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UConn/Memphis Quotes

Jan. 30, 2016

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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On Moriah Jefferson’s defense:

“I have not seen anyone that we have played against so far that day in and day out plays as consistently well, defensively, as Moriah does.”

On playing with a high pressure defense:

“We want to create a faster pace for ourselves because I think that it benefits us. In order to do that you have to create a lot of possessions. If you can get a team to play a little quicker than they want to you might get hurt on a couple, but I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives.”

On the crowd at the XL Center:

“It was great, wasn’t it? I mentioned that to the coaches. That’s when you like playing here, when you get that type of crowd, it makes a big difference.”

On Natalie Butler:

“I would like to see her take advantage of her size. I think she’s still a little tentative. That might be because she hasn’t played in a while and is trying to get acclimated. We like to think that with each practice and each game we are getting her closer to where there is a big physical presence inside.”

Memphis Head Coach Melissa McFerrin

On what UConn did to limit Cheyenne Creighton effectiveness:

"First of all, I think Cheyenne's minutes were fairly limited today. Anytime you have that kind of size and you are a young post player, it’s intimidating. I think that was it."

On what the team can take away from this loss:

"Most of the conversation happened before the game about what we need to do to be successful against UConn. Sometimes success is relative. We're going to talk about the game plan as it was before and what we did and what we didn't do. I told them at halftime, 'There are a lot of problems out there. We have to focus on what the solutions are instead of what UConn is throwing at us.' We have a game plan. We've worked on a few things and we have to look at the solutions and execute them. So, that largely will be our conversation. It’s very important, when you play against UConn and when you play on their home court, that you don't let it get to your heart and you don't let it get to your soul or your being or your self-worth. You have to walk away from this building and you have to leave it here, but you have to learn the lessons."

On how much of playing UConn is overcoming the mental part of who you are playing:

"I think that, after you have been on the floor with them a few times, who they are is gone. At that point in time, you have to deal with the physical reality of who they are and there's a mental component to that as well. It’s also like playing against your best scout guys in the gym. They're going to make you look silly when you make mistakes and that's always what I tell our players. UConn is going to make you pay two-fold for every mistake you make."

Senior guard Moriah Jefferson

On her on-ball defense:

“I think my on-ball defense is the best. My off-ball defense, I’m really lazy and I get caught watching the ball so I don’t get a lot of the steals I should get, but I think on the ball is where I’m most comfortable and more aggressive.”

On what she tried to do at the half to motivate her teammates:

“I normally don’t do too much yelling, but I did a little bit at halftime saying our energy wasn’t there. It wasn’t so much the things we were doing. We were getting stops and making plays, but it wasn’t enough. We were definitely low energy and we can’t have that in any game we play.”

Senior forward Breanna Stewart

On how well Moriah does sharing the spotlight with her:

“I think Moriah deserves a lot more credit for things than she sometimes gets, and the way she handles it is great. She’s the best point guard in the country, and one the best players in the country. She knows that and we know that here at UConn, and I think other people are starting to realize that her name should be said before mine basically.”

On what has made UConn’s defense so good over the last 6 games:

“Well I think just the way we’re playing defensively, pressuring them full court and really getting our hands in the passing lanes and making them feel uncomfortable bringing the ball up. We had some 10 second violations and then just steals.”

On her final game at the XL Center:

“It’s crazy to think I’m a senior, crazy to think I’m going to be done soon and that kind of stuff, but I’ve played here since I was a freshman and you appreciate this area. It’s a home away from home so to speak.”


 

 

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