Nov. 23, 2013
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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On Moriah Jefferson and the team’s perimeter play:
“I think it is going to be the theme, at least until Kaleena gets back, that people are going to try and pack it into the lane as much as they can. They are going to want us to shoot from the perimeter. We can’t just rely on our transition game and our defense, we will have to shoot the ball. We’ve got some pretty good shooters, it’s just a matter of focusing on what we have to do and doing it. Its not like we are asking them to do something they haven’t done before. All of those guys are pretty good shooters. We spend a lot of time on it and I wanted to take advantage of it.
On Kiah Stokes this season:
“I think for the most part, there is more of a go try to do something, go try to get a rebound, go try to block a shot, go try to post up, you know we were commenting that she very rarely gets three point play where she has to be very physical, get hit, score, and make a free throw. Usually it is miss the shot then go make the two free throws. Today she got a couple of them. I think maybe she is having a little bit of success and wants more of it. Its not like she got any taller, quicker, faster, or bigger, she is the same person. It’s the same person who isn’t trying to do different things then last year, she is just trying more. That is ninety percent of the battle, just try more.
On Briana Banks and Kiah Stokes role on the team:
“Yea, one of the things that good players do is put a lot of pressure on themselves. They don’t worry about pressure from coaches, other teams, fans, or other expectations. The really good players, they put pressure on themselves. Whether you need them or not, they have a certain level they want to play at and they reach that level. Then there are other kids who say, you don’t need me, therefore what is the point in being really good. Then they look up and they aren’t really good. It just takes some people longer then others. Whatever the case I happy for them and I hope it continues.
On the effort of Briana Banks during short stretches:
“I think freshman year, there was a lot to be desired, obviously. We let her know that there would have to be significant changes if she wanted to play. The summer after her freshman year she made those changes and she got a lot better. She came back and worked a lot harder…she played a lot more. Unfortunately, the injury came. You don’t know how people are going to come back from injuries. But, I think being away from the game did a lot for her and you will see that a lot of times when players who you are not sure if they are consistent, when the game is taken away from them, they return with a whole different mindset and attitude. I think she came back and appreciated the game a little more and worked at it a little more. And, she is not a hundred percent right now, so we play her in spurts. Those spurts, she tries to maximize the minutes that she gets…today was the best example of that.”
Sophomore forward Breanna Stewart
On touching the ball more and scoring:
“I don't know honestly. I think with our offense a lot of people are touching the ball each time down the court. I think I'm just being aggressive, looking to score but at the same time I want to be able to look for my open teammates because it's important to get other people involved as well.
On what the team takes from this game:
“I think what we gained was starting strong. Last game we didn't start out that great and we wanted to make that our priority. Come out in this game, take care of business in the first five minutes and keep that going throughout the whole game. I think we're focusing on getting better individually and as a team and I think we got better tonight.
On her and Dolson's big stat lines as of late:
“I think that as a player you want to do as many things as you can, whether it's getting rebounds, blocks, or assists. You just want to be in the game in all aspects and I think anyone on the team would want that.
On Kiah Stokes' performance:
“Kiah has stepped up tremendously and that really helps us (Stewart and Dolson) because we're thin in numbers since we only have three post players. The way we can rely on her to come into games and keep the tempo consistent when she comes in is great and we're all really happy for her.”
Junior forward Kiah Stokes
On Brianna Banks' performance:
“Earlier in practice today she was making threes and we were telling her to have some confidence and shoot. She's a good shooter and we like to see hard work pay off.
On her role with the team:
“Blocking shots and rebounds because I know I can do those things. Coach has said he wants more of a post presence because Stewie doesn't like to post all the time, but Stef obviously does. If Stef and I can work on our presence in the post, I think that's what they want from me besides my defense.
On what the team takes away from this game:
“We really have to work hard on playing the whole 40 minutes, the last few minutes there were a little sloppy. Coach always said that it's good we win by 40 points, but always play our game. Don't get sloppy and don't become careless, just do what we do. “
Junior guard Brianna Banks
On Kiah Stokes' performance:
“I see a big difference from her freshman year. She's working a little harder every day and getting more rebounds and being more aggressive. If she keeps working, Kiah will really help us. She's needs to be more consistent because sometimes when she's tired, you can tell she is kind of going down. But when she isn't tired, Kiah is a power.
On her limited play and injury history:
“I just go out and play as hard as I can and whenever he pulls me out is when I take my rest.
On her confidence:
“Every game I've been a little more confident because I'm able to see what I can do. Coming back from the injury, it's kind of hard to mentally come back, the physical part is the easy part. I'm trying to bring myself back mentally to where I was.
On her hot start in this game:
“I have to come out with the aggressive mindset that I had this game and be more consistent, and then everything else will fall into place.”
Monmouth head coach Jenny Palmateer
Knowing this would be a daunting challenge, how did your team approach to this game?
"I think we just went in with some things we wanted to work on. We wanted to, first and foremost, get some of our young players great experience. How many times can you say that you play the No. 1 team in the country? I was really pleased that I got them in and that they did pretty well considering. We wanted to work on our execution a little bit and really just try to take away things about us, take care of the ball, see how well we could do that. I was pretty pleased with what we were trying to accomplish. I think we did an okay job with it.
What did you like that you saw from your team?
"I think our young players - I love our young players. They've been getting minutes here and there. They got to play more today, they got to play a lot more today. They have such an enthusiasm about them. I liked their communication on the defensive end and how unselfish they were on the offensive end.
What did your team gain from this game and do you think the experience of playing the No. 1 team in the nation will benefit your team going forward?
"I think we gained a lot of confidence from this game, which probably sounds pretty funny. Honestly, we took care of the ball better than we have in some of our other games. I think that with us being able to execute against a team like UConn sometimes, I think we gained so much confidence, really. I think, moving forward, every opponent that we face, we're going to go in more confident knowing that if we could do it against UConn, we should be able to do it against some other folks."