others over these years. While “thanks” seems such a simple word, please know that it recognizes Dick for all he has done and for what he continues to do to help others.”

For sponsorship/ticket information for the 2008 Dick Vitale Gala for Cancer Research, presented by The Hartford, log on to The V Foundation website at or call 1-800-4JimmyV.

Stories Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information & The Dick Vitale Gala

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