Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 81, Chicago 70
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On his record-tying win:
The nice thing about this is every one of those wins someone in the locker room was a part of, with Katie (Smith) being here. So that means a lot. You win with players and people. And you have to have great players and great people. And weíve got both. And thatís the only reason things like that happen. Other than this means Iíve been around a long time. Itís easy to manage good people. You just sort of have to massage the situation. You rarely have to rule with an iron fist. You can reason, you can talk, you can communicate and things can get done. Obviously everyone is competitive so everyone has to be competitive. For the most part itís worked pretty well.
On reflecting on his career:
You have to have people give you opportunities so I got an opportunity and I got an opportunity in the ABL. The nice thing about the ABL, especially in Seattle because Seattle is an ABL city and theyíll understand this, is that league at that point was much better than the WNBA. The talent was better. Then I got the opportunity in Minnesota and then there were several people who kept me in the league just being an assistant. Seth Sulka in Phoenix and Dan Hughes in San Antonio kept me involved. Things played out and Karen (Bryant) gave me another opportunity. Without those individuals I wouldnít be able to be here talking about this.
On winning 20-plus games each of the last four years:
We sort of knew the personality we wanted the team to have. Bringing Swin (Cash) in, bringing Camille (Little) in, Tanisha (Wright) being a part of it, bringing Leícoe (Willingham) in, Ashley (Robinson) being a part of it. (We wanted them) to go around the two pillars you have in Sue (Bird) and Lauren (Jackson). Things have just played out. When we first got this opportunity I thought Sue and Lauren might be the best at their positions in the world, so what kind of people and players are going to be a good match with those guys. Obviously, theyíre both quality people but they also are finesse players so you need to put toughness and tenacity and physical play and people to do the dirty work around them. Thatís what we have and everybody plays and accepts their role. The longer weíve played the tighter weíve gotten. And I think this season is an example of that.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On playing on the anniversary of 9/11:
Itís a day to remember and honor those that were victims of that day. And appreciate those who helped us get through it. To have the service men here, it was pretty special.
On facing Phoenix in the playoffs:
Home court advantage will probably play into it. I think we both know both each other very well. Weíve played against each other numerous times, this year and in the past two years. Itís kind of who can impose their will on the other team. And who wants it more. Every team thatís in the playoffs now is good. There is a reason why theyíre in the playoffs; itís just who wants it more.
On winning tonight:
When all is said and done, if we make it to the Finals and Atlanta or New York make it to the Finals, because we won tonight it will give us home court advantage over them. Itís just one game and maybe some of us could have rested, but whatís one more game? You already play 30-whatever games, so one more is not going to make that much of a deal.
STORM GUARD KATIE SMITH:
On her performance:
I said on Friday itís a mindset and just going out and playing. I might not have hit every shot, but Iím going to take shots like Iím going to make them. Itís an attack mentality. Tonight was more jumpers than it was driving to the basket, but every team is a little different.
On Sylvia Fowles' performance:
She plays hard and consistently. She gets you deep and pinned, sheís strong, she can jump and sheís just relentless. Sheís a handful. We have Leícoe and Ashley just battling and battling. It was a team effort. We tried to make her work for everything. Sheís special. Sheís a tough one, but we were able to keep that distance so we were able to get out of here with the win.
STORM FORWARD CAMILLE LITTLE:
On her career-high five assists:
People were open. I had the confidence to throw it. A lot of post players donít have the confidence to throw those kinds of passes in between people, but they were catching them and making them. They finished the shots. CHICAGO HEAD COACH POKEY CHATMAN:
On the game:
This is always a tough place to play. They are a tremendous talent and theyíre well coached, the fans, the environment - it was a special day. The 10-year anniversary [of 9/11] so there was a lot of emotion in the building. Seattle is getting ready for their postseason play so they went hard and were trying to fine-tune some things. We battled. We didnít shoot the basketball very well, but I thought we stayed aggressive and attacked. The bottom line is itís a loss. Weíre done and we have a lot of work to do in the offseason.
On Courtney Vandersloot's rookie season:
Itís a lot of pressure at a premium position. The difficult part is you donít get a lot of time to grow up at all in this league. We had an injury early on so she was just thrown out there. I thought early on she did really well. But everybody talks about the rookie wall and itís real. Sometimes itís not physical, but mental - itís thatís grind of going to places youíve never gone to before. The back-to-backs, the turnarounds, the advance scouting - all those things are new. Youíre learning that side of it, then you have to get on the court. I think she learned a lot, but she has to become a basketball junkie - at a different level than now.
On her message to Vandersloot in timeouts:
Iíll often remind her about change of pace and change of direction. Sheís pretty effective when she plays in the middle third of the floor. We have little inside thing with a drag screen, so we want her to be a drag queen and drag the basketball and get screens in the middle of the floor. Sheís good with the pass, sheís good with the shot and she can penetrate and kick, so it takes some time to get adjusted. And sometimes, itís just to get her relaxed. Everybody is coming at you ... you have the ball in your hands all the time. Youíre the new kid and they want to get after you. I just want her to relax, have some fun and take her mind off something bad that may have just happened.
On the game:
Seattle started out very well. They came in with the mindset that they wanted to stay where they were in playoff position. They did what they had to do.
On the season:
A little disappointed. But with that said, I feel like we had the opportunity to make this thing happen and we just didnít utilize it. We have to be positive as much as possible and look forward next year. Keep working hard.
On Gonzaga fans in attendance:
I tried hard to focus. I donít want to let anything distract me. There are enough distractions at a game so I tried my best to just focus.
On Coach Chatman's message during timeouts:
I donít remember, but I remember it was encouraging. She was giving me some instruction on what to do. It was good. Sheís one of those coaches who knows just what to say to her players. Every player is different and reacts different. I get so caught up and a little bit tense that she knows how to calm me down.
On the reception she got from fans:
It was great. It says a lot about the city, Gonzaga and Seattle included. I love the support, not only that they give at Storm games but for us too.
On playing against Bird:
You can tell she kind of runs this place (laughs) and she does it well. Sheís a great player. Itís just fun to be out there with her.