Postgame Quotes: May 11, 2004

Preseason
Lynx 74, Shock 65
Target Center

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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
(on the importance of beating Detroit) "This early in the season... not much. They didn't have Cheryl Ford (and) each team is trying to play 14 players. You work on combinations to see who plays well together. But you try to win because you're competitors. When you put on the uniform, there's a sense of pride. It was a fun game to play (regardless of) who was on the floor. But I was pleased with the combinations we played."

"Ohlde and Tamika are really working well together. Gorp has come off the bench and has done a good job, and we are working to find where we go from there, after those three. Each of the (post) players we are considering brings something different. You have Jordan Adams, who has the ability to step out and hit the three-pointer. You have Gwen Slaughter, who's a rebounder but can also score. Stacey Lovelace brings a wealth of experience and you can tell she's played internationally. So they all bring something different."

"We have very difficult decisions to make. Amber Jacobs has come in and shot 9-for-9 in our two exhibition games. She's making it difficult and is earning a spot on this team, as well as Tasha Butts. She has come in and has been very valuable on both ends of the floor. She really has a knack for the ball, can rebound, defend, can shoot... She's a complete player. She will vie for playing time on this team. Katie Bulger has hit a three-pointer in each of our games, and that has been her forte, being a shooter."

"We still have Vanessa Hayden, and I'm very impressed with her motivation. In trying to come back, she's working very hard. She'll be back soon and she will be thrown into the mix... Probably two to four weeks is what we're predicting. She could be on the court as early as next week. She's working individually right now, shooting and running."



Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"The preseason is just a chance to run our offense. I will get my looks and do my job whatever night. We all will have our night. I feel good physically. I knocked down some shots today but we have a lot of players who can really put the ball in the hole, so now teams will really have to respect us offensively and defensively."

"Our size is something that we needed to address, and we brought that in with Ohlde and Hayden. We needed players that not only could score but players that can guard. We see players like Ford and Riley in Detroit and Leslie and Milton in L.A. We needed size offensively and defensively, and they went out and got them. We love our kids and can't wait to get Vanessa Hayden back."

"Honestly, the young players that are here have made the transition easy. They have really worked hard and we (veterans) just go out and play. We're happy to have the new players, on and off the court. Everybody on this team is good people and everybody is happy. All we want to do is win."



Lynx Center Nicole Ohlde
"I think the exhibitions are for gaining experience in different areas. It's good to get this experience in the preseason and get the feel for how physical and different this game is. This game is much more physical and a lot faster. The players are constantly more physical, especially in the paint. Everybody is so much stronger and quicker, and the play from after a made basket is pushed upcourt right away."

"We have had a lot of different combinations in the games we have played, so we all are just trying to see how everybody will work together. In many ways, it is very experimental... I don't really know where I will fit in on this team. I need to continue to learn from everybody on this team like I have every day, and hopefully improve and do whatever the team needs."



Lynx Forward Tasha Butts
"I think that I need to continue to work on the things that got me here, which is my defense. I feel like I'm a defensive person first and then the offense will come. I need to make sure to bring the energy every day and make sure that I am an emotional leader for the team."





Shock Coach Bill Laimbeer
"Normally, it would be easier to defend a title than it is winning it the first time. But with the Dispersal Draft, teams got better... I'll eat the regular draft, but the Dispersal Draft added an extra player (per team), so it will be a little tougher this year."

"We knew Lake can score. That's what we brought her in for, to be our scorer off the bench. She played very well. I thought Ruth did okay. Missing Cheryl right now hurts us a little bit, and Ayana Walker didn't pick up the slack today. We were going to play a million people. We had 14 players to get in today, and we could never get in a rhythm."

"Minnesota is pretty good. They've got some size now to them, which I think is a big bonus for them... We knew Nicole Ohlde can play. If she was available, we would've taken her. But unfortunately we drafted late. She runs well and she's big. She's a good 6-5... Jacobs doesn't miss. She's 9-for-9 now. She's a solid, steady little player that doesn't cause them many issues or any problems. You can't leave her, or else she'll knock the open shot down."

"We learned a few things. We are trying to see everybody, an opportunity to get them some minutes to show themselves. Some played their way into some minutes, some played their way out of some minutes... We're pretty close. We added Chandi Jones and Iciss Tillis and Lake Jones. Actually, we're deeper than we were last year."



Shock Guard Merlakia Jones
"We expected to win, but Minnesota has a good team. I think defensively we got out of character a little bit. I think they just wanted the ball and hustled to the ball a lot more than we did."

"It has been a good adjustment for me. I'm coming to a team where I'm starting out new and fresh. Bill has given me the opportunity to come out and take advantage, and shoot when I have the opportunity. This is a group that loves to run and play good defense. When we get out and run, the shots are always going to be open. It's just a matter of knocking down the shots."

"That's why we have these preseason games, to give everybody an opportunity. You just come out and see what everybody is capable of doing. As the season gets closer, you can see who you can have in at certain times and certain moments of the game. We're just using this as a tuneup for us."



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