#ACCwbb Tournament: Game 11 Press Conference Quotes
March 7, 2010
Postgame Quotes - NC State
Steve Phillips: We are joined by NC Head Coach Kellie Harper and student athletes Nikitta Gartrell and Bonae Holston. Coach, if we can open with a statement from you, and we'll open the floor to questions.
Kellie Harper: First of all I want to congratulate Duke. Obviously they are a very talented basketball team and I want to wish them success moving forward. You know, I'm extremely proud of our team for so many reasons. For improving, for believing, for working hard in practice, for playing together. But in that locker room a few minutes ago I was proud of them for wanting more. They are hurt because they didn't win this game. And I am so proud of that.
Obviously you came out with a lot of energy and had the lead. Did you kind of tell that that had to happen and you had to play close to a perfect basketball game to win?
Kellie Harper: We talked about having to play with a lot of energy and I thought early on we did start that way. We had few good looks at some 3's and I thought if we knocked those down early Duke may have tightened up a little bit. Those are shots that we typically make to be quite on honest with you. And I think we front rimmed three in a row. I will be honest the kids had as much energy I had hoped for in this situation.
Coach, 15 minutes left in the first half, you are up 9-2, and Amber picks up her second foul. How critical was that to your game plan in terms of especially your press break?
Kellie Harper: Well, you know, I thought that her second foul obviously came very, very quickly in the game. It changed our rotations our executions, one less option for press breaker. Also, I was expecting Amber to do a great job defensively for us tonight, and not having her in there, you know, at that time, it took a little out of us.
The start of the second half, when you didn't score two points. Was that something that Duke was doing or was that something you guys weren't doing? Kellie Harper: We were having a problem with Duke's length. They are so big and long and they covered up a lot of the passing lanes, and our guard, in particular, had a hard time finding an open person. And too many turnovers during that stretch. And, again, we weren't quite moving the way we needed to during that stretch to put ourselves in position to find open people. I think a little bit of both. I thought Duke's defense again when they started to extend their pressure laterally, that affected us.
This question is for Nikitta. Aside from today's loss what does this whole tournament run do for this team heading into the next part of the postseason?
Nikitta Gartrell: Well, we can't hang our heads, we lost. We wanted to win, but, I mean, we have a whole another season ahead of us which is NCAA, which we came into the season trying to get back to previous seasons. Right now we have to get refocused and hopefully it will turn out great.
Was there kind of a new sense of confidence from the whole team? Is there something you can tell by your teammates the way you guys are interacting?
Nikitta Gartrell: I have to say winning is a big part of how we been acting lately. Our confidence and everything has been sky high. So we right now we can't drop our heads and let our confidence go away because, like I say, we have NCAA to work on now.
What has been the big thing that has made this team successful over the last few weeks? You keep talking about the NCAA Tournament and you probably weren't in it February 1st. If you are now what is the difference?
Bonae Holston: I think the way we come and play and fight every night has been a difference. We come to fight to win. To turn out is very good.
Coach, the NCAA speech here. Duke is the only team that is in 100% in. Tell everybody why you should be in.
Kellie Harper: I think our kids have proved over the last few weeks that we are an NCAA Tournament team. Right now I don't think I have to make an argument for these girls. I think they made it for me.
Postgame Quotes - Duke
Steve Phillips: We are joined now by Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie and student athletes Jasmine Thomas, Joy Cheek, Bridgette Mitchell, and Keturah Jackson. Coach, first an opening statement for you and then we'll open the floor for questions.
Joanne P. McCallie: We are obviously very proud, and of their fight throughout this tournament. And we have had three terrific basketball game All three reflect an NCAA type of environment in terms of the physicality and urgency it takes to be successful in this kind of tournament. But everybody is here the leadership from our seniors I can't speak enough about that, KJ, Dee, and Joy and what Jas does as a point guard, and the frontrunner of the year, and keeping the team poised and aggressive and making a choice out there. We are excited and grateful to our fans and the fans that came out to support our team. We are just kind of like the appetizer, you know, for the big meal. And it's a very good appetizer. And it was awfully nice to dominate the boards the way we did. It's a good message if you dominate the boards you can do just about anything.
