2009 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament - Game 10 Quotes
March 7, 2009
THE MODERATOR: We are joined up here on the podium by the Duke Blue Devils, Coach Joanne P. McCallie, student athletes, Abby Waner, Jasmine Thomas and Carrem Gay. An opening statement.
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: Just an excellent strong game for us. Our team really worked hard defensively. I thought we played well, very well off each other, defensively and offensively. A good start, and pretty thorough throughout the game despite one small area of giving up a few 3's in transition. Overall, just a great strong game. I thought there was leadership everywhere. I thought Abby had excellent leadership for us. I thought Jas had excellent leadership and well. And I love to see 'Rem get 9 rebounds because she is so capable. And it's so important that we rebound the basketball. Good things to see. I think we got better and we are excited for the next opportunity.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. How were you all able to get inside and dominant especially in the first half like when you have 24 points in the paint?
CARREM GAY: I think we just focused on running our plays, executing our plays, taking our time and getting the ball inside and out and it paid off tonight..
Q. Coach, when Monroe went out with 2 fouls in the first half did you make it a particular point of saying, the paint is now open, attack?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: Well, I think that's part of our attack regardless. I think if you get somebody in the foul trouble, a great player like Monroe, a nice player that adds to it. I think our team in general was trying to get the ball inside and attacking the paint generally speaking. If you get somebody in foul trouble, that adds to it. I guess if that answers your question.
Q. You had struggled with your shot at Carolina, and you hit the 3 at the end of the game, since then you've shot really well from outside, did that get you through a tough spot, give you confidence or is it one thing you keep, and they will eventually go?
ABBY WANER: I think the way I approached it all season, game by game at the most, if not shot by shot. Sure it's nice to hit a shot like that. But it was over and yesterday was a new game just like today was a new game.
Q. Coach, you obviously saved your best basketball to the tournament, but speak to those first four minutes to the second half, they jumped on you 163 out of the gate. How did you stop it and really with a happened during that four minutes?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: It was a lack of focus on our part. We are all responsible for that. There was a lack of focus on the floor. The team stopped it by refocusing. I know that sounds a little trite and simplistic but that's the reality. At the time the team said, we've got to play here, this is a very good team we are playing against. These bigger leads, at this time of the year, are not a very usual thing. So they've got to keep attacking regardless of the score. I think it's important to play, have a no scoreboard mentality when you are playing the game of basketball. I think that little piece, we are aware of the differential, and we got back on track and just played our game. So it was refocusing and the entire team is responsible for that.
Q. Abby, what's gotten into this team? Is there a sense that March is your month? I know coaches from the beginning of the season talk about the post season, is that what you are working towards?
ABBY WANER: This team is very experienced even if we do play sophomores and freshman at times. Those are very experienced freshman and sophomores. We have a very direct and focused goal. I think that we have seen our talent, and we know how good we can be, and therefore there is no outside expectations that are any greater than ours, and there is no better time for it to come together than now. Like Coach said, we've done a really good job of not letting things unravel. That comes with playing in all shorts of games. We played in overtime games, we've been up and we've been down. And now it's all coming together to a point where we have the maturity and experience to stop a run when it happens, and keep it rolling on our end which is why we played so much better the last two games.
Q. A couple of questions. First of all how did you use the painful over time loss to Florida State as motivation today? Second, is it possible to get through a game without ever losing focus? If so I guess you have to do that tomorrow against Maryland. I just wanted to ask what your plans are to try to stop the annoying two AllStars of Maryland. First question, the motivation from the Florida State loss?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: We always look at our films. We breakdown the films. We will look at any film if we play somebody prior. We had that film. There were so many areas of betterment. It was nauseating. We looked at the film and focus there, and we will do the same as well playing Maryland. We got to play our game. We've got to play Duke Basketball. You can stay focused for 40 minutes. You can. We've been a part of games like that, incredible focus. But you got to work for it. And, you know, you got to compete and ever moment you got to just enjoy it. That's the opportunity that we have tomorrow to do that.
