Nov. 22, 2013
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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On the picking the pace up after the slow start:
“We did, we did, I thought the first five, six, seven minutes we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we got. There wasn’t any crispness to what we were doing. I thought after the initial ten minutes or so everything looked way better. Our defensive intensity and defensive pressure was way better and that created a lot of stuff that got us going.”
On Breanna Stewart’s slow start:
“It’s not easy to clear your heard when there’s nothing in there. That would be a very difficult thing to do. During the first time out I said…do we practice those shots your taking. She said no. Then I asked…why are you taking them. She did it three times in a row. They are kids, you don’t know what goes through their head. It was unlike her, usually she takes the shots we know she will take and make. Those first three were bizarre, I don’t know where they came from. Those hook shots she is shooting about ninety percent, she wouldn’t shoot those…as if they were too easy.”
On Breanna Stewart in the second half:
“I talk a lot with Stewart about that kind of stuff. All great teams have great players on them…that’s what makes them great teams. Last year we won the National Championship, but I don’t know if we were a great team, or nearly as good as teams in the past. When you have great players on your team, you have the chance to have a great team. When Maya Moore was here, she played great every night that she stepped on the floor. You knew you had a chance to play great because Maya would play great…same with Diane Taurasi. Some players define what the team is going to do. I talk to Stewart about that. When Stefanie, Stewart, and Bria…guys who have already done it in the past, bring it every night, then we have the chance to be a great team every night…regardless of who we are playing.”
On Saniya Chong’s ability to hold onto the ball:
“The only game that she has struggled was the Maryland game. That wasn’t even physical, it was more mental then anything else. The thing that is unique about Soniya is she knows exactly what she is good at. She knows exactly what she should do and she does it. She is not out there trying to reinvent the wheel every time she is on the floor. She knows when she is open she will make most of her three’s. She knows when she drives it she will finish somewhere around the basket. She knows when somebody steps on her, she knows which pass to throw. Not always, but most of the time. Not all of those things are taught…those are instinctive. She has great instincts. She has a great feel for the game. One that is more advanced for her age.”
Sophomore Forward Breanna Stewart
On your shot selection on the first few minutes:
“I don’t know what I was thinking, I kept wanting to do a turnaround jump shot in the post. It is not something that I do a lot. I honestly don’t have a reason for it. I did it…then I did it again…and I did it again. Then I came out. Usually when we are around the basket like that we do hook shots.”
On Geno talking to you about response:
“I mean that’s the way I want to respond. When he challenges us as an individual and a team, that’s how you must respond.
On your team rolling in the second half:
“Obviously we need to start better. The first five minutes of the game are the most important because you are starting pace and setting the tempo. You are trying to really push the other team.”
Freshman Guard Saniya Chong
On the team’s crammed early schedule and rest:
“I would say I like the early start, but I like rest. Sometimes rest is good, but also I love playing games. Recovery is fun, but playing the games…playing as hard as you can and working hard…it is as outcome of the game is pretty good.”
Senior Center Stefanie Dolson
On the rhythm you have had in the past three games/ Does it begin with rebounding?
“Yea, I guess you could say. I am not focused on scoring. I’m just shooting the ball when I’m open and focusing on rebounding. I am just making sure our team is running our offense correctly. Whether that be getting myself open shots or getting open on the offensive end…it kind of happens. I am playing well, but I am not getting out of myself, or anything.”
Is this the best three game stretch of your career?
“I don’t think so. I’m having fun playing, I’m enjoying it. However, I would not say it is the best stretch. I think these last two games have been good, but the games prior to it were not so much. There is still improvement to do in my opinion.”
Boston University Head Coach Kelly Greenberg
Does this game hurt or help you the rest of the tournament?
“I hope it helps. We are taking this as a positive. The toughest thing about this weekend was that our game tonight was at7:30 and we have to turn around and play at 2:00 tomorrow. Recovery time, our goal was really to play a lot of people and hopefully no one played too many minutes so we will be well rested for a game we think we can win. That was really important to us. It better not hurt us. I think our team is defined by being tough. That’s what we pride ourselves on. We call it BU Tough. We had some things that we really focused on in this game we thought we did well, so let’s carry that intotomorrow.”
You were outscored badly in the paint, is that just a matter of picking your poison against this team?
“I thought we did some good things, ironically, in our zone defense, by taking away their high post area, not letting them get easy dump downs. They also made a lot of 3’s on us. We’re not very big. We’re not the typical team and both teams that we are going to play the next two days are bigger than us. We are a small team and over the years we’ve figured out how to play small. However, against a UConn type team, that’s going to hurt us. It certainly did tonight."
What are you looking to do better against St. Bonny and Monmouth?
“I think we’ll play more possession basketball. They have so many weapons, UConn, so that you feel like you are getting beat every way. The next two games will be more our speed. They will be against other mid-major teams that we think we match up well against. We’ll just play our basketball, possession basketball, value it, don’t turn it over and get a good shot."
What would make a successful weekend?
“Getting two wins. To get the next two wins would be really a good weekend.”