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Duke-Hampton Quotes
Monday 03/23/2013  -  Duke Sports Information
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2013 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
HEAD COACH QUOTES
First Round • No. 15 Hampton vs. No. 2 Duke
Cameron Indoor Stadium • Durham, N.C.
Saturday, March 23

Duke Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
On Two Weeks since Last Game:
“I don’t think anyone knows that relative to the time we’ve had off. We’ll see. It’s a long time off, it’s unlike the guys, they go a lot quicker. They turn right from the [ACC] tournament right into the NCAA, so I think we’ve utilized the time well, with the exception of the first practice back. I’ve liked our practices, I improvement in a lot of areas and intensity, but you’re really excited to play because there’s that issue of, I mean it’s been two weeks. It’s a long time.”

On Changes in the Lineup this Season:
“I think the lineup changes do not have anything to do with Chelsea [Gray] really. If you recall, we lost to Miami, so when we are not successful, going way back to Connecticut there was a lineup change after Connecticut, it has more to do with how we are performing as a team. It’s not an individual thing like that. I think we have seven starters. Allison [Vernerey] offers so much. Chloe [Wells] offers so much. From a coaching standpoint, I think that we look at it different and I will make changes when I feel like there are changes that need to be made from a team perspective. Sometimes because one person switched out maybe you think it’s that one person but it’s just the opportunity to try a new look. When Chelsea went out, Chelsea is such a big body, and she is such a great rebounder, people forget this about Chelsea. This is why she’s an All-American. She can defend, she rebounds. That body loss was absolutely huge to us in rebounding and our rebounding suffered because of it. So Richa Jackson has a body that can work and can be physical inside. I’m not going to say that Richa controlled how she was made in the world, but she’s got the right kind of body with the loss of Chelsea. It’s much more complicated. It’s about defense, it’s about rebounding, it’s about controlling the ball. Richa has worked hard, and that’s also why Allison [Vernerey] worked her way in there, because Allison is really our best defender. When you look at how hard Allison works defensively, she is a senior and she has done a great job. So for a while I needed to try to get her in there and see if she could mix things up like she did at home against North Carolina and starting against Pratt. You’ve got to do different things as a coach, you’ve got to be creative, you can’t just stay in the same place and that happens regardless of an injury. I’m going to move and change to what the team feels and what’s being dictated. But without questions, we lost so much with Chelsea that we just had to re-tool. There is no other way about it. And we are still retooling.”

On Hampton:
“Hampton is the greatest No. 15 seed I have ever seen in my life. They are absolutely terrific. This is the best Hampton team I think has ever been there in the history of the program. They are extremely well coached, they have proven themselves, defeating LSU so handedly like they did. As Doug Bruno said, there is no difference. The teams that are here, you can forget the seeds. DePaul played Hampton to a one point game. There are no seeds here. The seeds are gone, because we’ve got fantastic teams. This is a very, very strong region. Getting back to Hampton, I think what makes them so good is that they’ve got four people in double figures, they have tremendous athleticism. Their defense is extremely disruptive, they’ve got guards that are shooting it, but they are also playing great off the bounce and can gap you to death. They are great in transition, and they were completely untested in the MEAC. They belong in the ACC. They are an ACC team.”

On ACC This Season:
“I think you get great games from everybody. I think our team did very well all year, there weren’t too many close games. I think you have to be ready for that, time and scores are really important. So our team has been pretty dominant but at the same sense that’s not a realistic approach to the NCAA Tournament in my view because the teams are all so good. And Hampton could’ve beaten a ton of our teams in the ACC. I can’t say exactly, but they did beat Boston College, and they did lose just a little bit to Virginia Tech, but if you put them in the ACC they’re as good as most ACC teams, and as athletic as any of them, which is interesting. Particularly [Keiara Avant] and [Olivia Allen] too. Interesting team.”

