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March 4, 2010
Postgame quotes - #5 Wake Forest
Amy: Welcome to today's press conference. We have a few items. We are going to start with the opening statement from the Head Coach and then we will go to questions. When we get to questions we have two wonderful mic holders here dressed in pink and if you can raise your hand and give us your name and affiliation that is helpful.
Keep in mind in case you need to refer to this press conference it will be streamed live on ACC.com and archived here as well.
I’m joined up on the podium by Wake Forest Head Coach Mike Petersen and Tiffany Roulhac and Sandra Garcia and Secily Ray.
Coach when you are ready opening statements.
Mike Petersen: Well, I thought I told the team afterwards that this group has been very resilient. I like that word and it sounds good when we say it. They have been resilient. We have bounced back from hard losses to play great. And we have come back from some very bad gussets to win games. But they grind. They don't really give up and they keep playing hard and I thought we did that today.
Again, when we win it's not usually real pretty. That is not us. We are worried about being good and looking good and tonight we are not worried about being good I thought we were really good I'm really proud of Tiffany [Roulhac], she came off the bench and it was a huge, huge for us. Big energy for us and big defense and directed traffic well for us and then the other two up here obviously Sandra and Ses finished off well. It's a great win for us I'm not going to act like I'm not happy I'm pretty happy.
Tiffany, did you think you would play that many minutes in the second half? You were down by 11 and you started running off. Let's talk about the amount of playing time you had in the second half.
Tiffany Roulhac: I don't think of playing. I come in and do what I can to help the team and we needed energy and that is what I thought I could bring to the team and I was getting emotional and fighting back.
Coach, were you fully expecting a one possession game and the fact that Miami is the last seed; and where is the balance of this conference?
Mike Petersen: It's good. I mean, I heard Katie's teleconference before the tournament and she made a really good point,
We don't consider ourselves the 12th seed. She said we consider our first round match-up is Wake Forest. And she made a really good point. They are the 12th seed and they beat Florida State and they [Florida State] tied for first. It's a mosh pit. If you are not ready to play regardless of who are you playing, you will get beat in this league, period. These teams were ready to play and I think it speaks to the depth of the conference and I think it speaks to the quality of student-athletes and the coaches. And we just happen to hang around a little bit longer than they did today. We just made one more play.
This is a question for Secily and I would like Coach Peterson to answer it as well.
I want to find out what you learned from those close games this year. Not you personally, but as a team and what keeps you guys so calm at the end of the close games like that.
Secily Ray: I guess you stay together and you don't let the score get to you, and we just try to fight to the end and win the game.
Mike Petersen: I guess what I know is win, until I win or lose. I like winning better than losing.
But I think what is best said, this group, if they just hang in there and grind, you know, and we got a saying that you don't fix team problems with individual plays. You fix team problems with team plays and we do that; we are pretty good. You know, when we are that fist that we talk about, and not five individual fingers, we are pretty good. When we try to fix team problems with individual plays, that is when we start running; that is what we have learned. When we battle these comebacks, we are were down 11 with 3 minutes when Virginia Tech won, but we stayed together and kept playing.
Sandra, I wanted to ask you, you guys were down by 11. What turned it around for you guys? Was there any one thing?
Sandra Garcia: Tiffany [Roulhac] brought lots to the huddles and we executed the defense and we had energy and we wanted to fight back and win and wanted to stay together.
You were able to score well at some point in the game and not well in others. What changes and adjustments were you making?
Sandra Garcia: When I was scoring without a problem they were kind of making that a back personal face line and that changed it up a little bit. But that was a change-up really.
What happened differently after they got to the basket, quite often they are down the stretch?
Mike Petersen: I didn't let them shoot a lay up that was better. I just thought we were a little more focused. You know the difference was I think teams do this. I think we are as guilty of this as anybody. When you are up two or three and that basket won't beat you, you are in this. Courteney Morris was guarding the ball and I told her this afternoon the game. I will say it now, the five players recognized on the defensive conference are outstanding players. In 30 years of coaching I have never coached a better on-ball defensive player than Courteney Morris. That kid can bounce and make a lot of steals and that kid has taken 28 charges this year by herself. That is more than, I'm going to guess, every team in our league. That kid is a great defender and at the end of the game she had them all. That is the biggest difference and she is a great individual defender and made great individual defensive play and we got the rebound.
Postgame quotes - #12 Miami
Amy Yakola: A reminder we'll start with the comment from the Head Coach and we'll take questions. I'm please to be joined up by Miami Head Coach Katie Meier and Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson. Coach your comments?
Katie Meier: It's a tough loss. It's not a loss that we'll hang over by any stretch of the imagination. There are moments where teams reveal themselves to the world or to the head coach. The team revealed itself to me early in the season. I couldn't levitate more and they are so gritty and tough and so together, we came in here as the 12th seed and we denied that seed. And we won't accept it still. I think there is no question that Miami is a special team and I wish you could have an opportunity to coach them. They are amazing individuals and they are super deep and strong and both character people and unbelievable basketball players, and they'll never quit, and never stop, and I'm blessed. So I could be down, but there is so much pride welling up in my chest and what they are made of and what we have been through this year. And it's been tough, and how many overtime losses and wins and last second plays in the conference for those opportunities, and we'll continue to build on them. I like at end of the game I have two sophomores and two freshmen out there and a senior, and they are battling out there to win.
Coach, Garcia had an easy time, and what adjustments did you make after that?
Katie Meier: We started rotating well and our first half adjustments were great. We hit the wall at the 13-minute mark, somewhere in there. It takes a lot of energy to cover up. We are asking our guards and small forwards to cover so much and we are running those traps. We lost our legs a little bit and stretched after the first, and the second half we have to have more support coming off the bench to help us. I told the team we have a lot to overcome. And to overcome we have to try to impress and whatever. And you have to be heroic in all other areas. And I thought we were heroic in all other areas except for the defensive rebounding, and that is what it came down to.
Amy Yakola: We'll go back to Mike.
This is for both of the players. What have you learned most from having been in the post season? And are you expecting to have post season play.
Shenise Williams: What have I learned? I have learned it's a tough conference.
And very fun playing, but of course we want to win in the post-season, and we definitely are expecting to go somewhere whether it be NIT or NCAA we are expecting to go somewhere. We learned that you can't play around with these teams when you have it down. You have to put them away.
Riquana Williams: Like you can't play around, you have to finish. And of course we are going to make the post-season, that is what we dream of. It's the biggest goal to come into the season to make post season.
Shenise, what about the look you got in the game. What kind of a shot.
Shenise Williams: A great look. I went up soft and a jump shot, and I had a decent look.
Amy Yakola: Any further questions for Miami? Thank you, very much.