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UConn/SMU Quotes

Feb. 24, 2016

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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On winning the regular-season conference title:

“I think that the good thing about playing at UConn is that you aspire to win a national championship and you go to many Final Fours. The bad thing about playing at UConn is that you win so many Final Fours that you forget to celebrate the milestones in between. We cannot just skip over successes that should be celebrated, and I remind them of that.”

On Katie Lou Samuelson:

“She is a really good player. When you have someone who is talented eventually it will come out, so I’ve been on her for that. She still has to make a lot of progress in the next month for us to be where we need to be. She made five three-pointers tonight, and that is what the person before her did. You have to do more than that in order to win national championships.”

SMU Head Coach Rhonda Rompola

On her feelings towards this being the first game since announcing her retirement:

"As a coach, you're trying to go out on a positive note, and you try to be positive with your kids too. At times when I would get stressed in timeouts, I'm trying to be a little more low-key and not as worked up. In a game like today, I'd probably be getting pretty worked up. So I'm trying to be a little bit more encouraging."

On what her team gets out of tonight’s game and what she hopes to accomplish before returning in a couple weeks for the tournament:

"What our young kids need to get out of it, and I believe they do, is that this is the next level. If any of these young kids have aspirations of playing at the next level, this is what you're going to face every day. It's physical out there. The players at the next level are bigger. You've got to do all the little things. You've got to screen, you've got to box out, you can't watch when they are pressuring. Just really doing all of the little things."

On what UConn does defensively that makes it hard to score:

"Their length, and they push a lot of their screen work and funnel to (Breanna) Stewart. They can switch on everything. They switch on every ball screen and when they are switching, not only are they switching, they are closing out, they're playing passing lanes. What I told our team at halftime was that we have to be able to turn the corner and get to the rim. We don't have a lot of one-on-one, break you down players. Sometimes against a team like that, they take you out of your structure, take you out of your offense and they make you almost play a pick up style of basketball. Sometimes you need to have a little bit of that in you."

Freshman guard Katie Lou Samuelson

On how she’s grown into a better player this season:

“I think that my confidence is up more than it was at the beginning of the season and I just feel more comfortable out there to make plays and help out. I’m pretty comfortable and excited about moving forward.”

On winning the regular-season title:

“I’ve never been in this situation before. It’s really cool for me and I am really excited and hoping to keep achieving more goals.”

Senior forward Breanna Stewart

On winning the regular-season title:

 “As a senior, its hard realizing that this is our (the seniors) last time winning the conference. As sophomores and juniors we really didn’t think about it, but now I’m trying to savor every moment.”

On senior day being this Saturday:

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be really exciting and fun. It will probably be emotional, but it is celebrating our four years here and (luckily) we will still have some more home games.”