Women's Basketball Holds Annual Media Day

Women's Basketball Holds Annual Media Day

Oct. 25, 2004

CORAL GABELS, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team held their annual media day Monday afternoon with Head Coach Ferne Labati and senior guard Fallon Phanord meeting with members of the local and national media at the Convocation Center’s Hurricane 100 room.

The following are a few quotes from Labati and Phanord at Monday’s press conference:

Head Coach Ferne Labati

Opening remarks…“We are extremely excited to be in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Our team has been preparing for this season since last year when we lost in the NCAA Tournament. After that game we immediately made the shift to the ACC and those preparations have been enormous.”

“We look forward to a great year in the ACC. One thing we have to look at is where we fit in, in terms of the challenge. This team understands that the way we come into the ACC is the way we will be perceived – there is a lot of tradition resting on their backs.”

“The leadership of the senior class will really come through. I think Yalonda McCormick and Tamara James will be impact players in the ACC.”

On this year’s team…“The people that were in minor roles last season are going to have step up and score points. You’re going to see a very small team, a scrappy team, a very young team.”

Katie Hayek, Tatjana Marincic and Imani Dhahabu will play major roles in rebuilding this team.”

“We have several newcomers – Albrey Grimsley out of Ft. Pierce, Marianne Curtis from Sunset and JoJuana Jones out of Newport News, Virginia – who we are really looking for production from.”

On the transition to the ACC from the BIG EAST…“I think the BIG EAST was a very dominating conference with eight teams going to the NCAA Tournament. You take three of those teams – Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College (who will enter the ACC in 2005) – and move them into the ACC, who sent four teams to the tournament last year, and now you’re looking at seven potential tournament teams.”

“The ACC wants to become the No. 1 conference in the nation. I can tell you that I, along with my staff are determined to do our part to make ACC become No. 1 and not only surpass a conference like the SEC, but move way ahead.”

“I think this team will really work hard to set the standard of play for future Hurricane teams in the ACC. Our team and our staff both feel that it is unacceptable to be average.”

Senior Guard Fallon Phanord

On preparing for ACC play…“I think the BIG EAST was a very dominant conference. They sent eight teams to the tournament last year so it defiantely was one of the most competitive conferences in the country.”

“In the ACC, I think everything is going to revolve around how we approach the league. I think we are disciplined in terms of the direction we are going as a team.”

On the senior leadership of this team…“It’s important for the three seniors, Melissa, Yalonda and myself, to be leaders this season. Being there is only three of us, it’s nice to be part of a team with a lot of young players, a lot of new players – we get to grow together and build together.”