Nov. 28, 2010
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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On if Tiffany Hayes made some strides offensively today:
"I do think that Tiffany stepped out of her little shell that she puts herself into sometimes. That's what's going to happen in terms of how it's going to evolve over the course of the year. It's not easy for someone to be completely different than they were the year before and that's what she's being asked to be. It's going to take a little bit of time. One of the things that we talked about is if you think this thing through, other than Maya (Moore), nobody really owns this thing. Other than Maya, there isn't anyone on our team that owns this streak, this championship, all this stuff...Now you've got three players (Tiffany, Lorin (Dixon) and Kelly (Faris) that are being asked to do something completely different than what they've had to do at Connecticut and then you've got the freshmen. It's not going to be easy to get them out of their normal way of thinking and have them thinking completely different based on this year."
On the defensive effort in the second half:
"In the first half I didn't think we were going to be able to guard them. There was a point in the first half where the assistant coaches were saying that we should play zone. We don't play zone, we just play man-to-man, but we weren't playing man-to-man either, so at least we had an excuse for not guarding them. It seemed like every time we didn't get through a screen they scored. We made a few adjustments at halftime and in the second half I thought our defense was unbelievable. It was everybody. We were very active and we were all swarming to the ball and got out in transition and I don't know if they recovered from that flurry that we had. Then we limited them to one shot and that was really key."
On if Maya Moore seems to be having fun playing this season:
"She should be having a lot of fun. I think it's important that Maya have fun. It's your senior year in college, and you get to take whatever shot you want, do whatever you want and nobody yells at you. There are certain privileges that come with being a senior. You can have all the fun in the world and you can do whatever you want and know you've earned the right to do that. You know you're the best player in the country and you're just going to go out and enjoy it. She certainly looks like she is. She made a couple of plays there at the end that will be in the highlight film for a long, long time. I had a little conversation with her today, and it's just going to be that kind of season."
On some of the plays that Maya Moore made today:
"Those things that happen, I don't know how she made it, I really don't. She just has an incredible sense and not very many people have that. That's what makes her such a special player. She can do things that most people can't image doing. She's had some incredible things happen to her since she's been here, and today was pretty good. Today was probably what Maya wants every day to be like."
On her approach to her senior season and having fun on the court:
"I think I am having fun. When I'm having fun, I'm usually smiling, laughing, into it, excited. When we work hard and we are all playing together it's a lot of fun. Now that I'm a senior, I'm recognizing how special this program is and how good we have it. I see how good the coaching staff is and the entire staff and how dedicated they all are. I have no reason not to have fun."
On reverse layup after pass from Stefanie Dolson:
"It's one of those things. You work so hard in practice. You do drills. You make cuts. You mess up, you get it right, you struggle and then you get to the game and you get it right. It's all of that. All the practice, all of the drills and repetition comes together in a play that was kind of an unsuspecting way coming from Stefanie at the high post. That was great. The crowd cheered. The bench, everyone on the court was going crazy. That's what you see. But it's not just a great play, it's everything that went into that play coming about. I loved it. And the fact that it was a physical game and we were making a statement added to that."
On Maya Moore's reverse layup:
"Honestly, when I passed it I thought she was going to miss it because it was a bullet. But when she caught that it was just such excitement. Like she said, everything that we practice goes into that play. It was one of those great feelings to know that everything works out that we work on. And when she made that layup I was going crazy. It was great. I was just excited to be part of that play."
On breaking out of the shell she's been in recently:
"Having a half like we did in the second half, you have no choice but to come out of the shell and be a part of what the team's going through. Having the half we had, everybody's hyped, everybody's giving high fives. You have no choice but It's with the help of your teammates that you get out of a shell like that. That's what happened today."
On the emotion after having a long run in the second half capped off by Maya Moore's reverse layup:
"It's just like any other run we go on. Whoever the person is scoring, we all get hyped obviously. It boosts everyone's confidence and we all want to go out there and bring energy and make stops on defense and get transition buckets. It doesn't matter who the person is scoring, we are going to get hyped and it turns over to our defense. That leads to us getting stops."
LSU Head Coach Van Chancellor
"UConn's defense in the second half was really good, we just couldn't get in to our offense. They did a great job taking us out of our offense the whole game. Maya Moore is a special player, we tried every defense against her and she was still able to score and rebound against us. I also thought that Hartley and Hayes did a great job of scoring against us because there were times that we left them open and they stepped up. This is what our season has been tonight. We play good for a while and then not so good for a while."
On the difference in the second half:
"They switched up their screen and we didn't adjust. Our offense is supposed to be able to make second cuts when they switch their screens and we just couldn't do that tonight. The second half got really, really physical."
On Maya growing as a player:
"I thought when she was a freshman she didn't have far to grow. She has been a player ever since I first saw her play. She is a special player, she is one of the best that has ever played this game. She can do something that most women can't do and that is stand up behind the three point line and not have to reset her feet to shoot the ball. That is why she is so special, most players have to reset their feet to shoot, but she does not."
On the UConn offense:
"They just deny the ball and get every rebound. What UConn does so well, is that they execute everything so well, every play that they have. They do a really good job at what they do and it's hard to stop that."