ABBY WANER: Well, I specifically remember Kristi saying it was too early to break our hearts after the first game. So, you know, we definitely don't want to be breaking her heart tomorrow either. They are both very good players, but this team, we know it's all about us. We are good enough. If we take care of everything on our end, which includes striving to keep focus for 40 minutes, we can do that. If we take care of that on our side, things will fall into place.
JASMINE THOMAS: I think over the past two games we have done a good job on focusing on gotos, and not shutting down but containing some very good guards. I think if we carry that over to the next game things take care of themselves.
CARREM GAY: Same thing, look at today's film and see what we can take for them. There are areas that we lost focus, and we can improve on, so we are going to take that on to tomorrow.
Q. How important is it to get off too fast starts in two games? You got to play three games in three days to win the tournament. Does that help with the fatigue factor?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: It's hard to make sure that because there is so much energy involved with the team's ability to be as dominant as our team was early for those two games. I think every day it's different. Every day it's different. I think we will work hard to be well rested for tomorrow as much as we can. I just think that you know it's a lot of mental focus, too, when we’re ahead by a margin. Again as we talked about staying in the moment, staying focused. You go into each game for that game with no preconceived notions. Nothing carries over from this game. Except our energy as a team. That's the beauty of it. That's what makes it very exciting.
Q. Against Virginia and to a lesser extent today, the threequarter press was very effective; I just wonder how you view tomorrow going against Toliver. Do you think you can be as successful with the press?
JASMINE THOMAS: I think we use presses on this team to our advantage. We are very aggressive, and we go hard at it. I think if we pay attention to putting good pressure on the front end of the press and get back into our secondary defense it can be effective.
Q. With all of the talk about the aggressive defense, it was the zone though that changed it when you went zone to stop their run, I guess, what was the thinking behind that, do you think that's what did it?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: I think it's very important to be a multiple defensive team, and I think our mantoman was superb for a great deal of time today. But I also think too we became a little bit undisciplined, the reaching foul, jump shooters, things of that nature. The matchup is another way to approach a team. And the team executed the matchup very well. There were very few breakdowns there. We are going to be a multiple defensive team and utilize whatever we needed to be effective at that time. I thought the team did a great job, especially rebounding out of it and limiting them to one shot.
Q. Talk about your emotions playing Maryland once again in a really big game, this time Carolina is not going to win the ACC Championship, either Maryland is or you are?
CARREM GAY: We definitely been here before. This is something, we want to put another banner up in Cameron (splg). I think we are going to try to have fun tomorrow and go with a win.
ABBY WANER: I personally can't think of anything better playing in a championship against Maryland my senior year, not referencing anything specific, of course. We know them well. They know us well. So therefore it's not about who can scout better. It's not about who can prepare better. It's a headtohead matchup that we know very well. So it's going to come down to who wants it more.
Q. This question is for Carrem, and then there is a question for Abby, Carrem, rebounding, hustle plays, how much are you guys feeding off of each other with those? I know you jumped out of bounds to save a possession. What does that do for a team when everybody on floor seems to be kind of giving themselves up?
CARREM GAY: Well, that's one of our goals for this game, out hustle the other team for the next couple of games that we have. I think it's important we try to play off each other, feed off each other. I think it helped our run later on in the second half.
Q. How much do you think about Maryland? We put the questions to you about Maryland. Is it just another game, or when you go against them are they someone that you just want to stick it to?
ABBY WANER: I won't say I like Maryland by any means. I mean that's what's great about the ACC, it's not just Duke, Carolina rivalry thing. Maryland is in the mix, Virginia in the mix. Florida State is in the mix. I'm not going to say that I have this vendetta for just Maryland. I want to win the championship. It just so happens that it's the Maryland Terrapins that we are playing against.
Q. Maryland's bigs, they were very effective against Carolina; Coleman and Toliver went to the foul line 26 times, so they attacked the basket a lot today, how do you prepare for that?
COACH JOANNE MCCALLIE: Good, strong disciplined defense.
Q. Jasmine, you took over in the Carolina game and took timely shots, I noticed in this game when Florida State cut it to 9, you hit a tough contested jumper. And then later when they came within 13, you hit a corner 3. What are you thinking of in a moment like that? What does it take when you know you are taking over a game, or is it just something that it's the flow of the offense, and you are just confident all the time?
