Quotes: Silver Stars vs Sun: 8/30/11


Dan Hughes

Becky Hammon

Sophia Young

Mike Thibault

Asjha Jones

Tina Charles

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Head Coach Dan Hughes

(Opening statement)
"It was good for us today to win. We asked George, one of our associates, to study us statically. We haven't been as efficient in the field goal area, especially in the paint and in our early offense. We had a great workout yesterday. I think that is always a great sign. We got more aggressive in our transition game. We got more aggressive to get in the lane, passing and dribbling. We asked them to rebound offensively at a greater level and they responded. They gave it to us. Connecticut is a good team, but for us to turn the tide with some of things we’ve been dealing with as a team. That was a good win, now we got to build on that."

(On the team’s practice)
“We just had a really good practice yesterday. A real good practice. You could sense it. Honestly, it’s hard to practice at this time of the year, but we practiced. Even at the expense of what it would do physically to us. I give the players a lot of credit. I think they wanted a good practice and we had one. I thought it got us off to a good start.”

(On Becky scoring her 5,000th point)
“It’s just amazing to me. I played against her in New York. I think her greatest contributions and greatest performances have been here in San Antonio. I think what she’s achieving is utterly amazing to me and well deserved. People don’t understand how hard Becky Hammon has worked at the game even as she came into the league. When I first played her, she was an incredible shooter. She didn’t have the ball skills, the presence. She improved herself athletically and she has worked hard over her career to be a player that can attain these kind of things. That’s a great story, there’s a book to be written and a basketball fan should buy."


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Becky Hammon

(On the team’s ball movement)
“I think that’s when we are at our best, when we are moving the ball like that. A lot of people stepping up and making shots. It makes it really hard to defend when everyone is contributing. It was a good team win. I’m proud the way we bounced back. It’s been a struggle here but we stuck together. Hopefully the worst is behind us and the best is still in front of us.”

(On taking the win over scoring her 5,000th point…)
“The win. The win is a huge monkey off our back. We got to continue staying focused and keep putting one foot in front of the other. And hopefully we want to start playing our best basketball at the end of season. Hopefully it’ll give us a bit of a jump start for that.”

(On having a good practice)
“We did. I thought we increased our intensity and our competiveness. You tend to come out and play the way you practice. So we got to stay focused when we go in for 30 minutes or an hour. Get in, get our work done and be focused when we are there and have that carry over to the game and that’s what we had today, that carry over.”


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Sophia Young

(On tonight’s outcome…)
“Well we are in a stretch of playing every other day. We weren’t getting good practice. Yesterday’s practice we were all about being competitive and going against each other, while not taking anything personal. Just figuring out our mindset of being aggressive. Obviously it paid off today, because practice makes perfect.

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Mike Thibault

(On making the playoffs despite the loss tonight …)
“This doesn’t feel real good. You’d rather win to get in [the playoffs]; you don’t want to back in. We were going to get in eventually, but it’s not a fun way to have it happen. I’d rather walk off the court with a win and say we did something great tonight. We didn’t do much great tonight. We missed layups, we let them shoot over 50% in the second half and we made mistakes. Our turnovers led to 15 points for them and we missed eight free throws. They made some big shots, too.”
“I thought that for good stretches of the game we defended them well and then we gave it back with a turnover or a defensive breakdown at the end of the shot clock. Give them some credit though; they made four or five shots with the shot clock running out that were huge shots. We allowed them to shoot 15-for-29 in the second half and that’s just not good enough.”

(On the difference in shooting percentages tonight …)
“When [the Silver Stars] get some steals that turn into layups that helps your shooting percentage go up quickly. I think that’s part of it. I think having one person break down on a defensive rotation; you’ve got to have all five people on a string and if one person isn’t you’re going to make a mistake. Especially when you’re trying to make sure that Perkins and Hammon don’t get any easy looks at the basket from the perimeter. We took away most of their post game, but they made a ton of those shots on the perimeter tonight. And then you lose some of your momentum in the first half when you get yourself when you miss as many layups as we did right there at the basket. Those are deflation plays I think.”

(On the tough matchup the Silver Stars have presented all season …)
“I think part of it is that [the Silver Stars’] quickness is very good. They have multiple good shooters on the perimeter. I think they are a very smart team; they don’t beat themselves. We’ve been a good, low-turnover team all year and they have pretty much done that, too. I think they win a lot of games because they end up with a lot more quality possessions than the teams they play against. They usually have less turnovers. They usually shoot a few more free throws. They haven’t been a great rebounding team and they’ve struggled a bit lately, but I think that if they can get their momentum back in these next few games they are going to be a tough team in the playoffs. They’re a good team and some teams you just have bad matchups with.”

(On coaching a younger team than what he has in the past several years …)
“Every day is a teaching experience. We’re the youngest team in the league and there are days that we are getting better and there are days that we act young again. We’re still making mistakes. We have seven players with less than three years experience. There are nights that shows up. [The Silver Stars] are a team that have a lot of veterans out there. Other than the two Danielle’s the rest of their team is a very veteran team. They’re smart and I think that’s a big advantage they have over a team like us right now.”


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Asjha Jones

(On making the playoffs despite the loss …)
“At least we’re in, right? The last two years we haven’t gotten to the playoffs, so I guess that’s something to be thankful for tonight. We’re not too proud of our performance, but at least we’re in.”

(On the tough matchup the Silver Stars have presented all season …)
“I think it’s their discipline. If you let them run their offense the way they want to run it they’ll pick you apart. I think they have players that play well off of each other and if you don’t disrupt their offense at all and let them send their defense, they’re tough to play against.”

(On what the difference was tonight specifically …)
“When a team is scoring and making their shots, it’s tough to run down there and play against a set defense every time. They do a good job of helping each other. We didn’t let our defense create our offense tonight and that’s a big deal for us. We like to get up and down the court on the break and catch teams before they can get set. Tonight we weren’t able to do that.”


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Tina Charles

(On making the playoffs despite the loss tonight …)
“I guess you can say it’s bittersweet. Of course we wanted to win this game, but we lost. I mean if we’re in, we’re in. Like they say, ‘A win is a win.’ We’re in and for a lot of us this is our first time in the playoffs. We wanted to get in with a win though of course.”

(On the tough matchup the Silver Stars have presented all season …)
“They have great leadership on their team. Becky is a great leader. I’ve played with her overseas so I know off the bat that she’s a great point guard. She’s going to find the open man and do the little things, and then she’s going to get herself involved. I think them having Becky Hammon alone and players like Ruth Riley makes a great combination for any team.”

(On how their missed attempts early affected them later on …)
“I think anybody in the position that knows it’s a shot they can make and then they miss it; I think it’s really hard on them personally and also hard on the team. You know that person usually makes those shots. There were a bunch of times that we were out on fast-breaks and coach wanted us to slow down because we weren’t finding the right opportunities that we should have found. You can’t really dwell on it too long though. We have Indiana coming up and we have to just go from there.”


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