Sports & Culture Media

Dallas Wings Quotes

On practice today after Saturday’s loss

“Practice was mainly about us. We talked about how to correct our mistakes. It was nothing that Atlanta did and we congratulate them for winning the game, but it was all about what we did and what we can improve upon. And we didn’t do a very good job of doing the game plan and following through offensively and defensively. I personally didn’t recognize our team from having such a good training camp and playing against our practice players. The way we didn’t share the basketball or defend. Simple things as making free throws. We shoot over 150 free throws every practice and we shoot at a high percentage, so the missed six three throws were very surprising for me. And also turning the ball over as well. We just focused on ourselves and went in the gym and got some shots up and executed our offensive sets and we’ll go from there. We can’t do well alone from one game. We know our mistakes and we know we have to improve.”

On releasing Moriah Jefferson

“Releasing MJ was one of the hardest days of my life because I’ve been knowing her since San Antonio and we drafted her there and had her in Las Vegas and now coming here to coach her as well. So, it was tough. Also, it was the best thing for our organization but also it was the best thing for her as well. The direction we’re going is not the direction that is for her. So, I think releasing her early, she’ll have the opportunity to go somewhere else and play and finish her career somewhere else. We have our roster set at this time – is it complete? We don’t know yet.”

On areas of team improvement

“Defensively, of course. Rebounding the basketball and sharing the basketball as well. On that second group, bringing out that defensive mindset. Adding Dickey to the second lineup is very good. I feel like she can be very productive within five or six minutes defensively and if we need her to be a defensive stopper I think she’s very capable of doing that. She is also able of scoring the basketball as well.”

On Tierra McCowen playing

“I have very high expectations. She’ll be here tomorrow – She’s in Houston now. She’ll be with us tomorrow, take her physical, and will travel with us to Washington on Thursday. Will she play? Absolutely she will play. She’s been in the league and it’s her fourth year and there’s no reason for her not to play. She’s been overseas for six or seven months and she’s in great shape and that’s the beauty and the curse of playing overseas. You make a decision to play both leagues and they overlap a little bit. So now you have to come in and change your mindset and be able to perform at the highest level in the WNBA. And fortunately, everybody in the league pretty much runs the same sets. She knows the personnel of the league. And we’re looking forward for her to join our team and complete our team to a certain degree.”

On Arike’s bouncing back

“The focus is Arike (Ogunbowale) being aggressive and letting the game come to her and not to be so anxious. Fortunately, Rik [Arike] did play a preseason game with us, so that was her first game playing with the team as a whole. Just the flow of the game has to be different and her patience on the court. I’m not worried about Rik [Arike] at all. Those shots she missed, shell make those shots and she’ll settle down and we’ll flow as a team.”

On the positives of last Saturday (66 – 59 loss versus Atlanta Dream)

“I watched the film at least three times. When I always watch the game, I always try to watch it to grow and not to criticize. The growth is they [Atlanta] only scored 26 points in the second half. In the first three quarters, they scored 36 points. In the second, third, and fourth quarter they only scored 37 points. Defensively, that’s great and we’re on track to do somethings that’s incredible. We held them to 65 points, and we scored 59. Now we can’t win scoring 59, but we can definitely win a lot of games holding the opponents to 66 points. In the second half, they only scored 27 points. We’re winning, but we need to clean up the first quarter and score the basketball, which we’re very capable of scoring the basketball. The thing we did wrong offensively is we took quick shots – one pass, shot – and everyone tried to do it by themselves. Well, that was last year’s team. We got a little anxious and everybody was excited, and I understand that, but we have to play together as a team. We are great as a team. As individuals, we will be good, but we won’t be great. We will win games, but we won’t win the championship. And that was the message today and they got it. And they knew. They did the majority of the talking during film. They corrected all our mistakes and knew exactly what to do and say.”

On individual performances

“I thought [Marina] Mabrey played amazing – an incredible game. She shot the ball well under stress. [Alisha] Gray defended and made some shots as well. KT [Kayla Thornton] was aggressive coming back. Defensively, I thought Izzy (Harrison) was okay, I didn’t think she was great. Who I was really impressed with was Veronica (Burton). The way she performed and her poise. Being a rookie, being able to control the game without scoring the ball is huge – it’s unheard of in this age. Usually post players do it but not guards and for her not to be afraid of the moment and lights, I was very impressed. She will shoot the ball better. She only took three shots. She had six rebounds – that’s who she is – and a couple turnovers, but I don’t worry about that because of the way she plays on both sides of the basketball. She plays hard and this kid is going to be very special in this league for a long time.

Alise Robinson