Nov. 11, 2003
ATLANTA – What are some things that people can expect to see this year from Georgia Tech women’s basketball?
“One thing that I definitely want people to say when they leave the gym, whether we win or lose, is that our team gave it all we had. I want them to say that we played hard, we dove on the floor after every loose ball. I want them to feel like we got after it both offensively and defensively and that we left everything on the court.”
“Offensively I think people can expect to see a very up-tempo, running, type of offense. We like to shoot the ball quickly and rebound it. We want to be the best rebounding team in the ACC. You’ll also see us open up the floor and spread things out a little more. Hopefully we can become a better three-point shooting team. We won’t play the way we played last year because we don’t have Sonja Mallory down low any more and our post players are a lot more versatile. We’re going to hopefully be even more up-tempo than we were last year.”
“Defensively, we are going to press at every opportunity and get in the passing lanes. Hopefully, our offense will come from our defense a lot of the time. One of the things that we definitely want to do is to lead the league in rebounding and we would like to be one of the top defensive teams in the ACC.”
What is your recruiting philosophy?
“When I’m looking for players to fit into our system and for players that I want to coach, the first thing that I look for is their competitive spirit. To me, that’s the most important thing, because if they have a competitive spirit, then they are probably competing in the classroom and on the court. Obviously, being at Georgia Tech, the second thing that we have to look for, are elite students. We can’t just look at elite athletes, we have to find elite student-athletes. If they are competitive and they are elite student-athletes, I know that they are going to give everything they have every day to become the best they can be. Those are the main things that we look for in recruiting.”
Do you feel that Georgia Tech women’s basketball is ready to go out and recruit the top players in the country?
“I think that when I first came to Georgia Tech, I talked to Coach Berenato about a five-year plan. I don’t think that you can go in overnight and recruit the same players that Duke and Tennessee and UConn are recruiting, but I do see Georgia Tech moving in that direction. It’s a process and I definitely think that in the last two years we’ve laid the foundation with recruiting two top-20 classes and this year hopefully we can follow that up with a top-10 class. Eventually in the next two to three years, I definitely see us pursuing that level of student-athlete.”
What have you tried to put together with your first coaching staff here at Georgia Tech?
“The first thing that I was looking for when I put together my staff was that I wanted to find people that were competitive, had great integrity and character, and the third thing that I look for was experience. I made up my mind that I was going to hire the most experienced and diverse staff that I could find. I definitely looked for somebody that had more than 10 years of experienced and fortunately I was able to find two assistants that came here from great programs and great backgrounds.”
“Stephanie McCormick had just won a Conference USA championship at Charlotte and she had nine years of coaching and playing experience, having played at the collegiate level. I felt that I wanted somebody on my staff that had won a championship and I felt like she fit that.
” I feel very fortunate that we were able to attract Art PreVost to come to Georgia Tech. He is well known throughout the country as a recruiter, he recruited on the men’s side at Minnesota and signed two McDonald’s All-Americans on the men’s side and if you can do that, you should be able to sign some on the women’s side. They are both very enthusiastic and can relate well to our student-athletes.”
“We were fortunate that Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick decided to stay on. She has both ACC playing and coaching experience and the thing about Brenda is that she knows exactly what it takes to be successful at Georgia Tech as a student.”
What are your long-term goals for the program now that you are the head coach?
“I definitely felt like I won the lottery when I took this job. I feel like this is one of the best jobs in the country. I think that there is no reason that we can’t challenge Duke for an ACC Championship and I don’t think that there is any reason why we can’t get to the Final Four and win a National Championship. We have all the resources, we have the support of our administration and we have everything that it takes to be a top-10 program and that’s my goal for Georgia Tech.”