NCAA Tournament Practice Day Quotes (March 17, 2012)

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March 17, 2012

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PENN STATE HEAD COACH Coquese Washington

Opening Statement...
"We're excited to be here in Louisiana and at LSU. We're looking forward to having a good tournament."

On impressions of UTEP ...
"They're deep, their very talented, and they've got a number of players that can create their own shot. They do a very good job of attacking the basket and putting pressure on you. They're an outstanding rebounding team, and they've got at least one player in Gloria Brown who can take over the game down the stretch, plays like a super star and can put the team on her shoulders. They have a lot of weapons offensively, and they're very aggressive defensively and on the board. I have a tremendous amount of respect for who they are and how they play, and the success that they've had in Conference USA this year."

On Ariel Edwards ...
"We finally have our full roster healthy and ready to play. It's been a couple of weeks since Ariel's played in a game. Yesterday was her first full practice, so we'll see how she responds in game action. She might have a little bit of rust not having played in almost a month. I'm glad to have her back, I'm glad to have her dressed, and her being able to get out there and play definitely gives us more options."

On seeding and Big Ten Conference Tournament ...
"We don't worry about seeding. We didn't talk about seeding all year. We have no control over that, we just play the games. The committee has an extremely complex formula. You can earn a high seed and get moved for other reasons. You really can't control your seeding, you just play the games and what happens, happens. We knew going into the tournament that the likelihood that we'd be going on the road and play somebody's home court, potentially. Seeding doesn't impact any of that stuff. If you're going to be in the NCAA Tournament, you're going to have to beat teams. You have 64 of the best teams in the country playing. You're going to have to play good teams, and you're going to have to beat good teams if you want to advance. We went into our Big Ten Tournament trying to win the Big Ten Tournament so we could be Big Ten Tournament Champions. That was it. We weren't focused on what kind of impact winning or losing that tournament would have on our NCAA seeding."

On teams playing at home sites ...
"My thought is that it's a great experience both as a player and a coach. I don't want to play in an empty arena, whether we're the home team or the visiting team. We don't want to play in front of an empty arena, and a few years ago when the Women's NCAA Tournament went to the neutral sites, we did that. We coached in front of an empty arena, and it wasn't a great experience for the student athletes, in my opinion. I'm more for whatever is going to give our student athletes the best experience, the best competitive experience. If that means you have to play on somebody's home site and there's going to be people in the stands to watch you play, then so be it. As a competitor, that's the kind of environment you want to be in. It's our job to prepare our kids to go on the road, play in front of hostile environments, be at our best and try to come away with wins. That's what you work on during the regular season."

On her players playing in front of a hostile crowd ...
"My kids are hams. They want people to watch whatever it is they're doing. They'd much rather play in front of a hostile crowd than no crowd. They're competitors, so they want to compete and that presents a challenge on to them. I don't think our team is unique in that respect, I think there are a lot of teams across the country that would rather have that experience than playing in front of an empty arena."

On rebounding from the Purdue game ...
"I don't think there will be any carry over. I think we'll play well. That's what I think we'll do. Different things happen in different games. One game we get out-rebounded, one game you turn the ball over too much. One game you shoot great, the other you shoot poorly. That's basketball, that's competitive sports. We don't dwell too much on one poor statistic from one game or one great statistic from one game. We just try to be the best we can be night in and night out. We haven't dwelled on Purdue. In some respects, as poorly as we played, we still had a chance to win, and they made a great shot at the buzzer. So, we took our hats off to them, went home for spring break and came back and focused on getting in the NCAA Tournament and getting ourselves ready to compete here.

JUNIOR GUARD Alex Bentley

On the loss to Purdue ...
"You think about it. The losses stay with you, but we're looking forward, we're looking ahead, and we've been focusing on the tournament and getting better in practice. Like I said, it stays in the back of your mind, and we use it as motivation. We're looking forward and looking to do some great things in the tournament."

On UTEP ...
"I honestly didn't know anything about them. We watched film on them and everything. They're a really fast-paced, up-tempo team. That's how we like to play too, so it should be a fun game."

On a second time around in the NCAA Tournament ...
"I think it feels a little different, because we're not at home, we came all the way to Louisiana. I'm having a good time so far, and we're really excited to play and compete."

On the lessons learned from watching the basketball post-season tournaments ...
"It just shows that it's win or go home. Everybody's leaving their hearts out there. I was watching a lot of the men's teams play last night, and they're just leaving it all out on the court. Anybody can win, and you have to go into the game knowing that it's going to be a battle."

On playing a fast-paced team ...
"I like playing teams that like to run, because I like to run. I'd say it's a lot more fun."

On leisure trip to New Orleans ...
"We know this is a business trip, of course, but we appreciate Coach Co letting us have a little free time and also have some fun. That's what it's all about, just having a great experience and that's what Co is always telling us."

On being on the road ...
"I've talked to a lot of my teammates about it. I personally like being on the road, and I think we're a great road team. It's kind of like going to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, we kind of stayed home, so it's a great feeling. It's excitement all around for me."

On the challenges UTEP's defense presents ...
"We're really good in transition. We want to push the pace, we're up-tempo. Patience and shot selection, it's just about playing smart. If we have open looks, we're going to take them. If we don't, then we'll run our offense."

SOPHOMORE GUARD Maggie Lucas

On the loss to Purdue ...
"We're just looking forward. You take something from losses. You learn something, and it made us more prepared going into the NCAA Tournament."

On UTEP ...
"I didn't know much about UTEP, but they clearly know how to win games. They've done very well in their conference, I think the best anyone's ever done in their conference, so we have a lot of respect from them going into the game. We're just excited to compete with them."

On a second time around in the NCAA Tournament ...
"It feels good to have one year of experience under your belt going into the NCAA Tournament. It can only help you, so we're calm and ready to play."

On UTEP's Gloria Brown ...
"She's a very skilled post player. She's physical, she has a nice touch around the basket, and from the film we watched she looks very talented."

On the challenges presented from UTEP going 12-13 deep ...
"We look at our player personnel before the game, and everyone on their team has the ability to make an impact. So, you've got to know your player personnel going into the game. I think that's the biggest thing."

 

 

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