This is the best one yet.
“There is no question that my time under Coach Summitt prepared me for what I’m doing now,” Caldwell said. “She always said that a head coach is only as good as the assistants. She was always open to our ideas. There were many times that she allowed me, (assistants) Holly (Warlick) and Dean (Lockwood) to lead practice or take the lead in recruiting. She let us lead in the scouting of future opponents.
“She provided us that experience and it groomed me to be where I am today. So, now I know how it is to run a program. She taught us how to handle media relations. She taught me how to be a head coach. Because of all that she taught me, I haven’t felt at any moment that I’ve been thrown to the wolves. I feel like I’ve been able to handle everything that has been thrown my way.”
“We have a lot of talent here, that’s the strength of our team,” said Caldwell. “I think the difference here is that we don’t have a Candace Parker. We have a young lady, Doreena Campbell, who has the same mentality in that she wants the ball in crunch time. At Tennessee, we ran every play through Parker. At UCLA, since we don’t have a superstar like Parker, we’re running things a little bit different.”
“Something that stood out for me early in the year was during our individual workouts back in April,” said Caldwell. “We have a 6-foot-6 post player named Moniquee ‘Mo’ Alexander. I laughed to her that she would play some point guard for us. She looked at me like I was crazy. So, we started working on her getting the rebound and starting the break. Well, in a game earlier this season Mo came out of a rebound and took a few dribbles and started the break. We executed and converted on the offensive end. Our bench went crazy. It wasn’t because we had scored, it was because she did something that she didn’t think she could do.”
“I think what’s helped is the confidence my girls have in what we’re trying to do because they’ve been able to see that the plan works. Any time we ask them to do something, I think they realize that this plan got us those national championships at Tennessee. I reference Pat all the time because they respect all that she stands for. They respect where I’ve come from.”
“Candace Parker and I live in the same neighborhood,” says Caldwell. “She comes over to my place and I’ve been over to hers. I needed a dog friendly neighborhood because I have three dogs. Candace started telling me one day about this great neighborhood where she and (husband) Shelden (Williams) bought and how much they loved it. I told her that that’s where I was buying a condo. Small world, I guess.”