Buchanan, Cougars Preview Upcoming Season

    Freshman guard Jessieka Palmer
    Freshman guard Jessieka Palmer
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    Nov. 2, 2012

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    HOUSTON - University of Houston Women's Basketball head coach Todd Buchanan and selected student-athletes met with the local media on Friday afternoon to discuss the upcoming season. The Cougars open the 2012-13 campaign on Nov. 9 at Mississippi State before the home opener on Nov. 13 against Alabama.

    Houston Head Coach Todd Buchanan

    Opening Statement
    "About a week and a half ago I was on a recruiting trip, and I walked out of my hotel room and it was about 45 degrees and I said, `it feels like basketball season.' A week from today we'll be in Starkville, Mississippi, ready to tip off against Mississippi State.

    The staff has been unbelievable on working and preparing and allowing me to be here, as well as on the road recruiting. I can't say enough about the coaching staff.

    In year three we're certainly excited about what we have in front of us as far as potential. Right now, that's what it is, potential. What I know to date about this team is their work ethic has been very good.

    The consistency isn't where I would like for it to be all the time but their attitude has been wonderful. The biggest thing that I'm really excited about is their camaraderie and their chemistry. They really care about each other. Any time that you see that camaraderie with staff and player, you have an incredible chance to get a "W" on any given day.

    The thing that we have this year that we haven't had in the past two years is depth. We'll have depth and be able to execute more of the style that we want to play. That's very up-tempo and we'll have more opportunities than we have in the years past at being able to press and really create a lot of our offense out of our defense."

     

     

    On summer preparations...
    "We had a really good summer. That goes back to (Co-Director of Sports Performance) Coach Kelly (Spriggs) for the conditioning part of what a Division I basketball team is going to go through. With us being so young with six freshmen, and two kids that sat out last year, and two junior college players, we have ten new players. But in reality with Tasha Tubbs and Porsche Landry going down with injuries, we really have 12 new players. The camaraderie part of it is, with those twelve going to summer school and putting in the work with Coach Kelly, they saw it. They got the fact that we're here and we're all together. They have their own saying which is `One team, one dream.' What started that camaraderie was summer. They pushed each other."

    On the difference between this year and last year...
    "The difference in being good and being great is you can take constructive criticism. When they got on each other they took it and they made the change. Everybody checked their ego at the door and that's the biggest difference that I've seen in a long time."

    On what it means to have senior point guard Porsche Landry back...
    "I've been asked that question several times since the injury. I don't know if words can really describe what Porsche means to us or what putting the basketball back in her hands means to the basketball team, especially with the youth that we have. It's poetry in motion. She is so good at making everybody else so much better. It's not just game time; it's every day in practice too. She's been chomping at the bit to get back. We just got her fully released this week. In just a short period of time, it's already a completely different look. With her knowing what she went through, she is hungrier than I've ever seen her. She is so self-driven, and when she gets that way, and gets that look, you better watch out."

    On the up-tempo style of play...
    "I always want to score in transition 40 or 50 percent of the time. That's a high percentage and I don't know how realistic it is but we'll find out. In a perfect world that's what we'd love to do. If we can create 15 percent of our offense out of our defense, then that would be wonderful. Hopefully that will happen. I know that it may not but we aren't going to find out until we try."

    Senior forward Destini Texada

    On expectations for the season...
    "We have a lot of expectations for this season. Like Coach Buchanan said earlier, our mindset is `one team one dream.' The one dream that we all have in common is to work hard and get a championship for UH."

    On excitement for this season...
    "I'm extremely excited. I had to sit out a semester after I transferred from HBU and now I'm loving the red and I'm ready for us to play on the court and show our team chemistry. It's going to be amazing to have a family to play with. It makes everything 10 times better."

    Freshman guard Jessieka Palmer

    On differences between college and high school pace...
    "The quickness, the aggressiveness, the speed of the game and playing on the shot clock for the first time."

    On learning from the upperclassmen...
    "Playing against my teammates, I've gotten to experience the quickness and the toughness. We also scrimmage so I've been able to play and experience the shot clock as well."

    On excitement for the season...
    "I'm very excited right now. I'm ready for the lights to come on. It's been fun playing them, but now it's time to play with them against someone else so I'm definitely excited for that."

    On playing for Coach Buchanan
    "Coach Buchanan has been great since day one. It's been great playing with a coach who's not just verbal, but who will come on the court and demonstrate if he thinks you're lacking on offense or he'll come and guard you and show that you're not actually doing anything. Playing with a hands-on coach has been great."

    Senior point guard Porsche Landry

    On returning to play for another season...
    "I'm ecstatic. It was a blessing for me to get back on the court because there were times when I didn't think I'd ever play again. I'm just grateful."

    On what she looks forward to most this season...
    "Just feeling the burn and sweating out there with my teammates and using our chemistry to play well and enjoying myself."

    On relief with being able to play again...
    "It's a huge relief. It's like getting a big elephant off your shoulders. I'm really happy and really excited to be back out there."

    On goals for the season...
    "We have many goals to accomplish. We want to play as a team, go to the conference tourney, win the conference championship and go to the NCAA Tournament."

    On team chemistry...
    "We have a lot of players who have high basketball IQs. We have a lot of people who click and a lot of combinations."

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