The Women Have A Team, Too

It's game day in Bruins Nation and the Ben Ball Warriors take on Arizona State. It's arguably the most crucial game on the schedule so far -- the revenge match-up with the Sun Devils who won a game the Bruins truly gave away last month.

Well, we interupt this program for this brief announcement:

The women have a team, too.

And, according to the Daily Bruin, this weekend's game are crucial:

UCLA will play Arizona tonight in Pauley Pavilion before hosting the First Annual Carnival for the Cure prior to Saturday’s breast cancer awareness game against Arizona State.

But aside from the events, the Bruins have a pair of vital games to play. After coming off of a loss to USC last weekend, UCLA (14-7, 5-5 Pac-10) sits in the middle of the Pac-10. The Bruins must take the advantage of playing at home by capturing two much-needed victories.

“You have got to represent your court advantage and having a great record in Pauley,” coach Nikki Caldwell said. “We split up there and hopefully we can do better than that this go-around.”

And speaking of Coach Caldwell, the Daily Bruin has another piece worth checking out yesterday: an interview with Tennessee's Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt. Caldwell, of course, won titles as a player and assistant coach at Tennessee. Here is a highlight, an excellent endorsement from the greatest coach in the history of the women's game -- in fact, one of the greatest coaches in the game, period:

Daily Bruin: I wanted to talk to you today about coach Nikki Caldwell.

Pat Summitt: I would be happy to talk about Nikki Caldwell because I recruited her out of high school. I saw something special in her then. She obviously loves the game. When she came to Tennessee, she stepped right in and helped us be successful during her tenure here. She is a young coach that has an incredible wealth of knowledge in the game.

DB: How long was she with you, and in what capacities?

PS: She was a graduate assistant, and she went to Virginia, and then she came back to Tennessee when I had an opening.

Just her presence – she obviously is a very good recruiter, and she understands how to hold the bar at a level that will inspire the student-athletes that she’s coaching and working with to be the best they can be.

She understands discipline. And I’m sure she’s had to impress her will on her student-athletes making sure they are doing the right things. She will hold people accountable.

I’m just so happy for Nikki and the success she is having with the program.

DB: She has been preaching defense and rebounding as the way in which they will win games. Where did that come from?

PS: I’m sure it came from her high school experiences and also here at Tennessee. Our little motto here is “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins games and rebounds win championships.”

DB: I’m also told that she was known at Tennessee for being a great recruiter.

PS: She is a beautiful person inside and out. When she goes out to recruit, you’re talking about a great role model.

I think there is an appeal because of Nikki’s presence. I know the parents a lot of times would talk about “She is going to be a great role model for our daughter. We want our daughter to be like a Nikki Caldwell.”

The way she carries herself, she has such class and poise, she is a great-looking person, and she is just as good on the inside as she is on the outside.

Seriously, read the whole story.

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