PRACTICE DAY, 3/25/12
DUKE UNIVERSITY (Blue Devils)
HEAD COACH PRESS CONFERENCE
Joanne P. McCallie, Duke, Head Coach
The poise that the team has shown last night and conducted, has that been the journey to get to that point to where you can adjust in games?
McCallie - I definitely think so. It is important to grow through the season as much as possible, win or lose, it is a process, I believe in that and I think we have done well all year but I think we are getting back at it and each person is getting better and that is what connects the dots with a little more excitement.
Joanne, would you say that Stanford is the school that you recruit against the most? Or is it UConn, Tennessee, Notre Dame? I'm curious about that.
McCallie - I would certainly view recruiting against all the top programs without question, all the programs that you mentioned, Duke is against. Sometimes uniquely though with Stanford given the academics offered, our student-athletes are looking for that and it can be similar to Duke.
Let me finish this line of thought, does this rivalry with Stanford and the fact that you do recruit against them frequently add spice to this game? I know that from your point of view, you have a lot on the line-this is a trip to the Final Four at stake but this rivalry with Stanford in terms of recruiting add an extra spice for you?
McCallie - Well I don't know if you can have any more spice, I really don't. I think that you can talk about that a little bit, but again, like you said, we are trying to advance to next. This is funny because recruiting doesn't enter into this, I know it does, with results and everything, but for me it's about this team trying to reach the highest potential and I think that is the neat part about being in the tunnel of the NCAA experience. Recruiting is something that picks up when you're not playing anymore and you have to get back to doing those things. I would really like to delay that as much as possible.
What were your thoughts on how you guys were able to adjust defensively last night with Stevens?
Peters - I think Stevens was a good penetrator good on the drive and also physical. I think that's similar to what Stanford is going to do and there are a lot of things that we can learn and take away from that for the game tomorrow.
Do you guys feel that the way you played last night, that you are a final four team?
Selby - I just felt that our togetherness for the first round has been strong and that were feeding off each other really well and it's really strong on court.
Williams - I agree with her I think we're finally, we kind of had that chemistry off the court and naturally on the court. We try to play hard and we play together that's really what is getting us far.
Shay talks about how she reminded everyone that this is a business trip, we can have fun but were here to play basketball, how has this all helped to come together?
Peters - It's definitely a business trip but I also think it's important for us to have fun and have fun with each other, it shows on the court. I mean it is business and we are here to focus and do what we need to do.
Are there some growing pains that you guys had to go through to get you to this point......why are you guys shooting and dishing so well what is the biggest thing?
Selby - I hate to say it but the loss to NC State really made something click in all of us just kind of made us realize that these games aren't guaranteed when it comes to tournament time everyone's playing their best basketball, we just had to take a step back and realize that. This is our last go around, this is it, it's our big chance to win and go to the final four.
PRACTICE DAY, 3/25/12
STANFORD UNIVERSITY (Cardinal)
HEAD COACH PRESS CONFERENCE
Tara VanDerveer, Stanford, Head Coach
Chiney went down for the second time last night, did you consider shelving her? I know that she obviously said she could play, but I was wondering if you thought about keeping her out for the rest of the game.
VanDerveer - Basically it comes down to that's the last game. We had a lot of players get bumped, get knocked down, obviously we don't like it when any of them go down but she wouldn't play unless our people gave her 100% clearance which she had. I think she is doing really well, and like she said, she is wearing the brace as a precaution and she is playing really well. She made her split the defense move after that and I think she is going to be 99.9% for tomorrow night.
I know you try and jump out early, but are you going to try and wear down (Duke) early if you can?
VanDerveer - Well at this point, we play eight people a game too so I don't know if there is any debate on who has more depth. We are going to play our starting five right here and I think that tomorrow night's game is more of a traditional matchup for us as opposed to some of the games we've played. When you play a Hampton, they're really small and scrappy, and that's tough. They are used to playing bigger people all the time. South Carolina is used to playing bigger people. We're not used to playing against that kind of post player, so I think our team did really, really well. You know Lindy is going to come in and help us, Taylor Greenfield is going to come in and help us, Bonnie Samuelson will come in and help. Sara Boothe. Those people in a traditional matchup meaning that they come in and contribute, so that's like nine people. We're going to play the way that we have been playing all year and we want to have a great team tomorrow night.
How would you defend Neka if she were on the other team?
VanDerveer - You know it's really hard because the beginning of her junior year, she was really a limited low block player. Teams doubled her, and that's a good and we decided we were going to move her around so you can't really double her because she is going to face up, she can hit 3's, she is always moving. You know, I don't know really. It is a really tough matchup. If you put someone small on her, she posts up. If you put someone big on her, she pulls away. So I'm really glad she is one our team and that's someone else's problem.
Stanford Student-Athletes (Joslyn Tinkle, Chiney Ogwumike, Nnemkadi Ogwumike):
Chiney you went down twice, what is the condition of your knee?
Chiney - It's just one of those situations where you're not a freshman anymore, you can't just pop back up. I was lucky and able to keep playing, it's fine it's just a stiff knee, but I am lucky I have great mental/physiological help from the coaches just to make sure that I am mentally okay. The brace is very precautionary it's not like its necessary.
What was your emotion when you saw Chiney go down?
Tinkle - I think when any member of our squad goes down, not just Chiney, that we all obviously hold our breath especially when anyone goes down like that. But we all know Chiney is a fighter and she's not going to give up on us. We all find it important to be there for her and have her back, and help to keep her going.
Where was last night's game on the roughness scale and are the levels kind of off from here on out?
Nnemkadi - A nine. It was pretty physical. I thought it was more physical than the West Virginia game. Anything happens when you're in a tournament because you either win or go home, so people are out there playing with a lot of passion and they were out there to make it hard for us to score and to get up and down the court. Anything goes from here on out, I expect a physical game tomorrow. I'm excited to play because we kind of match up a little bit better. Were just prepared for whatever comes our way.