On Practice over the Past Two Weeks:
“Well we just keep working. We’ve just to keep working on things, working to get better. We’ve taken note at our shot contesting stats as well as our rebounding stats that have kind of declined even though we are winning basketball games and scoring 92 points in a conference championship game, which was incredible, but a lot of our stats have gone south. They’ve gone the other direction a little bit, so we’re trying to shore up toughness, our aggressiveness and our ability to dictate the flow of the game against a really, really good opponent, so we are excited about that. We’re excited to play, it’s been a long time.”

On Using Momentum from ACC Tournament:
“That’s a closed deal. You don’t carry momentum, sorry. The ACC Tournament is done, history, over. So you create new momentum and I’m excited. I think we’ll be creating a lot of energy and excitement because we’ll be so excited to play so I hope that translates into rebounds and great defense, and not other things like turnovers and other things like that.”

On the Development of Alexis Jones:
“It seems to be, so far so good. Alexis is special. It’s funny, there coaches kept saying, ‘do you realize what you’re getting?’, I got a lot of that comment. The thing about coaching that is interesting, it’s one thing to see a kid lead a team to a state title and compete and all of that and score, but it’s another thing to talk to a kid. And the character that she displayed, and the willingness of wanting to be the very best and wanting to be at Duke and wanting the academic challenge as well as the athletic challenge. Her and her family are just simply extraordinary people, there is nothing else to say about that. They’re an incredible story about survival in the face of the worst adversity you can imagine, and I think Alexis has picked up all of that along the way, she has got every intangible in the book, and she doesn’t mind listening to people because she takes thing with a grain of salt. She’s smart and she listens but she also does her thing. So I’m not the least bit surprised about her success and in the recruitment we did feel that we had one of the most special people ever, we really did. And she has done nothing but show us that that is true.”


Duke Forward Haley Peters
On how they spent their time over break:
“We learned some lessons over the regular season and the [ACC] tournament and we have been focused on improving those over the last few days and the last week. Having this long break, making sure we are still in shape for the games and ready to go.”

On the play of Alexis Jones:
“I think her attitude and focus has been really incredible and her willingness to learn. She is the kind of person that has a close relationship with pretty much everybody on the team. She is competitive and fearless and I think we have all grown in our trust with her and she has done an incredible job.”

On the ability to start the tournament in Cameron:
“We obviously love playing in Cameron and at home and it will be nice to have some of our fans be able to come to some of these first rounds pretty easily. We are excited to be able to be here. I know that for some of us, to be able to go to class still is an important thing and to just be at home is a good feeling. We are still focused on improving ourselves and not trying to be too comfortable here. Making sure that we are pushing ourselves to get better even though we are in a familiar surrounding.”

On the matchups:
“We talked about Hampton yesterday. They have really good guards and number 13 [Keiara Avant] is a really talented post. She averages a double-double. They are also one of the best defensive teams in the country so I think it will be a tough game all around. They are a talented team and they are super quick down the floor, they are going to get up and pressure you on defense there are a lot of things that we can work on that we’ve needed to work on, one-on-one stops and things like that. They are a really good team to work on.”

On the increased intensity that comes with the NCAA tournament:
“You know that the team that you are playing against, whoever it is, is also playing for their season to not end. We are too and we are trying to earn the chance to play with each other again. That is something we talked about at the ACC Tournament and we did well in earning ourselves more opportunities to play together and hopefully that will carry over the next six games.”


Duke Center Elizabeth Williams
On how they spent their time over break:
“We have been working a lot on defense and rebounding and making those adjustments and of course adjusting to the new season and getting ready.”

On the timing of Chelsea Gray’s injury:
“I think that especially for Lex, having to time to adjust, I wouldn’t say to more pressure but just a different role, I think that she has done a good job of that. For all of us to be able to trust her and adjust along with her.”

On the possible advantage of coming from the Virginia Beach area [where Hampton is from]:
“I think we prepare for every game pretty much the same. The coaches do a good job of scouting for us. I guess it is a little extra motivation knowing a couple of players and the coach for me.”

On the possibility of the upsets:
“Coming into this tournament everybody knows that everyone is good and that you have to prepare the same way for every team you can’t take anyone lightly.”

