Aztec Women's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 23, 2012

San Diego State Women's Basketball News Conference Quotes

Head Coach Beth Burns

Opening Statement: "To echo was Coach (Steve Fisher) said, we have bigger fish to fry. We have our goals set on finishing with wins against CSU and Boise and to go in the right way (to the conference tournament) with the kind of momentum we need. We also aren't naive enough to think that our work is done. We know we have to keep winning and keep driving our RPI down and put ourselves in a position to go to the post season."

On the identity of this year's team compared to previous seasons:
"I think anytime you add new people, particularly freshmen to a team, it makes it fun because everything is new. They experience everything for the first time and they bring a level of energy that really is unsurpassed. I think that for us, every team is different, every team has different strengths and that is for us to figure out. We knew we had lots of good parts, but what can we do to put these parts together to get to the success that we have. We had a little bit of a scouting report in the back court because both Chelsea (Hopkins) and Kiyana (Stamps) had been in practice and I knew what Courtney (Clements) had done in the off-season and how much she had learned from a year ago. Our sort of "X" factor was Kalena Tutt, who has been the greatest of role players maybe as good as any I have ever had. All of a sudden, she is going to have a totally different role. What are these incoming freshmen, who love to run, jump and do all different kinds of things but have never played college basketball, how are they going to be able to adapt? How are we going to be able to put them into a framework that doesn't overwhelm them to lose their athleticism, but is able to have us keep progressing forward?

"It was kind of a puzzle but the joy of it is the spirit and energy of our team. I'll give you an example, the other day, it has been well documented that traveling to Wyoming is not one of the easiest things to do in February. It doesn't matter what is thrown at our team, they just have fun wherever they are. Whether it's studying or just hanging out or singing or making up some silly game, we keep a positive vibe. Our focus was to beat Wyoming so whether we had to get diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming, go through white outs or whatever it was. Sometimes that really affects teams, (but) not our team. We have great leadership in our older players; I think that makes a difference. I think the identity of this team, just black and white, is that we have good leaders and good followers. People don't buck each other, they care about each other. I know that sounds trite but usually when you find a championship team it's because people are all in. When you have talented teams that maybe aren't championship teams, you have people that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. We are all in. There is great trust from our trainers, strength coaches and managers to our team and our entire coaching staff. With that, you kind of feel like you can do anything."

On the women's charter experience:
"It was fabulous; it was a beautiful gulfstream jet. Let me put it this way, we had a six o'clock tip (off), we won the conference championship, or at least clinched a part of it, we danced on the floor at Wyoming and I was pulling into my driveway at 10:30 pm. It doesn't get any better than that."

SDSU junior guard Courtney Clements

On winning the conference championship:
"It was a big deal for us because it was a team goal at the beginning of the year. It was even more of a big deal, because we won at Wyoming when we never had previously. Going there and kind of having that monkey on your back, knowing that you have never have even won at their place and knowing that in order to get your championship you have to win. It was just a really big accomplishment not only for this team but for this program."

On winning the conference championship after a disappointing season last year:
"It means a lot, but it would have meant a lot regardless. It means more because I know how it feels to fail and now I'm on the other side. I never want to go back to that (feeling) ever again."

On the women's charter experience:
"They were great. Big shout out to Jim Sterk, our athletic director, and everyone who really put in the time to get us those jets. (The effort) helped us win, even though we had to go through a lot just to get to Laramie, Wyoming, we are just so thankful for the opportunity. There are a lot of teams that don't have the chance to travel on jets like that. Just starting the trip we had a lot of energy because we saw what we were getting and how they were treating us. We kind of felt like they were showing us respect, a sort of here is (your reward) for winning. It gave us energy and I knew we were going to win once we got on that jet."

Junior guard Chelsea Hopkins

On winning the conference championship at Wyoming: "I definitely think winning at Wyoming was a milestone for this team. We were looking to do something great and like coach Burns said, I think the sky is the limit for this team. We are not going to stop at Wyoming. It was a huge win, a big deal for the program but we are moving past that win now. We have bigger fish to fry, like Coach (Burns) said, it's on to these next two games then on to the conference tournament. (Winning at Wyoming) was definitely something exciting, we celebrated it, but we still have business to take care of."

On the women's charter experience:
"To piggy back off of what Courtney said, we are definitely grateful for the jet. At my previous school, we chartered all the time and that plane was by far the nicest jet I have ever been on; it was amazing. Like Courtney said we are just really grateful, feel fortunate and also respected. Not a lot of teams get the opportunity to (travel like that). Speaking from experience, being at another school and having the opportunity to charter, the experience is a night and day difference."