Q & A With Tia StovallOctober 28, 2004 · MT Media Relations
"We started off kind of shaky, but I honestly think this last week has been great. We have come to practice more focused and everybody isn't being tentative. They are paying attention. I think it has helped to have veterans on the court helping the younger players. Our chemistry is defninetly coming together and I think that has to do with Coach [Stephany] Smith putting the same amount of veterans on each team. I think this week is going to determine how we play on Monday."
What is the intensity level of the team in practice?:
"Our intensity level has really picked up. I think Starr Orr and Latoya Barclay have been playing major roles. Latoya has been playing the point some and doing well and Starr is picking up the offense. Even Sara, who had a slow start due to injury, is really being intense and going after loose balls and not afraid to shoot."
Talk about some of the veterans you have been impressed with:
"I think Chrissy [Givens] has upped her game. She did have intensity and great defense last year, but this year she has come out of the gates with it and makes us pick up our intensity. When Chrissy is on the floor and she is chattering and she is got that mad defense, it makes us want to play that way. Chrissy has been playing a major role out there on offense and defense. I know she makes me play harder, because when you see somebody else giving their all, you know you want to be a part of that."
"It is always great to work with Krystle [Horton]. When she has the ball she knows where I am and when I have the ball I know where she is. It is just great chemistry with her. And of course Patrice [Holmes], who is just a phenomenal player. Patrice is always on top of her game. She may have a bad day in class, but when she comes to the court it has no affect on her game. I think Patrice has shown great leadership and is a great influence on our freshmen."
Talk about being picked first in the East in the Sun Belt:
"When we first heard about it we were happy but you can't just go by rankings. You have to actually go out there and show everybody that you deserve to be No. 1 and that is why everybody picked you. I think it made us more focused, helped us realize that there is a target on our backs, but I think everybody kind of likes that target. I think it put a toll on use, but in a good way. You have more positive attitudes. It was one of our goals and now that everybody else sees we should be in first place now we know ourselves we should be in there. I don't think it is going to be too hard to live up to this expectation, because nobody on this team is going to accept anything less than what we did last year."
Your reactions to being named to the Preseason Sun Belt Third Team:
"I think when anybody gets recognized like this it gives you a little bit more confidence, a bit of a boost. When I heard about it, I was just excited my named was out there and people are actually paying attention to me. It makes me want to play harder every day, stay focused and be a leader."
Talk about your exhibition game with Henderson State:
"I really don't know a lot about Henderson State, but I think it is going to be a really good game. It is going to tell us where we are and where we need to be. I think they are going to be really good competition and I am looking forward to it."
Playing in the Preseason WNIT:
"We will be in the spotlight when we play in the WNIT, being just one of 16 teams playing. It makes me feel special, and I know it makes the other players feel special too, to be one of the 16 teams in that tournament."
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