A quick update on Georgia’s women’s basketball team, which began practice this past Sunday. Coach Andy Landers met with reporters Tuesday. . . .
GEORGIA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL.
COACH ANDY LANDERS
On general outlook . . .
“Tempered excitement, this time around. . . . I like this team, I like this senior class and I like what they did in the offseason. They worked extremely hard and I like the way they handled their business. I like the way they talk; I like the way the walk. Their heads are in the right place. They understand this is their last year. They understand while they’ve accomplished some good things we’ve left some opportunities on the table in the past.”
On last year’s first-round loss to Marist in NCAA tournament and trying to get back to Final Four . . .
“The year before last we were in the Sweet Sixteen and were beaten by the eventual national champion, so it’s not like we laid an egg. Last year we went out in the first round. That’s unusual. Not acceptable. . . .
“I coached roughly 25 years before we had a serious injury. That’s crazy; that’s unbelievable; that’s unheard of. So I became somewhat spoiled and didn’t even know it. I thought it was the normal. Then in the past 10 or 12 years, it’s been injury after injury after injury. If you’re going to compete anywhere close to your potential – and it doesn’t matter what sport you’re talking about – your players have to be healthy. And there’s no way to guarantee that. When you play short-handed and go stints of seasons without key players, it takes a poll.”
On Tennessee without Pat Summitt . . .
“I think Tennessee’s a program that will be in transition because of the coaching change and also because of the graduating class. I don’t have a crystal ball; I just think in many ways it’s going to be very different. That’s not to say it won’t be good or as good; it’s just going to be different. It’s just that Tennessee the last 36 or 37 years has been built around Pat.”
On the SEC . . .
“I think most people will probably pick Kentucky as the team to beat. I think you’ll have a number very good teams. I think you’ll have as many as four or five will be ranked in the top 10 at some point. Texas A&M’s presence will be felt right away, because they’re good and talented and experienced and well-coached. It’ll be a different kind of year in the Southeaste4rn Conference. Fans around the league probably need to study a little bit, because the teams you’re accustomed to wanting to go see when they come to your town may not be the teams you’ll want to see this year.”
On how lineup is expected to shape up . . .
“I think we have three or four positions obviously that are solid and have experienced starters coming back. But we’ll have to evaluate as we go forward how the new people are doing in practice and what their potential is. I’m not opposed to change. I’m not opposed to sitting a starter down and starting a freshman. I’m not opposed to moving starters around to difference positions that they played last year. All those are thoughts and options that I believe to be on the table.”