JASMINE THOMAS: I felt it was the flow of the offense. The jumper you are talking about at the end of the shot clock, the ball was in my hands, I had to make a play. Later on, the three in the corner, the ball had been reversed, it had gone inside and out and that was the time for shot. I'm not trying to force the issue that I'm taking over; it's my time to score. It's doing what my team needs me to do at that time, or what any of our players do at that point in time.
FLORIDA STATE QUOTES
THE MODERATOR: Joined up here on the podium by Florida State head coach Sue Semrau, student athletes Mara Freshour and Tanae DavisCain.
COACH SUE SEMRAU: We'll, I wish we could have given you guys a better basketball game to watch. I know it wasn't the most exciting game. Maybe for the first half of the second half. When we miss shots in the first half and I thought we got great looks, it dictated what we did on the defensive end. You cannot win big basketball games when your mentality isn't strong enough to be who you are, and I really felt like this was a game where we just didn't defend well. I thought Duke came out and shot the lights out. When is the last time they were 58 percent from the 3 point line. That would give me a lot of confidence, and we didn't do a whole lot to shut that down. They are a great basketball team. They were very balanced tonight as you can see, or this afternoon. And I wish them all the best.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Coach, things seem to really become unraveled when Jacinta Monroe picked up her second foul, why do you think that was and what was it about your team wasn't doing when she left?
COACH SUE SEMRAU: Well, we didn't pick up the scoring slack. I thought when she is in the game, you have that inside threat. Cierra Bravard was under the weather today, she is a freshman, and I didn't think she handled that well. As a result our inside scoring threat was diminished very early in the game. It really put a lot of pressure I thought on other people.
Q. Mara, did you get injured in the second half. If so did it affect your game?
MARA FRESHOUR: I mean I got a little banged around here and there, but that's normal from a typical game.
COACH SUE SEMRAU: I thought Mara played one of her best games. I think she got hit every which way, she boxed out, she went to the board, she really, I thought, was a tremendous warrior for us this afternoon.
Q. Duke had 24 points in the paint in the first half, was it something that they were doing or was it something that you guys weren't doing?
COACH SUE SEMRAU: I think a little bit of both. Obviously our game plan was not to let them have those touches inside. I didn't think we did a great job of putting a lot of pressure on the perimeter, so they couldn't get those touches. When they did, I thought they did a tremendous job. A lot of it was offensive rebounding, we didn't do a good job of blocking out, and it hurt us.
Q. Can you talk about the beginning of the second half, and just why were you guys able to get yourself slightly back into it and then what happened thereafter from your point of view?
TANAE DAVISCAIN: I feel like we went in half time, we needed to step it up, we weren't playing like ourselves. I tried to come out second half, step it up, knock down a couple of 3's, and Duke came down the court and scored and that put us in the grind a little bit to a point that everybody gave up. Duke is a good team.
Q. For the seniors, fortunately this isn't the end, so it's the NCAA now; tell us about your mindset.
MARA FRESHOUR: You know, our mindset is exactly what you just said, next game. We are going to be disappointed right now with the fact we didn't play the way we should have played tonight. We got to put that behind us. We got to learn from what we did wrong tonight. And this time last year we didn't know what we were going to do. We were all on the edge. But this year we know. And so we're in. That's a sure thing, so we have a week and a half to touch up on what we want to do and execute on and when that Monday night comes, and we find out where we are going and who we are going to play, it's the next game at that point.
TANAE DAVISCAIN: The same as Mara was saying. Yes we lost this game, but it's not the end of our season. NCAA is a new season, we come out and we're going to take each Game 1 game at a time.
Q. Coach, how satisfying has this been for you to crack the upper echelon of the league and get the No. 2 seed and play in the semifinals.
COACH SUE SEMRAU: I don't know that we cracked it. I think we finished on top. Win a regular season in the ACC that's a very difficult thing to do. Anything can happen in a three day tournament. We didn't set our sights on, this is the thing we want to do. We were able to do something that we had always set our sights on as a program and now the NCAA is even more important to us than what we do in the ACC tournament.