Straight From The Court
Monday Practice Quotes: Sacramento Monarchs
Coach John Whisenant, Sacramento Monarchs
Q: What are you going to work on in practice today?
Whisenant: We just wanted to work on some of the stuff they might do thatís different like zone presses, half court zones. We spent the day mainly as a shooting day, a running day, and worked on some of that stuff that you donít work on every day because teams typically donít play it. We want to be prepared for everything.
Q: Are you at all worried about a zone press in Game 4?
Whisenant: When you have the 24-second clock you donít have to press. The 24-second clock presses. Thatís one of the things that the NBA second clocks do because they take a lot of those things out of the game. Iím trying to expect anything. If Iím coaching in the Finals my team should be prepared for anything they might throw at us.
Q: Is two days off going to help the team or hurt the team?
Whisenant: We are not used to that much time. I donít know. We will see Wednesday night whether we like it. It is what it is. I try not to worry about things I canít control.
Q: How are you preparing for Game 4?
Whisenant: Itís all about if you just think football and you understand what football coaches say. Weíve got to establish the running game in order to run sweeps. If they want to stack the lane in our running game and stop it, that means we can sweep the ends and throw it out there and itís not different in basketball. If you look at the first game they didnít want our four post to have 50 points like they did in some of the other playoff games so they stack the paint. Kara [Braxton] and Nicole [Powell] had good days because they had good looks and they made them. Game three was the opposite, they got up on our perimeter shooters, played our post players one-on-one and our post players got 50 points. Iím sure there will be some other things in the Wednesday game. We have been practicing today to prepare for all things that might happen in this fourth game.
Q: Are you changing your defense at all for Game 4?
Whisenant: Our defense doesnít change. Our defense is exactly the same and has been for the three and half years that I have been a coach. Our philosophy is we have a sound solid defense. We feel like there are no tricks, it comes down to can we make it hard for them to score and can our offense outscore them.
Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento Monarchs
Q: What did you work on today in practice?
Penicheiro: Today was a relaxed practice; we watched a lot of film. Sometimes thatís the best way to work on your mentality. Your body is a little tired, you are emotionally tired, you are physically tired, so we watched film for about an hour and we worked on our press.
Q: What are you expecting from Detroit?
Penicheiro: Their backs are against the wall and we donít even want to think that we can lose, but we are thinking about winning. We think that they have a smart coach and we expect them to do something new. We anticipate more press because they have to play all out. We expect more presses, individually or zone. We just have to be ready for everything.
Q: Do you like having this much time between games?
Penicheiro: In a way yes and in a way no. It gives you time to prepare better and to relax. In a way you want to play and you want to get this thing done and over with. I think because we have a bench that comes in and plays a lot of minutes we are probably more fresh than they are. They have more time to get in better condition. If we were to play tonight it would give them less time to relax.
Q: Who is the most nervous before a game?
Penicheiro: I donít know. We are all pretty loose. I donít see anybody being nervous or anything. We have been playing basketball for how long, I know that I have been playing since I was born. Itís just another game. Its fun and itís supposed to be fun. I usually get antsy especially if itís like a 7 oíclock game. When the games are later, you get anxious to get the ball rolling. I donít think we get nervous, this is our job and we have fun doing it.
Demya Walker, Sacramento Monarchs
Q: What do you expect Detroit to come out with?
Walker: Even though this isnít technically a back-to-back, they are really good at their turnaround games or when their backs are against the wall. When your backs are against the wall you have nothing to loose. All you have to do is just play so itís kind of freeing them up a little bit and taking the pressure off. If you lose, you lose. Why not just play freely and do what is necessary. They are going to try to put their heads down and drive at us, they are going to try and get in the lane on us and we have to remain steady. We have to be willing to put that wall up and say no.
Q: Do draw from last years close out game against Connecticut?
Walker: What we draw from Game 4 is that it could have went a whole different direction if she made that three at the end of the game. We need the ball in our hands when the buzzer sounds and we need to be up on the scoreboard. Itís never over until itís over.
Q: Who is the most uptight before a game and who is the most loose?
Walker: Erin is probably the least uptight and I couldnít tell you who is the most uptight. Yo [Yolanda Griffith] doesnít really talk to people much before games, but I donít know if thatís really uptight or just her. We are all kind of jolly before a game we all walk in and are like, ďHey girl, thatís a nice outfit.