NC State came out with a lot of energy, what did you do to come back from that?
Joanne P. McCallie: Stayed focused and poised and kept attacking. It's a tournament setting and obviously they did what they could to get where they were as a team. Our team readjusted and refocused. Really we had a no-scoreboard mentality and it's a good idea to focus and play together. I think our team did a very, very good job of that.
Bridgette, you all had a 19-9 advantage on the offensive glass and how did you accomplish that and what impact did that have?
Bridgette Mitchell: We had some offensive rebounds because we weren't thinking attack, attack the basket. We wanted to get more than one shot. I think we did a good job of doing that by the numbers we had by opposite rebounds.
This question is for Joy. Can you speak about how gratifying this championship is for you and your team and for what you have done?
Joy Cheek: We worked hard coming into this year. We had one goal in mind today. The three of us had gone through this and for us to go to ACC Tournament Championship and come up short. We had to watch it fall down to someone else. We didn't want to have to see that happen again. It was embarrassing feeling and we didn't want to feel like that begin. And for myself this is my last year. I couldn't win the ACC Championship another year. So it's humbling and exciting and I can't even express words. It's a great way to end the regular season for us.
Coach, you have done this four times in all in different conferences and you are the first coach to do that. What does that mean to you and how special is this one?
Joanne P. McCallie: Um, it's an extremely special coaching at Duke and coaching these women. They are really incredible people. As role models and I guess for me as a coach. Coaching is the business of working with and developing people. I have been extremely fortunate. I don't know if I have ever been so fortunate to be at a place where these women are so bright and eager and so wanting to do things and so smart about things overall. This is extraordinary for me and my family. And I am excited to keep ongoing, and can't wait for the next kind of thing.
Question for Coach and the players. A week ago almost to the minute Duke finished the regular season with a disappointing loss on the road to a rival. How are you able to turn it around and refocus it quickly?
Joy Cheek: It was over. That was in the regular season and our next goal was to win the ACC Championship. That is what we thought about. We couldn't take the game back and take the game back and win. Our next goal was to win the ACC Championship and we didn't think about losing to Carolina. We thought about winning this time.
This question is for Jasmine. you just won the Championship and you look so serious up there. Is this because of your next opponent up. Is there something else out there? Obviously there is. Can you speak to just that thought process?
Jasmine Thomas: Yeah, I think you just caught me, blank stare. And I'm excited like everybody is. It's great feeling. I was here two years and lost as well. I'm thinking about what is next. I can't help but do that. We finally accomplished our goal in winning the ACC Championship and now we want to go on and win the NCAA Tournament.
To add to what Joy said. How can you be thinking about this is my last chance to do this?
Bridgette Mitchell: I was thinking about it the entire season. Going into every game I was thinking this is my last year. And as Joy mentioned, to have the opportunity to be here again, and after having lost those three years, it was just, now or never. And that is how I approached it.
Keturah Jackson: I have to say the same thing. We have special teams.
Coach, you being a team that has been on a roll for a now. You had one bad loss how impressed are you with North Carolina State.
Joanne P. McCallie: They did a fantastic job. They had an extremely strong finish. They are a different team than they were before. I think if Kellie and her staff, the team have done a great job, and they should be proud and excited and the NCAA Tournament moving forward, that is great to see. Obviously that program has been through a lot. They should certainly celebrate what they are doing and what they have done.
Coach, it's said that you have to lose one before you know how to win one, you know, true or not does that make this one sweeter? Going through what you did the last two years and finally being able to do it this year does that make it that much better?
Joanne P. McCallie: I know there are lots made of the years, but every team is so uniquely different. This team is created -- they are responsible for what they create. That applies now too. They are responsible for what they create. This team is committed. This team sticks together. And they are looking in the same direction. The credit goes with this team's ability to stay with each other, and stay focus and to play the kind of basketball they choose to play. It's hard you can't compare the teams. I never believe you have to lose to learn anything. That is for sure. But this group, in particular, should be given the credit for the commitment they made over the summer the way they came back and the leadership on this team all to my left here. And the fact that they stayed together and they don't make excuses and they don't have any regrets.