Things said and heard around the WNBA this week.

Notes and Quotes:
August 15, 2005

Mystics Coach Richie Adubato, about Temeka Johnson reaction to the death of former L.S.U. coach Sue Gunter, to the Washington Post:
"It's been a really tough time for Temeka. She tried to go, but it was obvious that she really was not herself. We're just trying to support her as she goes through a real emotional time."

Comets coach Van Chancellor, after last Sunday's loss to the Monarchs:
"I have no doubt that Sacramento is the best team in this league. We're still struggling to make the playoffs."

Mercury G.M. Seth Sulka, on the imminent future of center Maria Stepanova:
"She's not missing the European Championships."

Vanessa Hayden and the Lynx need to get back on the winning track to make the playoffs.
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
Lynx center Vanessa Hayden, after Thursday night's loss to Detroit:
"I think the most frustrating thing is working your butt off out there and coming up short. We can say we fought, fought, fought to the end, but how long can we say that? We've got to actually get a win."

Shock guard Katie Smith:
"This has been great for me. That's a great group to be on the floor with -- there's just so much talent and so many options."

Sparks center Lisa Leslie, after Saturday's win:
"It's definitely different for us. It took years to build the chemistry when we won championships. I don't know if you can just put a team together and expect it to win championships. "Overall, do we have a good team? Yeah. Are we all on the same page at all times? Absolutely not. It's just a matter of trying to pull it together, trying to get chemistry. That's something that I just really feel that we lack."

Liberty guard Becky Hammon, after playing Detroit and Katie Smith last week:
"They are a lot more dangerous now. She's exactly what they needed."They are a lot more dangerous now. She's exactly what they needed."

Lynx guard Kristi Harrower, after last Sunday's win over the Sparks:
"I think you can take things from both halves. The first half shows that we can play with anybody. In the second, we stopped attacking, and you can't do that in this league. But we did learn to be poised in that kind of situation.''

Sun star Nykesha Sales, on Dawn Staley's role in Houston:
"She`ll have fun playing in Houston, and it will keep her in the league one more year. Dawn is a very smart point guard, and they have lots of scorers."

Shock coach Bill Laimbeer, after Saturday's win over the Silver Stars:
"I think that we will need to finish at least 4-2 to be assured of a playoff spot."

Washington's Coco Miller, on the physical play in the WNBA this season:
"Yeah, it`s a bit more physical this year, especially driving to the basket. They`re letting things go, not calling it."

Houston forward Tari Phillips, on the similarities playing for former New York coach Richie Adubato and Comets coach Van Chancellor:
"They both get red in the face when they`re mad."

Mercury coach Carrie Graf, after Thursday night's win, to the Arizona Republic:

Detroit's Swin Cash, to the Detroit Free Press, about the race for the playoffs:
"I've seen crazier, I guess. But I think it's always how you finish, not how you start."

Sun guard Lindsay Whalen, last Tuesday, to the Hartford Courant:
"The main motivation now is to just get better every day. That's the most important thing right now, to make sure we're at our best when the playoffs start."

Sheryl Swoopes, after last Sunday's loss to the Monarchs, to the Houston Chronicle:
"I'm going to say the only good thing, if there is a good thing about the (latest) two losses that we have. It's the fact that the teams that we're still in the running with, ... they've lost, too."

Sacramento's Nicole Powell, on teammate Ticha Penicheiro, to the Sacramento Bee:
"I used to watch Ticha and wonder what it would be like to play with her. And all I can say is that she's incredible. She sees the game in ways that other players don't. She's on her own level. Just the way she finds people."

Storm guard Tanisha Wright, who replaced Betty Lennox in the starting lineup last week when Lennox was injured:
"Betty gave me a call before the game, but she's been a big help since the beginning of training camp. She's [Lennox] really been a blessing to have around."

Liberty General Manager Carol Blazejowski, on the passing of L.S.U. coach Sue Gunter:
"She was a wonderful person. She was a wonderful coach. She was a champion of women's basketball."

Sparks coach Henry Bibby talking to the Hartford Courant about Katie Douglas, after the Sparks' loss to the Sun on Tuesday:
"She is a great player. We were cognizant of her. We know she can shoot the basketball, and we left her open a couple of times. When you leave people open like that, they bury shots."

Lynx forward Stacey Lovelace-Tolbert, after Minnesota's win over the Silver Stars on Tuesday:
"We started off the second half playing hard and trying to get the ball to go in, but it just wasn't falling. I was on the sidelines watching and saying to myself that if I got in, I needed to try to bring some kind of a spark, anything to get the tables turned in our favor."

Detroit's Deanna Nolan, after the Shock's win over Charlotte last week:
"The turnovers at the end kind of let them creep back into the game," said Nolan. "We just had to keep our composure. Other than that, we have to learn how to finish teams out."

Storm guard Sue Bird, after witnessing teammate Lauren Jackson and Sheryl Swoopes go off on Tuesday night:
"You definitely can get caught looking and being a spectator. But at the same time these games mean so much that, amazing as some of the plays were, you have to just shrug them off."

Lynx COO Roger Griffith, to the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
"When you make a deal like we did with Katie, it causes people to ask that question. Do we dwell on it or second-guess ourselves? No."

Liberty guard Becky Hammon, after Wednesday's win over the Sparks:
"We did a good job of staying composed. That's been an issue for us all year."

Connecticut's Taj McWilliams-Franklin, to the Hartford Courant:
"The kind of team we have, the players on it, just keep rolling. I think everybody, especially with an expansion draft next year, will have a chance to show Coach Thibault that they deserve a spot. It's an opportunity for young players to step up. We just have to solidify our position. We've missed players before [due to injuries]. Margo needs to go home and just be Polish for a while, chill with her people."

Katie Smith, after playing against her former team, the Lynx, on Thursday night:
"I know all their plays, all their tendencies. I mean in that sense its like practice. Obviously we wanted to win this, its huge for the playoffs. We just have to take care of business every night. They're in a dogfight, too."

Charlotte Sting General Manager Trudi Lacey, to the Charlotte Observer:
"That gave her an opportunity to play with her former Olympic teammates... She did great things for our franchise. I really can't comment on her feelings. The only thing we can say is we appreciate everything Dawn has done for us and wish her the best."

Silver Stars point guard Shannon Johnson, after San Antonio's loss to Indiana on Thursday:
"We just didn't put the ball in the hole. We were able to stop each other. They just put it in the hole a few more times than we did."