On the play of Alexis Jones:
“I think she has done a great job. Sometimes you don’t get to see the potential of a player because of the role that she is in but now that she has stepped up and taken a bigger role I think she has done a good job.”

On the increased intensity that comes with the NCAA tournament:
“Like we have talked about it before, coming into a new season, everyone is really good and I think we have tried to up our intensity, especially on defense, and we have tried to prepare in that way, come in with a lot of fire. It is one and done so we have a lot to play for and I think we are all really trying to play hard.”


Duke Guard Tricia Liston
On how they spent their time over break:
“I think it is a big thing with our mentality and focus. We are coming into a new season here. Nothing in the past really matters. It is one game and you are out; at first we didn’t have an opponent so at first we were working on ourselves and trying to fine tune some things we wanted to make sharp for the tournament.”

On the timing of Chelsea Gray’s injury:
“If a player goes down you need some time to recuperate and rebuild and figure out different combinations. I don’t think there is ever a good time for it to happened but when it happened it was useful for us in terms of rebuilding and coming back for a new season.”

On the play of Alexis Jones:
“I think Lex [Alexis] has done awesome. Coming in as a freshman is always hard and then right away being called on like she was, I think she has stepped up tremendously for us and I am really proud of her and excited. I like playing with her.”

On her large size in the guard position:
“Ever since high school I have been put in that position. It gives me the ability to find mismatches and be able to post up and work on my post game. When they put a guard that is short and quick on me it is an advantage for me to be able to use my size and get in the post and take advantage in that sense. I guess it is all about reading the defense and what kind of player is on you and using your smarts to outwork and outplay them.”

On the increased intensity that comes with the NCAA tournament:
“I think the whole thing about only being promised one game is a little bit scary. This could potentially be our last run together so I think everyone is trying to have the mentality that we want to earn another game and another game. We really like each other on this team and we like playing with each other so I think it is a little bit of a motivation for us that we have to work for each game and keep playing until we win all of our games.”


Hampton Head Coach David Six
On Being a 15-Seed:
“My mom used to say it’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to. Nothing that happens here this weekend will make me think we’re a 15-seed, but we can’t cry over it. We’ve turned our focus to Duke. That’s the opponent in front of us, that’s my job. The kids are here, so we’ve turned our focus to Duke so no sense in going back over, I don’t think. The great thing about this country is we can agree to disagree. You can have your own opinion. I don’t think that, but that’s how we were perceived, and we were thankful for the opportunity. We’re certainly going to have a big challenge ahead of us, but a challenge we are ready for.”

On Changes Since Last Meeting with Duke:
“I have learned a lot about college basketball since then. That was my first year; I was coming straight from high school. I learned that you’ve got to be better prepared. I thought that I didn’t do a great job of preparing our ladies the first year because I didn’t know; it was a new experience to me. I think I’ve done a much better job of preparing them, I think we’re better prepared and that comes from scheduling. The schedule was already set when I first got here the first year, I had the opportunity to do the schedule myself this year, and it was probably the most ambitious schedule in Hampton University history on the women’s side. We’ve done very well with a number of injuries during that time, so I think we’re just a little better prepared.

“The team that played Duke four years ago started 5-3, 5-3, 5-9, 5-10 and 5-10, literally. And this time, obviously our roster has some taller players. The other thing is that teams in years past have not been as athletic as this team. This team is a little bit more athletic than teams of the past so that should aid us in being able to get out in transition and maybe get some easy opportunities if we are able to turn Duke over.”

On Creating a Difficult Schedule:
“Duke started somewhere. UConn started somewhere. Tennessee started somewhere. The name Duke was known nationally all of the time, so we have to start somewhere and its starts with us trying to play the best. I’ll play you if you come to Hampton, but I don’t want to go to you if you’re not going to return to me.”

On Keys to Victory:
“Score more than them. We’re going to have to limit their offensive rebounding, limit our turnovers, obviously defend at a high level, not get overwhelmed by the moment. There’s been enough of that for us. We’ve been in the tournament four years, let’s focus on putting ourselves in a position to be successful now. Make sure we rebound, once again defend at a high level and we’ve got to take care of the ball.

