Tigers Meet with the Media



Nov. 8, 2012

Freshman Maddie Stock

On the transition to college from high school...
"It's tougher than high school. I've learned that it takes a lot of concentration, heart and toughness, and mentally preparing yourself for games. To be ready to play and compete at the college level is so much different than high school."

On her approach to being mentally prepared...
"We always talk about thinking right in practice, and we come out here three different times for warm-ups. That's another thing I have to get used to, a lot of warm-ups. We come out here three different times and the first time you come out here you kind of observe, see what's going on. Each time you come out you get more focused, more ready to play, and just focus on what you need to concentrate on during the game, and just what you need to do to get the job done."

On the team's preparedness for the regular season...
"We still have a lot of work to do. But I think we're going in the right direction, and we're getting there."

On what improvements the team needs to make...
"Rebounding and boxing out seems to be our number one area to improve on, and then just defense. We need to improve on defense."

On playing in Mizzou Madness and how it affects the team's preparedness...
"It was a lot of fun, but it was very nerve-wrecking. It woke me up to how many people could be watching compared to high school games where we'd see like five people."

On comfort in rotations...
"I felt comfortable for the most part. I like getting to play with different people, and getting in the game was a big step there, too."

On the preparedness of the freshmen...
"I think we're all excited, want to play, and ready to go."

Senior Sydney Crafton

On expectations for the first game...
"I expect to win. We've had our exhibition games, we've gotten all the stuff that we needed to work out, all of the kinds, so I'd expect us to come out, ready to play, focused, and get a win."



On the younger players stepping up...
"You saw the last game, all the young ones and the new ones stepped up. That was nice to see."

On the high level of play from the younger players...
"I know they can. Maddie [Stock] is a phenomenal shooter. [Liana] Doty is a great point guard. It's just a matter of coming out and not being timid, since it's the first game. I know my freshman year I didn't play, but I was still nervous in warm ups. So my role was different than their role is now."

On the Saint Louis team...
"I know last year they were really good rebounding, but this year it's a different coaching staff, so I'm not really sure of their style. We are just going to go out and play."

Head Coach Robin Pingeton

On the first game...
"We're excited. It's hard to believe it's already here to be honest with you. But I think it's that time. They're going to start playing some games, it's just always so much different than your practice settings. But I think we're about as ready as you could be with as young as you are, and we'll just roll it out there and see how we do."

On getting all of the players to mesh as a team, and comparing to the men's progress...
"I think for where we're at, I understand what you're saying with Frank's [Haith] situation, but there is a pretty big difference because they've got a pretty strong tradition behind their program. And we're not only creating a culture here with so many new kids with that trust and that chemistry, but on top of that trying to build a program. So there's a lot of things that go into that. But I think that's a pretty big piece to the puzzle. I've always been a pretty big believer that kids don't care how much you know until they know how much you care, and just to build on those relationships, that great communication and trust, and I think that is a huge piece of the puzzle. And I think we have that, it's a work in progress, there's no doubt about it. That's what's so great about away games is that you get that time together. It's so hard during the year with the class loads that they carry and the mentors and advisors and tutors, and just to find that pocket or window of opportunity to really spend that kind of quality time together. Especially with the majors that our girls have, we've got a crazy schedule. But I do think that's a big piece of it. I like where we're at from a chemistry standpoint. I think we're going to continue to grow and get stronger from that regard. I think part of it too is that you've got so many new kids, is that learning how to play together, learning each other's strengths and weaknesses, learning those tendencies of each other. It's all a work in progress."

On playing against SLU and the game taking a special meaning to St. Louis area natives...
"I would think so, yes. That's something you'd probably have to ask them. But I think we're really trying to focus in this week on what some of our goals are, individually and collectively. And I think the fact of that matter is that the expectations that we have for ourselves are pretty high. We're not going to make excuses this year. It's been said, we know we're young, we know we're inexperienced. But we're not going to use that as a crutch or as an excuse. We're going to jump in with two feet and try to continue to build this program and take it in a forward direction. Our girls are just excited to get an opportunity to play and get the season underway. Certainly, I think being from St. Louis, they've probably been recruited by that school but it's a new staff. A lot of things have changed from that standpoint. I think it's more importantly the opportunity to put on a University of Missouri uniform and getting this season started off on the right foot."

On rotations in regular season...
"It's hard to tell early on. I think for sure as we get into conference play, we've got to shore that up a little bit. You can't continue to play that many players, and we've talked about that a little bit as a team, too. But early on with there being so much parity and so much competition within each position, it's great as a coach because sometimes the best learning tool is saying `you're going to sit right here on the bench until you close out the way you're supposed to close out or be a first to the floor kind of player, and have your defensive rotation' so you can hold them accountable, and we've got options right now. I think as we go through the season, eventually there'll probably be some separation, but I don't know that we're there quite yet."

On the play of Kyley Simmons and Liana Doty...
"We're excited about it. They're both very good point guards, and they bring something unique and different for us on the court. They're both very valuable, and they look pretty good out there at the same time, too. So it gives us just another option, a different look, depending on what we're needing on that particular game. But I've said this before, they're two really high character kids. I don't think either one of them is going to get caught up in who's starting and who's not. They're both going to play a lot of minutes, and they both bring great value to our team."

On the growth and expectations for Morgan Eye...
"Being one of our veteran players as a sophomore, her expectations are pretty high. I think having that one year of experience is certainly going to help her. When you look at her story coming from Montrose High School, graduating class of 11 or 12, but then to be on the stage that she was on and the way she handled it, she's a pretty calm, cool, and collected customer. It's been fun to watch her grow, and I think she's going to have another really good year for us. She had a really good offseason. Again, she's another high character kid who's not going to get caught up and who isn't. She's here to help us put Mizzou on the map and lay a foundation, and that's what we've got to have right now in our program, kids that are extremely unselfish. Whatever their given role is they embrace it, they take ownership of it, and they contribute to the success of our team."

On the play of Maddie Stock in the second exhibition game...
"It's interesting because I know that first exhibition game, and I talked to a lot of people at some different speaking engagements and said `don't worry. We can shoot the ball better than what we did, because we had been shooting the ball very well consistently in practice, we've got a lot of different weapons.' And she was certainly one of those players, that what we saw in that first exhibition game didn't really align with what we were seeing. She's the least of our concern. She is a great offensive player. I think for Maddie, she's got the quickest release on our team, and she made a lot of shots in her high school career. Obviously the college game is different, but I think she's going to be a really special player not only this year, but throughout her career here at Missouri. We've got to get her a little stronger defensively. They played a lot of zone in high school, so there's just a lot of terminology and rotations that are still a little foreign to her, and when you're out there as a player and you've got to think through some of that, it makes you a little bit of a step slow. I think when she gets to feel a little bit more comfortable with that she'll become a little bit more aggressive for us on the defensive end.

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