UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On putting Katie Lou Samuelson in the starting line-up:
“We noticed a couple of things. We didn’t feel like we were getting (Breanna Stewart) in as many different places as we used to get her because we weren’t able to let her roam around in there. We already had two other big guys in there. So, I think by eliminating one of them, it gives Stewie a lot more room to do a bunch of other things and it changes the match up that she would have defensively, who would be guarding her, and bring in another shooter who is getting better and better every day.”
On if Samuelson did something to earn the starting spot?
“It really doesn’t matter in the end, who starts and who doesn’t. Gabby (Williams) has played her best basketball since she has settled into that role and come off the bench. I don’t think it matters a lot of times if you start or if you don’t start. It just matters how you play and how much you can get done. (Samuelson) has been better in practice. She has been better in games and obviously, today was her best game played since she’s come to Connecticut and not all just because she shot the ball.”
On if Samuelson is a better passer than first thought?
“Well, with those kids in high school that shoot so many times because they’re required to for their team, you’re not quite sure, but when you watch her, you know she is. She draws a lot of attention so she has a lot of opportunities to pass the ball and she wants to pass the ball. So, I’m not surprised. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis became a great passer. I think the more times you have to have the ball in your hands and the more times people are coming after you, the more opportunities you get to be a good passer.”
On how much does Samuelson benefit from having Breanna Stewart to emulate?
“Well, I would rather she emulate (Svetlana Abrosimova) because sometimes when you watch Stewie, things just come so easily to Stewie. If you’re not careful, you think that you don’t have to work really hard because it just comes easy. Obviously, having Stewie around and Lou being able to see it every day, how many different things Stewie does to impact the game, if you are paying attention you are going to get better.”
Temple Head Coach Tonya Cardoza
On Katie Lou Samuelson’s performance tonight:
"Unbelievable. The way she shot the ball today, coming off screens, she just made it difficult. She's so big and moves well without the basketball. Her teammates did a great job of finding her. She set the tone. Everyone started feeding off of her when she started making shots."
On what UConn did to make things difficult during 24-0 run in 1st quarter:
"They're an unbelievable scoring team, but more importantly they play defense too. They make it difficult for teams to score points. They got steals and that led to easy transition buckets. They made almost every shot they took. I felt like they were all on fire. Stewart was knocking down a lot of open jump shots. They made it tough for us because of how their defense was playing. It got us out of our offense and frustrated us."
On how talented this year’s UConn team is:
"They're really talented. They're shooting the ball really well. When you have the best player in the world in Stewart, that makes it easy. Tuck is having an unbelievable year. I think she is the unsung hero. Jefferson is the engine that gets it going. Then you have a bunch of guys that come in and know how to play their role and they do a really good job at it."