“We can’t turn the ball over, so we need to protect the ball really, really well. Again we have to try to attack Duke. We have to keep them off the boards, and we certainly need to defend at a high level but we try to do that every night anyway so that’s a big check mark on our list. Again, box out, try to keep them off the boards as best we can, try to attack them, and manage the ball very well.”

On Playing in Cameron Indoor Stadium:
“We’ve gone around the country and played some other storied programs in some legendary arenas so the experience for that is going to bode well for us. I don’t think we’re going to be overwhelmed. We understand what this means and I think we’re ready to go.”

On Elizabeth Williams:
“I actually coached against Elizabeth Williams. I actually coached the AAU program that Elizabeth Williams played for, so I know Elizabeth Williams, I know her dad, I know her mom, so I am very familiar with Elizabeth Williams, but Duke is certainly not a one man band. There are other players, now certainly Elizabeth Williams does present a tremendous challenge but there are other players that are good on Duke as well.”

On Strong Defense over the Past Games:
“I think we’ve really done a good job of on-ball defense. When you don’t have to help as much, it’s certainly makes your defense stronger. We’ve also cut off dribble penetration. I thought in the semifinals of the conference tournament I thought we didn’t do a good job of that in the first half, but thought we did a tremendous job of that in the second half. We’ve made adjustments on the fly, but overall we’ve got out in the passing lanes and just made it hard for people to run their offense.”

On Parody in the Women’s NCAA Tournament:
“I think the opposite. I think the NBA has created more parody in the men’s game. Kentucky had five first round picks last year, and lost first round in the NIT. You put those five guys back on that team, they’re not in the NIT. We don’t talk about that. We talk about ourselves. Each game is different and we talk about what we need to do to be successful. That’s pretty much it, we don’t worry about anybody else and to be honest with you I have watched very little basketball, except for my team and Duke.”


Hampton Forward Keiara Avant
On what you’ve seen from Duke:
“Duke is obviously a great team. We have studied them all week long and it will be a pretty good matchup. They are pretty young, we are a little bit more experienced versus the first time playing them my freshman year. I think it is going to be a great matchup.”

On playing in Cameron at Duke before:
“The first time it was very loud in there. We weren’t accustomed to such a loud crowd. This time we are a little more experienced. We are ready now. The big crowd I guess is our biggest threat.”

On Coach P’s comment of them being like an ACC team:
“I think it is a great compliment from her. I appreciate that compliment but it is really just a name on a jersey. When we are playing we aren’t really focusing on, oh it’s Duke, or the other teams that we are playing but we are focusing on the advantages that we have versus a team and trying to limit their advantages, cause turnovers, things of that nature.”

On their excellent defense:
“Obviously, credit to Coach Six. He strives on defense very much in practice. While we are in practice we are focusing on defense and focusing on the key players and things that we can limit on the night that we are playing them.”

On playing Elizabeth Williams in high school:
“I know Elizabeth graduated from Princess Anne, I graduated from Indian River so we came out of the same region. I am aware of her game. I know that she has grown as a player as well as I have grown. On Sunday, we are going to try and limit her touches and her scoring ability.”

On what they need to do to pull the upset:
“Stay focused, not really looking at the team as Duke but focus on our keys, make open shots, limit their offensive rebounding, limit turnovers, rebound and try to stay in control of the game.”


Hampton Guard Nicole Hamilton
On game preparation:
“Basically we are doing the same game plan like we do for any other team, going over film, practicing like we normally do.”

On the strength of the non-conference schedule:
“The non-conference games, playing top teams prepared us because we watched film on the top teams, see what they’ve got to do, play defense in practice as if they were a top team. It prepared us pretty good and we’ve made it through the MEAC now we are moving on and preparing for Duke.”

On what they need to do to pull the upset:
“Limit the mistakes that we make, the little mistakes that we make. We’ve got to pay attention to that more and watch what we do rather than what we would do in the MEAC.”


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