UCLA women’s basketball: Caldwell’s entertaining post-game news conference

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Those of us stiffs in the media would probably give the nod for ‘most interesting postgame news conference by a Southland coach’ to USC women’s basketballskipper Michael Cooper, seeing how he opened his conference by directing an expletive at UCLA after beating the Bruins in January.

But his crosstown counterpart Nikki Caldwell got us going after her team beat Oregon State, 60-44, Friday at the Galen Center to advance to the semifinals of the State Farm Pacific 10 Conference women’s tournament.


Here’s a sampling from Friday:

How do you motivate your team?

‘I threaten them.’

Awkward laughter.

‘No, really.’

Open laughter.

‘No, I think the motivation is, we start by trying to establish them having self-discipline, and we do that in a variety of ways,’ she said.

She then went on to say that in practice, she makes her players run their own practices, break down their own film, create their own scouting reports, come up with their drill work and ‘create their own energy.’

It seems to work. The Bruins are 23-7 this season.

‘There’s times, though,’ she said, ‘I’ll be honest, I do, I threaten them and put them on the line and hold them accountable. There’s winners and losers in all drill work, so if you lose, you’re penalized, you run. So they really get after it to try to win.’

That all seemed pretty normal, the threatening for them to run and whatnot.

And then she said this:

‘Dodgeball helps too.’

Awkward laughter.

‘No, we play dodgeball. We really do. Try it. When they know dodgeball is coming after practice, practice picks up, so that’s a little motivation for them.’

Open laughter.

Then a media relations representative from the Pac-10 chimed in:

‘And on that note, we’ll wrap it up. Thank you.’

-- Baxter Holmes